Big voices unite for tour
WORKING as a backing singer during the ’80s meant Carol Pemberton knew a lot about making three-part harmonies but did not get the opportunity to sing many words.
It was in 1987 while watching all- woman, African- American a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock on tour in the UK that Birmingham-born Pemberton decided to start a group and Black Voices was born.
Since then the a cappella quintet, also featuring original member Sandra Francis and now Pemberton’s daughter Shereece Storrod, has toured the world and shared the stage with greats like Ray Charles and Nina Simone.
Performances celebrate the blend of their African, Caribbean and British heritage with a mixed bag of blues, jazz, gospel, reggae, pop and folk music.
“My dad was a reverend so I grew up in church and was in every choir, and then I ran the choirs before branching out,” Pemberton said.
“When I was a child we didn’t have television in our house, so I guess my experience with music was greatly heightened and listening to music on the radio was where I took the most pleasure.
“I think that greatly shaped the repertoire that Black Voices delivers today.”
After making their Australian debut in Melbourne in 1999, the quintet will be back in the country this November with a new show.
Black Voices with Carol Pemberton (centre) are on their way.