Shades of Praise

Shades of Praise


High-energy, interracial, interfaith group performing contemporary Gospel music in the African-American tradition.


Shades of Praise was begun in October 2000, when two friends, renowned New Orleans jazz vocalist Philip Manuel and Loyola University theologian Michael Cowan had an idea to create a genuinely integrated organization. They wondered if they brought black and white people together to do something fun, meaningful, and valuable, might they create an environment where at least this small group of people could begin to get past the personal segregation that exists in life in New Orleans and in America.

Noted New Orleans Musician Al Bemiss was enlisted as musical director for the fledgling volunteer choir shortly after its inception and the numbers grew to the present 60 members. The strength of the founding idea and the passion of its members have made Shades of Praise an integral part of New Orleans’ amazing and difficult rebirth.

Following the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Shades or Praise has been called upon frequently to appear at many events associated with the rebuilding of New Orleans. They sang at the lighting of the 2006 French Quarter Christmas tree, Touro Synagogue’s 2007 JazzFest Shabbat, and the post-Katrina re-opening of several churches around town. Again in 2007 They were nominated for the Big Easy Award in the Best Gospel Choir Category.

In addition to concerts at various festivals, churches and other events, Shades of Praise sings annually at JazzFest in the Gospel tent. They were featured in the WWL TV promotion, nominated for the 2004 Big Easy Award in the Best Gospel Choir Category, and were at the center of a citywide series of “Care Again” concerts, to facilitate public dialogue on race and promote harmony and diversity.


God is Still Doing Great Things
Celebrate the Child

Set List

Set varies by performance.

Jazz Fest 2005 set:

1. Into The House Of The Lord
2. I Know The Man
3. My Healing
4. God Will See You Through
5. God Is Stil Doing Great Things
6. Come On And Praise The Lord
7. My Heavenly Father
8. I'm Satisfied
9. God Is Able
10. Hope Of The World
11. He's God
12. Hallelujah Is The Hightest Praise
13. I Will Sing Praise
14. Shades Of Praise On Fire