Skip to main content Skip to footer
Gospel choir stands together in a church.

Curated by The Reverend Shawn Amos

June 21, 2025 at 8:00PM

This performance is 90 minutes with no intermission.

Our signature series of blues rhythms returns to light up the night! Dance, drink, and dare to be a regular at our blackbox series on The Plaza, curated by The Reverend Shawn Amos.

Join Patrick Dailey and the talented members of the W. Crimm Singers for a special blackbox performance: "Sing The Story: Celebrating Black Artistry from Gospel to Soul"! Dailey, described by Boston Classical Review as a “vocal standout”, leads the dynamic W. Crimm Singers, a versatile ensemble which embraces the music of the Black experience throughout the diaspora and every genre connected to it. Prepare to be lifted by a program that seamlessly blends together spiritual medleys, beloved soul classics, and more, promising an unforgettable evening of celebration.

Showtimes & Tickets

Patrick Dailey has been described as possessing “a powerful and elegant countertenor voice” (Los Angeles Daily News) and a “VOCAL STANDOUT” (Boston Classical Review). He has appeared with Grand Rapids Symphony, Opera Memphis, Pacific Opera Project, Tete a Tete New Opera Festival(UK), Austin Baroque Orchestra, Shreveport Opera, Opera Louisiane, Woodhouse Opera Festival(UK),  Il Festival de Ópera Barroca de Belo Horizonte (Brazil) among many other organizations. A versatile artist, Dailey has performed with the likes of acclaimed broadway composer Jason Robert Brown,  and the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. He’s featured in international filmmaker Ben Gregor’s Fatherhood (FUSE TV)  as well as recording projects from Louis York (American Griots), Adrian Dunn (Redemption Live in Chicago and Emancipation: Act I (Live)), The Aeolians of Oakwood University and can be heard in Boaz Yakin’s new film ONCE AGAIN (for the very first time). Recent highlights included debuts and appearances with American Opera Project, Handel Choir of Baltimore, The Thirteen, Opera Philadelphia, and Washington Bach Consort as well as the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s The Jonah People: A Legacy of Struggle and Triumph with the Nashville Symphony. Mr. Dailey was featured on season 17 of America’s Got Talent with Metaphysic as the operatic singing voice of Terry Crews in a performance Simon Cowell referred to as the “best of the series” and was named Best Classical Singer in Nashville Scene magazine’s 2022 Best of Nashville issue. His 2023-24 season include the world premiere of James Dargan’s AMASS with Early Music Access Project, the New York premiere of his curated concert, Sankofa Project: A Journey Through Black Music and Artistry, a debut with the Chattanooga Bach Choir in Bach’s St. John’s Passion and his Paris concert debut at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with Africa Lyric’s Opera. 

A graduate of both Morgan State University and Boston University, Mr. Dailey is Professor of Voice and founding director of the Big Blue Opera Initiatives at Tennessee State University, founding director of the W. Crimm Singers and co-founder of Early Music City. He serves on numerous arts and community boards locally and nationally and is the president of the International Florence Price Festival. For more information, visit

Picture it...North (pronounced Norf) Nashville, summer of 2018...a group of friends that just so happen to be  vocalists of various backgrounds and experiences come together at the request of veteran music educator and opera singer, William G. Crimm for a Wakanda-themed Freedom School presentation. They had so much fun and vowed to get together more often. Thus, the W. Crimm Singers (A.K.A. The Wakanda Chorale) was born! 

The W. Crimm Singers is professional ensemble-in-residence of the Big Blue Opera Initiatives at Tennessee State University. The ensemble wholly embraces the music of the Black experience throughout the diaspora and every genre connected to it. A versatile ensemble, major emphasis is placed on the Negro Spiritual, African American operatic and concert repertoire, hymnody, and anthems. The W. Crimm Singers boosts a roster of over 70 artists with opera and theater artists, grade school and collegiate educators, scholars, activists, civil servants, recording artists, session singers, and more are counted amongst its ranks. Moreover, this aggregation is committed to providing professional opportunities to young artists for color from local HBCUs and PWIs. 

In their time together, the W. Crimm Singers has recorded and performed with Louis York (American Griots, 2019) , Stars Go Dim, Intersection Contemporary Music Ensemble, Hannibal Lukombe, Rodrick Dixon, and been featured on 91Classical’s Live in Studio C and Bobby Jones Presents which is among the shows most requested and broadcast performances. In 2019, The group debuted in the Colour of Music Festival performing R. Nathaniel Dett’s The Chariot Jubilee under the baton of Dr. David Morrow and in 2020, presented Songs from the Heart of a Woman: The Vocal Music of Florence Price for the International Florence Price Festival. Later that year, they were featured in Black Youth Project’s Virtual Juneteenth Celebration. Members of the W. Crimm Singers were featured soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Early Music City at the Music City Messiah Festival in December 2021, marking the first all Black vocal cast to perform the work in Nashville in over 25 years. They have been staples of the Harry T. Burleigh Spirituals Festival since 2018 as well as the Nashville African American Wind Symphony’s annual Juneteenth Concert. The W. Crimm Singers can also be heard on the Sir The Baptist and Tennessee State University Band’s Grammy nominated album, The Urban Hymnal (2022). In February 2023, the group made its Grand Ole Opry debut on Reportin’ For Duty: A Leslie Jordan Tribute with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. Receiving rave reviews for their performance in 2022, the W. Crimm Singers returned to the National Civil Rights Museum for 55th and 56th annual commemorations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 2023 and 2024. The aggregate opened the 2023 CMA Awards with Jelly Roll and Wynona Judd. Each individual truly is a force unto themselves so when they come together, brace yourselves! 

