Soul music is an American musical genre that emerged during the late 1950s and ’60s. It draws its inspiration from African-American gospel music as well as rhythm and blues music.
Soul can be divided into several subgenres, such as Detroit (Motown style), deep soul and southern soul. Other styles of soul include Memphis, New Orleans, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Sound of Soul Culture Festival
Fans of soul music won’t want to miss this year’s Sound of Soul Culture Festival at Navy Pier. This two-day event offers free live music performances on both the Navy Pier Beer Garden and Polk Bros Park performance lawns, dance events at Wave Wall Moves and Wax, plus summer fireworks finale!
On Saturday, the festival kicks off with the Chi-Soul Fest Lawn Party on City Stage in Polk Bros Park. DJ Lee Quentin opens proceedings at noon followed by Leon Rogers from 2-4 p.m. Additionally, LeftJones–a collective of arts community musicians–and Beer Garden House Party featuring soul DJ Steve Gerard round out the day’s programming.
Not only are the performances truly astounding, but attendees also share reflections on how the songs relate to larger political and social issues. For instance, in a gospel section featuring Edwin Hawkins Singers’ song “Oh Happy Day,” choir member Adrienne Kryor shares how this song helped her get through times when she faced racial and social challenges within her church community.
Mahalia Jackson’s performance of “Precious Lord,” set against the backdrop of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, serves as a symbol for Black political resistance.
Throughout the film, moments of reflection are juxtaposed with clips of news reports or pundits discussing important political and cultural issues affecting Black people at that time. They serve as a reminder that these performances were just as powerful in their own context and still inspire emotions today.
Summer of Soul, directed by hip hop legend Ahmir Thompson and featuring iconic musical moments and new interviews, allows musicians to share their own personal stories about how the Harlem Cultural Festival changed them.
Ultimately, this film serves as both an authoritative record of the Harlem Cultural Festival and a moving experience for audiences to connect with. Produced by Disney General Entertainment’s Onyx Collective, it can be streamed on Hulu and Disney+.
The Story of Soul
Soul music is an African American popular genre that emerged in the USA during the late 1950s. It began as gospel music but quickly evolved into various genres such as funk and dance music. The two main styles are Motown style and deep soul.
This genre developed from a blend of gospel, African American vocal styles and rhythms. Songs typically had an uptempo feel with plenty of clapping opportunities, yet also expressed emotions such as longing for God’s love.
Soul music was divided into several subgenres, such as Motown style, deep soul and southern soul. Originating in Detroit, this popular sound had a major impact on popular music during the 1960s. Its writers and artists created numerous hits that became associated with what would come to be known simply as “Motown sound”.
Another influential soul style was Chicago soul, which emerged in Chicago, Illinois. Artists performed songs that spoke of the hardships and struggles of black communities in the area; these included songs about poverty, racism and injustice. These powerful tunes were sung by gospel groups as well as soul singers such as Curtis Mayfield who was renowned for his powerful songs regarding civil rights issues.
These songs were of paramount importance to African-Americans and became hugely popular during the 1960s – marking the first time soul music had achieved this level of mainstream acceptance.
Soul music has had its share of critics, but there can be no denying its influence over people and society. Notable artists in this genre include Clyde McPhatter, Hank Ballard and Etta James who made significant contributions to their genre.
Aside from these iconic artists, there are numerous others who have had a major influence on soul music. Ray Charles in particular is credited with popularizing it during the 1950s through his series of hit songs that cemented its place as one of music’s major forces.
Over the years, other legendary soul musicians have emerged from diverse backgrounds and created their own styles of music. British jazz singer Amy Winehouse, for instance, has faithfully recreated 60s soul on her albums.
R&B/Soul Music Festivals
If you’re a fan of R&B and soul music, there are various festivals where you can catch your favorite artists. Some focus on celebrating an era within the genre while others highlight new talent from across America. You’ll find these events in cities across the country.
One of the most sought-after R&B events is Lovers & Friends, which commemorates the 90s and early 2000s hip-hop/R&B music scene. This event features performances by Usher, Ms Lauryn Hill, Ashanti, Ja Rule and more for an extensive lineup of stars.
Another popular festival is Art + Soul Oakland, which showcases contemporary artists and performers. Hosted in downtown Oakland, this event features performances by both local and national musicians.
Aside from music, you can expect a wide selection of food, games, contests and more at this event. It’s an ideal opportunity to spend an afternoon with your loved ones or catch up with friends.
R&B has evolved significantly over the decades since it was founded by Black Americans in the 1940s. It draws influence from gospel, jazz, folk and traditional blues musics. Later it separated from rock music to become its own genre with distinctive instrumentation, lyrics and production style.
R&B is a successful genre that continues to dominate the music industry. Its songs often reach the top of the charts and have become an integral part of American culture. Its roots lie deep within African American culture, with many of its lyrics reflecting longing for liberation and contentment.
Music from this genre has had a lasting impact, inspiring other styles such as disco, funk and even hip hop. Its songs have earned multiple nominations for awards and its singers are some of the most beloved in existence.
Classic R&B music is often distinguished by strong influences of rock music and guitar-based instrumentation, coupled with melismatic singing style and smooth, danceable grooves. It may include synthesizers, drum machines, and electronic keyboards for accompaniment.
R&B and Soul have been staples of American music for decades. Not only have they helped to shape popular culture, but they’ve also produced some iconic songs.
Experience the magic of live R&B and soul by attending a concert. These performances often feature soaring vocals, sensual melodies and an infectious groove that’ll get you moving. No matter your taste in music – whether R&B or soul – there’s sure to be something for everyone at an event near you!
Are you in search of an exciting show? Take a look at some of R&B music’s biggest names to see who might be coming to your town soon. Notable artists include Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Frank Ocean, Drake, Prince, Whitney Houston and John Legend – just to name a few!
Rhythm and blues (also referred to as R&B or R’n’B) is a popular music genre that originated in African-American communities during the 1940s. It has evolved over time, but is most often associated with electric blues – an amalgamation of jazz, R&B, hip hop and other styles.
R&B, though it has undergone many transformations over the years, remains one of the most beloved and iconic music genres. Today it combines pop, soul, funk, electronica and hip-hop elements into an instantly recognizable blend that has seen a resurgence in recent years.
For the optimal experience at your R&B or soul show, select a venue with excellent sound quality. The center is ideal as it provides an elevated view of both the stage and performers.
TicketSmarter has all of the tools you need to find the best R&B or soul concerts. Simply enter your location, pick an artist you want to see, and we’ll show you a list of events near you that you can purchase tickets for on-the-spot with just your mobile device! Alternatively, utilize our event calendar to find shows suitable for yourself and any friends or family members.