The Gospel Hummingbirds
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The Gospel Hummingbirds

Rio Vista, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1961 | INDIE

Rio Vista, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1961
Band R&B Gospel




"Hummingbirds Make It Look Easy"

The second to last show of Jazzfest 2006 featured a Sunday matinee performance at The Esplanade by the Gospel Hummingbirds.

THe six-piece Oakland-based gospel/jazz group quickly had the crowd clapping their hands and swaying in their seats with their velvety smooth voices and catchy melodies.

The group has been together since the 1970's and you could tell they've played their share of shows by their great stage presence and ability to interact with the crowd.

At one point of the show, they asked to have the house lights turned up to get a better look at a member of the audience who caught the band's attenton by her screams of approval.

Despite their undeniably mellow, soft approach, the boys from the bay proved they could just as easily turn up the intensity by a series of squealing guitar solos and funky keyboard grooves. All in all, it was a solid performance by a band who have been making it look easy for parts of four decades. - Ian Sorensen/ Medicine Hat News


Route 66 To Heaven
Signs of Revelations
Steppin' Out
Taking Flight
Live In Paradise
Life Songs

Eye Of The Storm



The Gospel Hummingbirds are synonymous with tight harmony, creating outstanding inspirational music with urban rhythm and blues. James Gibson, Jr., spokesperson for the group, coined their style as "Rhythm and Gospel". R&G for short. Audiences from all over the world have marveled at the way the Hummingbirds effortlessly bring them to an inspirational frenzy, leaving them clamoring for more.

To see the musicians on stage is an experience you'll never forget. The show begins with the band setting the tone for the show with music that gets your audience rocking. Then the vocalists hit the stage with soulful sounds that leave no doubt that you are in for a treat. In no time the Gospel Hummingbirds will have you clapping your hands, dancing in the isles, and maybe even singing along. In the end, you will be exhausted but thoroughly entertained.

Joe Thomas, Sr. founded the "Birds" in the early 1960's. Soon they became known all over the world as one of the most elite musical groups in their field. Since their inception they have have recorde six albums. " Route 66 To Heaven", " Signs of Revelations", "Steppin' Out", "Taking Flight", "Live In Paradise", and their latest compilation, " Life Songs". In 1993, the Gospel Hummingbirds album "Steppin Out" earned them a Grammy Nomination int he category of "Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album". That same year it received the French "Jazz Academy Award" as the best gospel album of the year.

Although they started singing in the "Church" (and they still do), in 1987 they were invited to perform at the famous Eli's Mile High Club, a popular blues nightclub in Oakland, Ca. Since then they have successfully taken their music to rock, blues and R&B fans, in nightclubs, blues and jazz festivals here int he U. S., Canada, Australia, Japan, Italy, France, and Belgium. The group has shared the bill with; The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Dixie Hummingbirds, John Lee Hooker, Little Milton, B.B. King, Etta James, Albert Collins, Otis Rush, The Persuasions, Commissioned, Huey Lewis and the News, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Pop Staples, and Joe Louis Walker.

Over the years, as with any group of longevity, there have been personnel changes. The current Gospel Hummingbirds are James Gibson, Jr., Morris LeGrande, Mark Kenoly, Craig Kenoly, Gerald Dayce, and Charles Holland. Somehow with each personnel change, they just keep getting better.

Billboard Magazine has spoken of their music as "Not just for sacred music lovers, but for anyone with an abiding interest in great roots sounds". Downbeat Magazine says "This is a must-listen for folks who still equate heavenly music with harps and wings".

It has been suggested that they perform other kinds of music, but the Gospel Hummingbirds remain true to their faith and true to "R&G".

Band Members