NPR

Oakland Collective SOL Development Preserves The 'The SOL Of Black Folk'

Members of the West Coast jazz and hip-hip group discuss SOL Development's debut album and the role music plays in community activism.
The members of SOL Development (Left to right): Brittany Tanner, Felicia Gangloff-Bailey, Karega Bailey and Lauren Adams. Source: Brian Freeman

The West Coast music scene has a new group to champion. The music of Oakland's SOL Development has been described as jazz, hip-hop, and, of course, soulful. The four-person collective's style may sound familiar but the member's backgrounds are not. They're teachers and classically trained musicians who use music in the classrooms to promote learning.

Though the group is now based in the Oakland area, three of the group's members met while attending Hampton University in Virginia. After college, one member Karega Bailey spent a few years teaching in Washington, D.C., which helped inform his in Oakland where they frequently bring their music into classroom conversations. The group's name, which is an acronym for Source of Light, represents a teaching tool the artists use that allows students to transcend everyday strains of being black in America.

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