The Dedicated Men of Zion formed in Greenville, N.C. in 2014. The four singers—Anthony Daniels, Antoine Daniels, Marcus Sugg, and Dexter Weaver—are all related by blood or marriage. They grew up steeped in the gospel of Eastern North Carolina with families that took singing and church seriously. “Music and the church, it’s like a sandwich,” says Anthony, the leader of the group. “You got to have two pieces of bread to have a sandwich. The singing and the church, it just goes together.” While this church background infuses the group’s music, they’re not confined to the church walls. Their 2020 release, Can’t Turn Me Around, was critically acclaimed and celebrated by sacred and secular audiences alike, and followed it with 2022’s The Devil Don’t Like It, which brought them to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.
Surviving members of the Weaver Gospel Singers — in song and with oral history – will pay tribute to group leader Susie Weaver, who passed away in 1984. Mrs. Weaver’s original song “Freedom Comes To Chapel Hill” was recorded live at First Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, N.C. by JCP Records during the Civil Rights era. In addition to singing, Mrs. Weaver owned a funeral parlor and was active in the Civil Rights movement. The music will be accompanied by praise dancer Joshua Weaver, Mrs. Weaver’s grandson. This set is presented in partnership with the Marian Cheek Jackson Center.