GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a concert celebration honoring the legacy of gospel music in America. As a companion to GOSPEL, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., secular and gospel artists sing their favorite gospel classics.


Close up of Anthony Hamilton on stage during his rehearsal at GOSPEL Live!

GOSPEL: Hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

From the blues to hip-hop, African Americans have been the driving force of sonic innovation for over a century. While musical styles come and go, there is one sound that has been a constant source of strength, courage, and wisdom from the pulpit to the choir lofts on any given Sunday: gospel.

Through interviews, personal reflections and dynamic live performances, viewers will be immersed in the evolution of these uniquely African American art forms, learning the story of how African Americans found their voice and learned to sing in a strange land.


Watch the extended trailer:

Community Events

  • Resurrection Concert

    Saturday March 30 at 5:00pm

    Location: First Unitarian Church, Shadyside

  • Opera Meets Jazz

    Friday, April 5 at 7:00pm

    Location: St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church

    Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists and Jazz Luminaries from the Afro-American Music Institute present a special concert showcasing the intersection of Jazz and Opera.

  • Sharing Experiences of Black Creatives

    Sunday, April 14 at 2:00pm

    Location: Bitz Opera Factory

    Free panel discussion about the themes and resonances surrounding The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson.

  • Hill Dance Academy Theatre (HDAT) Spring Dance Concert

    Saturday, April 20 at 5:30pm

    Location: August Wilson African American Cultural Center

    The Annual Spring Dance Concert is back! This year’s theme is Sustaining the Legacy & Creating Expressions Of Black History, Culture, and Tradition through Movement…Gospel Style.

  • Hill Dance Academy Theatre (HDAT) Gospel Brunch

    Sunday, April 21 at 12:30pm

    Location: August Wilson African American Cultural Center

    Enjoy a Sunday Brunch catered by Bistro-To-Go with entertainment provided by artists from Pittsburgh’s Gospel scene. There will also be a matinee performance of the Spring Dance Concert.

  • The Passion of Mary Dawson

    April 27, 30 & May 3,5, 2024

    Location: Bynam Theater

    The Pittsburgh Opera’s The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson celebrates the remarkable founder of Pittsburgh’s historic and groundbreaking National Negro Opera Company.

  • City Wide Revival

    Tuesday May 7th & Wednesday May 8 at 6:30pm

    Location: Facebook, Youtube, Zoom, Website

    Special music by area choirs. Guest Preachers: Bishop Lise Weah and Elder Justin Hunt of Baltimore, MD.

  • Celebrating & Continuing the Legacy of Bishop Loran E. Mann in Song and Praise

    Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 3:00pm

    Location: Pentacostal Temple Church

    Presented by The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh

  • Afro-American Music Institute Boys Choir Concert

    Sunday, June 16

    Location: St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church

  • Afro-American Music Institute & WQED presents: Celebration of Gospel in the Pittsburgh Region
    June 2024

    Location: Three Rivers Arts Festival

    Live performance

Podcasts & Videos

WQED-FM explores Pittsburgh’s deep relationship with gospel music in these special episodes. This genre, deeply rooted in the church, has played a significant role in the cultural and musical landscape of the Steel City. This new edition entitled, Soulful Sounds: The Confluence of Music and Spirit, celebrates this tradition by engaging with Pittsburgh’s artistic community in conversations about upcoming concerts and events that shine the spotlight on this rich musical heritage.

Director of IDEA Initiatives and Community Engagement with the Pittsburgh Opera, Rebekah Diaz, spoke with Jim Cunningham in this Voice of the Arts Gospel podcast about two upcoming events at the Pittsburgh Opera. The first event is a collaboration with the Afro-American Institute of Music. Opera Meets Jazz, is Friday, April 5th at 7 pm at the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Homewood. Diaz highlights the Pittsburgh Resident Artists that will be performing, and members from the AAMI that will combine opera arias with jazz. Rebekah also discusses a second event, Sharing Experiences of Black Creatives, Sunday, April 14th at 2pm at the Bitz Opera Factory. This free panel discussion of black creatives in Pittsburgh will share their own experiences working in the arts. Rebekah highlights how both events tie into the last opera of the season, The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson, an opera about the pioneering woman who created the National Negro Opera Company in Pittsburgh during the 1940s. Jim also asks Rebekah about her work at the Opera and how diversity and inclusion efforts are central to uplifting and sharing stories. Visit https://www.pittsburghopera.org/ to learn more.



