Virginia Folklife artists the Sherman Holmes Project and the Legendary Ingramettes will perform at the Strawberry Music Festival in Tuolumne, California on September 1, marking Strawberry’s 68th music festival. The festival presents the gold standard in main stage entertainment, intimate side stage performances, top notch children’s programming, workshops, activities for the whole family, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
Sherman Holmes is a legend. Born in Christchurch, Virginia, in 1940, Sherman was surrounded by country blues, R&B, gospel, and country music. Along with his late brother Wendell, and their friend Popsy Dixon, they incorporated these influences into the infectious musical gumbo that was the sound of their band, The Holmes Brothers. Since the passing of Wendell and Popsy in 2015, Sherman has stepped out front, creating The Sherman Holmes Project, a band that puts his weathered and wonderful vocals front and center. It is a supremely powerful group, with killer music, demonstrating that Sherman is still an artist in his prime. Blending a good mix of bluegrass, gospel, and blues, it creates a perfect example of Americana music at its finest.
The band at Strawberry will feature Sherman on vocals, Jared Pool on guitar and mandolin, the Legendary Ingramettes on vocals, Rob Ickes on dobro, Trey Hensley on guitar, Mike Bubb on bass, and other surprise guests.
For more than five decades, Evangelist Maggie Ingram & the Ingramettes brought their music and ministry to congregations in the Tidewater and Piedmont of Virginia. For evangelist “Mama” Maggie Ingram, who sadly passed away on June 23, 2015, music was always a family affair, and three generations were represented in the group. Now led by Maggie’s daughter Reverend Almeta Ingram-Miller and her granddaughter Cheryl Maroney Yancey, the Legendary Ingramettes continue spreading Maggie’s joy, ministry, and music. As one of Virginia’s premier gospel ensembles, their commanding, spirit-filled performances demonstrate the extraordinary depth of talent in American gospel music.
Born July 4, 1930, on Mulholland’s Plantation in Coffee County, Georgia, Maggie Ingram worked in the cotton and tobacco fields with her parents. She began playing the piano and singing at an early age, and developed a great love for the church and the ministry of the Gospel. She formed Sister Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes, a singing group that became sought after for appearances throughout Florida. In 1961 Maggie moved her family to Richmond, Virginia, where she worked in the home of Oliver W. Hill, the prominent civil rights attorney who represented the Virginia plaintiffs in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. The family joined Love’s Temple Church of God in Christ and began singing in and around the city. With her children, Maggie also began a prison ministry, partnering with the Mount Gilead Baptist Church in the 1970s to institute programs like family day in Virginia prison camps.
Maggie received numerous awards, including the prestigious Virginia Heritage Award in 2009 and a doctor of music degree from Virginia Triumphant College and Seminary in 2011. The Virginia Folklife Program’s production of Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes: Live in Richmond received the Independent Music Awards fan’s choice award for Gospel Album of the Year in 2012.