The Black National Anthem
Known as the Black National Anthem, Jarrett Johnson, along with Alvin Chea, created and recorded a fabulous a cappella version and placed it on YouTube, which went viral and to their amazement was nominated for a Grammy.
Professor Michele Jenson from Azusa Pacific University told her friend, Jarrett, she wanted to create a choral version for her chamber choir. Choral conducting legend Andre Thomas heard it and wanted it in his new choral series with Gentry Publications.
Dr. André J. Thomas
“This new arrangement is unique in the fact that it is a capella arrangement. As with any good arrangement, the melody is always present. The arrangement is fresh and modern. I know you will enjoy it.”
Writer and Composer: James Weldon & J. Rosamond Johnson
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a hymn with lyrics by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), and music by J. Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954). It was first recited in 1900 by a group of 500 students. Since then, it has been performed by various African American singers and musicians, bringing light to James Weldon Johnson’s original text.
Arrangers: Jarrett Johnson & Alvin Chea
Upon the opportunity to have their version of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” performed at the Virtual March on Washington during the summer of 2020, Jarrett Johnson and Alvin Chea realized that they had created something special. Based on the song which inspired them both as children, they had created an arrangement that compelled and sparked the minds of many.
Jarrett Johnson is a GRAMMY® Award nominated vocalist/arranger/songwriter; an industry professional whose expansive skill set has been featured with world-renowned music acts and has appeared on numerous studio recordings. Amidst vocal contracting and vocal coaching, his soulful tenor voice can be heard in a variety of mediums; everything from film and television, to background vocals for major label recording artists.
Some of Jarrett’s performance highlights include singing backing vocals on The GRAMMY® Awards, NBC’s The Voice, ABC’s Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He’s also graced the stage of iconic venues including The Apollo, The Kennedy Center and The Lincoln Center before thousands of captivated audience members.
Alvin “Vinnie” Chea, born in San Francisco in 1967 has enjoyed a fruitful 36-year music career. As the Bass vocalist for Take 6 and an “A” list session singer, Chea has individually been featured as an Artist or Sideman in scores of Sound Recordings in virtually all genres. He has appeared in hundreds of Film & TV Soundtracks and his voice-overs can be heard on TV & Radio covering everything from Movie Trailers to Video Games.
He voiced Chili’s iconic TV campaign, “I want my baby-back, baby-back, baby-back ribs.” He sings the tag, “The Snack that Smiles Back” for Goldfish crackers, and also narrates Disney Nature specials and IllustraMedia documentaries. Recently, Alvin can be heard doing V.O.G. work for both the NHL’s and the NAACP’s Award shows.
Alvin’s is the first voice heard after Michael Jackson’s on “This is It,” and the only non-“Jackson” to record on that song.
Finally, Alvin & 4 other amazing LA session singers added the Vocal Underscore to Fox’s hit show “Glee” which ran for 6 seasons. He now appears daily on Disney’s The Lion Guard, once again anchoring 4 voices in the Underscore.