Annette Vinther Hansen

Harlem gospel singer Anthony Morgan talks about his upcoming European tour.

IT HAS been over 20 years since Anthony Morgan first performed in Europe. Now, the New York native gospel singer is back, along with Harlem Spirit of Gospel, for a series of concerts that will bring him from Finland – where he will perform for the first time ever – and the Nordic Countries to Southern Italy. His tour touches down at Helsinki’s Savoy Theatre on 8 December.

“This string of concerts gives me the chance to go back to Copenhagen, where I held my first European performance,” Morgan says. “It was in the late 1980s and I was on my first gospel tour. Performing in Europe is a blessing, because it gives me the chance to see my friends over here and to enjoy the food, which I love!”

Gospel, joy and dreams

Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Morgan has been enjoying a successful career for over two decades. A well-known name in the Big Apple’s music scene, Morgan has shared the stage with big names in jazz, pop and R&B such as Diana Ross, Jimmy Cliff and Jessica Simpson, performing also at Times Square’s legendary B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill.

Morgan’s career as gospel singer began in the simplest way one can imagine. “It was over 20 years ago, but I can still remember it very well: I was in a club and I heard Tramine Hawkins’ Spirit Fall Down On Me. That’s how it all started!” he recalls with a smile. “Music is a happy thing for me. I have worked for IMG Worldwide for 27 years and now it has given me the opportunity to follow my own dream.”

Anthony Morgan

His European tour comes with perfect timing, as no music genre is probably more suited than gospel to create the perfect Christmas atmosphere.

“Our performance, filled with joy, fun, uplifting and fulfillment, will definitely be a life changing experience for those who will attend,” Morgan enthuses. “Besides, I know that people in Finland speak and understand English, which is great, because we love to interact with the audience.”

Numerous tours in Europe have made Morgan aware of the difference between the gospel genre here and overseas. “Gospel music is singing about the love for Jesus Christ,” Morgan explains. “Even so, one can still spot some differences between gospel repertoires in different regions. Gospel in Europe is a little more conservative, while the US one is more charismatic.”

Anthony Morgan & The
Harlem Spirit of Gospel
8 December, 19:00
Tickets €34-36

Savoy Theatre
Kasarmikatu 46-48

Morgan also has some words of wisdom for all those who are thinking about giving gospel music a try. “My advice to anyone who would like to sing gospel is to be willing to sing about your life experience with God in a song and in truth,” he says. “Gospel is passion, joy and fun.”

Yannick Ilunga