From West Coast clubs, to Deep South joints, to European festivals, to YouTube, to the podcast universe, the Reverend Shawn Amos’ message of joyful blues is reaching an ever-increasing flock. The Rev’s distinctive blend of black roots music, R & B, and stripped down rock n’ roll brings a bracing, soul-deep musical experience to audiences starved for authenticity, for connection. “I derive a lot of satisfaction bringing people joy,” he says.

His third studio album, The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down, expands that mission. This time out, he spices up the mix with 21st century Freedom Songs, socially conscious soul, a stripped-down cover of Bowie’s “The Jean Genie” that slyly reveals the glam nugget’s blues bones, and an austere version of Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?” that turns the post-punk gem into modern gospel. At the center of James Saez’ (Social Distortion, The Road Kings) no-frills production, the Rev’s voice and harp tie everything together in a stirring, celebratory whole, both beholden to history and refreshingly timely. “It’s the oddest birth of any album I’ve made,” the Rev says.  “It has a particular depth.”

This sonic evolution is partly the result of over 100 dates in 2016-17, supporting his chart-topping The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You. On the road, the Rev took risks, listened to his heart, and honed his chops. In the midst of that came the seismic election of 2016, and the subsequent altering of the American landscape. All of the above significantly impacted the Rev as a father, citizen, musician, and African-American man, and all of it can be heard on The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down.

“When we toured the South in May of 2017, I could feel things changing post-Trump,” he says. “I was listening to a lot of Staples Singers, especially [acclaimed 1965 LP] Amen. The degree to which I was aware of my race was distracting, striking, hard to ignore. It was powerful being in the South and listening to protest music, to freedom songs conceived to fuel a movement, with no thought toward commercialism.” One can hear the Staples, as well as Curtis Mayfield, in Breaks It Down’s debut single “2017” (video now at 9K+ YouTube views), which calls for unity and compassion in the face of intense division.

“I was listening to a lot of MLK speeches, and reading him,” the Rev says. “I wanted to be immersed in black history, in a resistance movement of the past.” This included recording a moving a cappella rendition of the traditional “Uncle Tom’s Prayer” at the historic Clayburn Temple in Memphis, singing on floorboards where protesters once painted signs for the Civil Rights Movement. After taking his eldest child to the Civil Rights Museum – “to introduce her to her history,” he says – and absorbing Dylan’s 1962 cover of Bukka White’s harrowing “Fixin’ to Die,” the Rev penned and recorded “Does My Life Matter,” a brutally honest, necessary blues, encompassing despair, anger, and grace. The Rev admits, “That song freaked me out a bit. It’s more pointed than anything I’ve ever done.”

Serendipity played a role in the creation of The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down. When old friend and producer-drummer extraordinaire Steve Jordan (X-Pensive Winos, Neil Young, John Mayer, hundreds more) guested on the jaunty pop-blues “Ain’t Gonna Name Names,” he introduced the Rev to bassist Larry Taylor (Tom Waits) and drummer Steve Potts (Booker T. & the MG’s), who enliven several cuts. And while passing through Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the Rev and his stalwart live band decided to tour the illustrious FAME studios. In the 60s, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Etta James and many others cut seminal sides at FAME, in a racially inclusive environment unheard-of for its time and place. The tour turned into a four-hour impromptu recording session, yielding “The Jean Genie,” and album opener “Moved,” co-written by longtime sideman, guitarist Chris “Doctor” Roberts.

Prior to his creation of the Reverend persona in 2013, folks knew Shawn Amos as producer (Solomon Burke’s Live in Nashville, and Shout! Factory box set Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones), content creator for companies looking for ways to tell their stories on the internet, and Americana singer-songwriter who’d grown up in a dramatically dysfunctional L.A. home, a story the Rev serialized as Cookies & Milk in the Huffington Post.

By the time he set out to record The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down, his life had changed dramatically. For starters, he was a newly single man, a painful development audible in the darker numbers of the Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down. The Rev also became Artistic Director of Vibrato Jazz Grill in Los Angeles, owned by longtime friend Herb Alpert, co-founder of the legendary A & M record label.

“It’s a full-circle experience,” the Rev says of the Vibrato gig. As the son of entrepreneur and William Morris agent Wally “Famous” Amos, the Rev says, “I grew up on the A & M lot.” And back in his producer days, the Rev oversaw the reissue of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass’ catalog, and a remix of the classic Whipped Cream & Other Delights album. At Vibrato, the Reverend Shawn Amos regularly performs, and curates everything from jazz, to Great American Songbook evenings.  

The Rev brings it all back to the people in 2018, supporting The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down with his biggest tour yet, from West Coast, to Europe, to East Coast. With new episodes of his Kitchen Table Blues podcast and web series to boot, the Rev will be plenty busy sharing the vision, keeping the faith, and spreading the gospel of his joyful blues.

Jazz & Blues Sponsor:

Richard and Lisa Kendall

blackbox Sponsor:

Ann Petersen and Leslie Pam