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Afro Blue

Howard University’s premier vocal jazz ensemble, Afro Blue, was formed by Professor Connaitre Miller in the spring of 2002. Singing music similar to the styles of Lambert, Hendricks  and Ross, The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, while adding their own unique sound, this  dynamic “vocal big band” has performed to wide critical acclaim. Afro Blue reached the top four on The Sing-Off, NBC-TV’s a cappella group competition; joined the legendary Bobby McFerrin in selections from his Grammy - nominated VOCAbuLarieS album as part of the D.C. Jazz Festival; and appeared in concert multiple times with world-class jazz pianist and Howard university alumna, Geri Allen. Afro Blue has been featured on NPR in a segment of All Things Considered, a Tiny Desk Concert, and an hour long Christmas special titled “An Afro Blue Christmas,” which continues to air nationally during the holiday season.  Afro Blue has established a continuing relationship with The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts having participated in multiple concerts. Afro Blue has shared the stage with K.C. Artistic Directors for Jazz, Dr. Billy Taylor and Jason Moran, as well as, Marvin Hamlisch and The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Pops. Last spring, Afro Blue was the featured artist in two sold out shows at the K.C. Jazz Club as part of their Breakout Artist Series.  Afro Blue has performed several times at the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY and will appear on the soon to be released “Ella 100 Celebration,” recorded live at the Apollo with Patti Austin and the legendary Count Basie Orchestra. Afro Blue was honored to perform for President and Mrs. Obama twice at The White House: for a Christmas party given for White House employees in 2013, and in 2016 with Kelly Clarkson, Marc Anthony, Yolanda Adams and Chance the Rapper for the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.  Since its existence, Afro Blue has received numerous Student Music Awards (SMA) by DownBeat Magazine and, members of the ensemble have been recognized for their stellar solo work.  Afro Blue director, Connaitre Miller, was awarded the prestigious “Jazz Education Achievement Award” by DownBeat Magazine and Jazz Times Magazine traced the history of Afro Blue in the feature article “How Afro Blue Happened.”  Locally, Afro Blue was voted Best A Cappella Group five years concurrently by WAMA, and their CD, The Best is Yet to Come, was voted album of the year. Afro Blue has released 5 additional recordings and is also featured on the John Blake Jr. recording of jazz spirituals titled Motherless Child.  

My Featured Artists Sessions

Thursday, September 12

6:00pm EDT