Best Gospel Choir: Lusty sounds of the Lord

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir

Even though the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir doesn’t have a place to hang its hat, it still manages to lift every voice and sing all over the Bay Area. The choir’s sixty-some-odd singers don’t hail from any specific church, but roam from cathedral to concert hall, weaving musical traditions such as South African melodies into holiday carols and traditional spirituals. Now celebrating its twentieth year, the choir has shaken the rafters with musicians as diverse as Tramaine Hawkins, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, and — we kid you not — Stan Getz. No jazz or blues festival, from Monterey to the Russian River, is complete without the choir, which has performed for such dignitaries as Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Every New Year’s Eve, the choir brings down the house before a standing-room-only crowd at Slim’s in SF. You have to chase it around town if you want to hear its sound, but the Interfaith Choir is worth whatever it takes to stand in its inspired presence.

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