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Milestone Negro Spirituals Until the Civil War

April 2 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

- $12

As part of the African American Museum of Iowa’s Jazz and Blues series, Hilliard Greene presents “Milestone Negro Spirituals Until the Civil War: When Folksongs Bring Freedom.”

Get Tickets Here

This performance/workshop in words and music brings to light the significance and beauty of the remarkable songs associated with the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in their efforts to escape to free states and to Canada. These uniquely American heritage songs are recognized as a distinct musical genre. The music that will be featured is based on the coded Negro spirituals that runaway slaves used to elude capture. Selections will include:

  • Swing Low Sweet Chariot
  • Wade In The Water
  • Deep River
  • Go Down Moses
  • Michael Row De Boat Ashore
  • I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray


  • $12 in advance, $15 at the door
  • Tickets are non-refundable
  • Seating is general admission
  • Online ticket sales close at 4 PM on April 2
  • Doors will open at 6:30 PM on April 2
  • Cash bar available starting at 6:30 PM


Sponsored by:

What Critics are Saying:

“With a technical mastery of his instrument that is nothing short of astonishing he churned through a varied and creative set full of fire, brilliance and subtlety that above all never stopped swinging.” – Bobby Shropshire, Beach Nights Entertainment Magazine, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“Intense. Powerful. Versatile. Not for the faint-hearted. …Hill Greene showed us how it’s done” – Bass World, Journal for the International Society of Bassists

“His fabulous arco bass mixes lyricism with a burning, literally ferocious desire of opening the listener’s mind.” – Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, Italy

About the Artist:

Hill Greene has been playing professionally for 35 years and studying music practically all his life. His emphases are in classical, jazz, rock, blues, R&B, as well as the music of other continents and U.S. regions.  Currently he is concentrating on solo performance.

Having studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and at the University of Northern Iowa.  He performs widely in the New York City area in recitals and at nightclubs.  He’s featured on numerous recordings, has performed on both television and radio, and has toured major cities throughout the United States and Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Greene performed and recorded with Jimmy Scott for 20+ years, serving as his Musical Director from 1995 to 2013. Greene was also Cecil Taylor’s Concert Master for his group “Phtongos”. He was in residence at Minton’s a.k.a. legendary Minton’s Playhouse as the house bassist.

Greene works / worked with Rashied Ali, Barry Altschul, Lucian Ban, Billy Bang, Kenny Barron, David Berger, Karl Berger, Cindy Blackman, T.K. Blue, Dougie Bowen, Joanne Brackeen, Oscar Brown Jr., Uri Caine, Roy Campbell, Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Skin, Daniel Carter, Carla Cook, Akua Dixon, Dave Douglas, John Esposito, Bobby Few, Erik Friedlander, Camille Gainer, Eddie Gale, Charles Gayle, Eddie Gladden, Electric Symphony, Alex Harding, George Haslam, Jon Hendricks, John Hicks, Jason Kao Hwang, The Inkspots, Yoron Israel, Vijay Iyer, Klaus Kugel, Leroy Jenkins, Howard Johnson, Frank Lacy, Gloria Lynne, Michael Marcus, Sabir Mateen, Jason Moran, Bern Nix, Greg Osby, Jimmy Ponder, Don Pullen, Lenore Raphael, Matana Roberts, Perry Robinson, Josh Roseman, Vanessa Rubin, Nipsy Russell, Warren Smith, Steve Swell, Grady Tate,  Jacky Terrasson, Gebhard Ullman, Marlene VerPlanck, Village Vanguard Orchestra, Petras Vysniauskas, Jack Walrath, Bobby Watson, Mars Williams…

As a bandleader Greene produced three CDs with his own ensemble The Jazz Expressions and a solo bass CD entitled “Alone”.  Also, an upcoming recording featuring Negro Spirituals released by Unseen Rain Records.




April 2
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Categories:


African American Museum of Iowa
55 12th Ave SE
Cedar Rapids , IA 52401 United States
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