Gospel choir director from First Unitarian Church and Administrative Pastor to Bishop Thelma Mitchell, Reverend Deryck Tines, discussed with WQED-FM in this Gospel rendition of Voice of the Arts about the First Unitarian Church’s Easter Concert on Saturday, March 30th at 6 pm. This concert will feature The Lemington Gospel Choir, the Community Singers from the First Unitarian Church, Howie Alexander, Janay Giles, Felecia Harvey, Del Fullum, Erias Blackwell, Bishop Thelma Mitchell, Lee Saville-Iksie, Anita Brown Levels, Solomon Onyukwu, and many others. Pastor Deryck and WQED’s Jim Cunningham highlight the concert, where else you can find gospel music in the city of Pittsburgh, and how music continues to lift people up.



Organist and Music Director at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Dr. Edward Alan Moore, discusses with Jim Cunningham the church’s upcoming concert celebrating Black History Month and Women’s History Month. “Singing Our History” will be presented on February 25th at 3pm at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Moore highlights the program that contains Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Amy Beach, Sarah Class, and Rebecca Clark. Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass features the English translation of the Mass text, as well as more rhythmic sections throughout the piece. This concert is part of WQED’s Gospel programming that highlights local concerts in the Western Pennsylvania area.



Minister of Music at Eastminster Presbyterian Church and choir director, Nikki Porter, discussed with Jim Cunningham live on the QED Morning Show her upcoming concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Oleta Adams, conductor Anthony Parnther, pianist Alton Merrell, and trombonist Cooper-Cromwell Whitley in “Lift Every Voice” next Saturday, February 3rd at 7 pm. Nikki talks about the program featuring Florence Price and some of Oleta Adam’s most famous works. Nikki also highlights here work as a local choir director in the Pittsburgh area. Tickets start at $25. Visit https://pittsburghsymphony.org/ to learn more.



Jim Cunningham speaks with Rev. D. Herbert Jones from the Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh which he founded. Dr. Jones is one of America’s foremost figures of choral music serving as one of the directors of the Let Freedom Sing Concert with Nikki Porter. Dr. Jones continues as Director of Music at Bethany Baptist Church and taught at CCAC.

The Concert is Monday, January 15th at 7pm at Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East liberty (It will also be livestreamed). The program features Anqwenique Kinsel, The Heritage Gospel Choral, Alton Merrell, piano and the MLK Festival Singers. Mikey Hood from KDKA will be the Master of Ceremonies. Dr. Jones reveals where you can hear the best gospel music in Pittsburgh and he discusses the tradition and origin of gospel music. Dr. Jones studied choral music extensively with degrees from the University of Mississippi and a PHD from the University of Pittsburgh. The concert is free but offerings will benefit the East End Cooperative Ministries Food Pantry.



Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Moon Doh stopped by the QED Morning Show to talk about the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Schooltime concert “Courage to Stand” taking place Wednesday January 17th at 10:30 and 7pm and Tuesday January 23rd at 10:30am. The concerts feature the orchestra and special guests in a dynamic exploration of musicians, dancers, poets, and other leaders who have used the power of the arts to express their core convictions.



GOSPEL – Docuseries Music Playlist on spotify


Brought to you by WQED:

Come By Here: A History of Five Churches

WQED visits five African-American churches in western Pennsylvania. From a church with ties to the underground railroad, to a church known for its music program, to a small church that refuses to give up, each has its own history.