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In 1871, when the Fisk Jubilee Singers began touring as a desperate fundraising measure for Fisk University, most folks had never witnessed African-American music except in the black-faced caricature of the minstrel show. Instead, the Nashville college students rocked Europe and America with remarkable performances of "Negro spirituals" that married the passion of black American music with the serious presentation of classical art music. The Jubilee Singers changed the course of American music and have maintained their lofty standards for 13 decades, as you can experience in Duke University's Baldwin Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $12 for general admission or $6 for students. Information: or 684-4444. --Art Menius

DiamondDiamondDiamondAfter a three-year hiatus while the group members pursued other projects, Chicago's The Sea and Cake (pictured below) is back with a new album, Oui. Featuring engineer/producer, Tortoise member and ubiquitous vibes player John McEntire as well as former Cocktails member Archer Prewitt, the Chicago quartet embodies the intellectual, meticulously arranged electro-pop practiced by the High Llamas' Sean O'Hagen and Stereolab (both of whom have worked with McEntire). The Sea and Cake members have hardly been invisible: Vocalist/lyricist Sam Prekop released a solo disc, Prewitt recorded his second solo album, bassist Eric Claridge displayed his paintings in a series of Chicago-area shows, and McEntire got his 24-track studio, SOMA, off and running. The group appears this Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Cat's Cradle with English quintet Broadcast, a band that travels in the same languid musical pack. Very much the hip show--wear a clean turtleneck. --Angie Carlson

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