WITH JUBILATION:  The world-renowned singer Jubilant Sykes joins “Across the Arts” in conversation about his career and the next guest of THE CELEBRITY SERIES.

by Patrick D. McCoy

On Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 2 PM EDT, the acclaimed baritone will join in conversation on Facebook Live as well as YouTube.



Perhaps no vocalist of our time possesses a more exquisitely versatile instrument than the American baritone Jubilant Sykes. Mr. Sykes brings a new dimension to the traditional career of the classically trained vocalist by drawing on gospel and jazz influences to deliver performances in differing musical
genre that often leaves audiences and critics searching for new superlatives. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was inspired to proclaim, “Jubilant Sykes’ voice is extraordinary.

He isn’t merely an outstanding singer, his voice is art at its highest expression.”
Mr. Sykes was honored by the recording industry with a Grammy® nomination for “Best Classical Recording of 2009.” That same recording, Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, was named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone Magazine. Mr. Sykes also has performed with a number of the world’s finest orchestras and
opera companies. He has worked with such conductors as Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Andrew Litton, Marin Alsop, David Zinman, John Nelson, John Williams, Keith Lockhart and the late Marvin Hamlisch.

He has been the featured soloist with many of the world’s finest orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra as well as the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, and, in August of 2012, the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. His unique gifts have taken him from such diverse stages as the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and London’s Barbican Centre to the Apollo Theater, Hollywood Bowl, New Orleans Jazz Festival and hundreds of other venues around the world. His versatility has allowed him to collaborate with a number of leading artists from different musical styles such as the renowned soprano Reneé Fleming in the Mozart Requiem, touring and singing with Julie Andrews, a Boston Pops televised special and tour, appearing as featured soloist on the televised tribute to Brian Wilson from Radio City Music Hall, and with Josh Groban and subsequently Carlos Santana at the Hollywood Bowl. Jubilant Sykes Sings Copland and Spirituals with the London Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Litton, conducting, was released in 2010 on Arioso Classics. This followed the release of Jubilation for EMI that combined Mr. Sykes with the legendary American classical guitarist, Christopher Parkening. This pairing has drawn such critical acclaim as “. . . the kind of concert a writer holds a few choice adjectives in special reserve for . . . two astonishing musicians.” Mr. Sykes also has released two recordings for Sony BMG Masterworks. The first, Jubilant, brought the singer together with jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard. His crossover recording, Wait for Me, features classic songs by a number of popular composer/entertainers. Jubilant Sykes recently made his acting debut in a film with Cuba Gooding, Jr., “Freedom,” and performed the lead role in a new play “Breath and Imagination” presented by Hartford Stage.

Jubilant Sykes resides in Southern California with his wife, Cecelia and their three sons: Madison,
Morgan and Micah.

“. . . Sykes is authentically passionate and vocally enthralling, masterfully fusing his classical, jazz and
gospel backgrounds . . . a compelling, almost shamanistic power I’ve not heard elsewhere . . .”
Opera News


A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications, including The Washington Post, Early Music America Classical Music Voice North America, The Afro-American Newspaper, CBS Washington and Examiner.com. He is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., The American Choral Directors’ Association, a member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD and serves on the music faculty of Virginia State University where he teaches applied voice, music appreciation and assist with the University Concert Choir. Visit http://patrickdmccoy.com