Jubilation Foundation Teaching Artist Fellow Ysaye Barnwell

Ysaye Barnwell

Washington DC
Fellowship: 2021

“Don’t underestimate how unstoppable you can be. We’re all born with a voice, and a no one can take that away from you.”

A vocalist with a range of more than three octaves, Ysaye toured with Sweet Honey in the Rock for 34 years. As an American Sign Language interpreter, she facilitated the group’s tradition of including an interpreter in the ensemble.

Her powerful, participatory workshop “Building a Vocal Community – Singing in the African American Tradition,” uses oral tradition; an African world view; and African American history, values, cultural and vocal traditions to build communities of song.

In addition to a multitude of recordings and compositions and collaborations, she’s written two children’s books: No Mirrors In My Nana’s House and We Are One

Ysaye lives by four axioms:
~To whom much is given, much is required.
~As one door closes, another door opens.
~Everything matters.
~Say Yes!

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