a voice of inspiration
Rickie Byars is one of the most acclaimed and beloved singer-songwriters there is in the genre of inspirational/New Thought music. Through her three decade career as both a solo artist, Music & Arts Director and as Founder /Director of the world-renowned Agape International Choir, Byars’ deeply soulful and heart-felt songs of spiritual renewal, uplift and empower and have struck a powerful chord with audiences around the globe. She has built an impressive international following as well. Indeed, the vibrations of “realness” in her music are so strong that they resonate with everyone from residents of L.A.’s SkidRow to South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, all of whom she has had the honor of performing for,the latter on five different occasions.Byars’ charismatic joy and authenticity on stage ensure that she is in high demand to speak and appear in concert at festivals and conferences. But she has amassed such an impressive catalog of compositions — writing and co-writing over 200 original songs and chants — that even when she’s not physically on hand to present her work her message of transcendent love is still being delivered by the many individual singers and choirs that regularly perform her material at New Thought churches and spiritual gatherings across the country every Sunday. Several of her songs, “I Release,” “We Let it Be,” “The Spirit of God is Upon Me” and “Wholly Holy Way,” are considered modern classics of inspirational/New Thought music.Byars has released nine CDs as a solo artist: “I Found a Deeper Love” (1993); “In the Land of I Am” (2000), “Soul Fulfilling” (2002),“From Within” (2003), “Pray For Me” (2004), “Supreme Inspiration” (2007), “The Love Project” (2009), “Let My Soul Surrender”, which was accompanied by a book of autobiographical stories written by Byars (2011), and “My Oh My It’s Time To Fly” (2018). Now as she discovers the world again, on her own terms as a solo artist, her writing has increased with new songs that are lighting up the B-hood at Rickie’s At Home Sunday Devotionals; and at Rickie’s favorite devotional spot - The Hot N Cool Cafe in Leimert Park, Los Angeles.
Rickie Byars is a committed community activist who dedicates much of her time, energy and talents to encouraging and empowering others to develop their unique gifts and talents that contribute to humanity and the planet as a whole. Recognizing that freedom must exist on both the individual and collective levels, Byars is fully engaged in a number of endeavors that address both.
“ Soul Sisters Retreat” -for twenty one years, Byars has developed and co-facilitated with Rev. Greta Sesheta, a three-day spiritual retreat that is attended annually by hundreds of women who range from their early teens to their early nineties, and who come from a wide variety of socioeconomic, ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. This women’s empowerment retreat fosters a deep spiritual connection that transcends superficial differences and forges the greater compassion and understanding that are necessary to create genuine social change.
For more info go to: SoulSistersToday.com Instagram @soulsisterstoday_la
“ KIMET-KUUMBA”– A Learning Initiative Rooted in Joy and Creativity On October 10, 2009, KUUMBA In Motion Expressing Transformation was launched by Rickie Byars and a group of artists and educators who shared a vision to fill our communities with joy, creativity and innovative modalities for discovering personal and community excellence. From its inception, to the present, Byars and her team of intergenerational artists have fostered and sponsored experiential workshops (Saturday School), over 200 field trips throughout Greater Los Angeles (KUUMBA Summer Camps), College for Life Seminars (LAUSD) and currently, Rickie’s At Home Sunday Devotionals.Their “Love-Learning” model is anchored in music and African culture and continues to be a point of inspiration for children and families from both underserved and privileged communities. “All that they touch is more beautiful.” Indeed, a loving, joyful expression of creativity makes the whole world better.
For more info: www.kuumbainmotion.org Kuumba-In-Motion is a 501 c3 non-profit public charityFederal TIN: 45-5253321
“ Voices4Freedom” abolitionist --- Byars sits on the board of this abolitionist organization that works to free those among the 70 million individuals, most of them women and children, who are enslaved around the world today. She recently visited Varanasi, India whereVoices4Freedom is active. Rickie and a team of eleven people are personally committed to financially supporting a recently liberated village for three years while its residents make the transition from slavery to economic self-reliance.
“HubCity Live: Ethiopia/the Minchu Project --- Rickie now has turned her sites toward her Mother Land of Africa as the Founder of HUBCITY LIVE/ETHIOPIA – MINCHU Project. It is a technological futuristic city planned for Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Known by many Ethiopians as "The Real Wakanda,” the Afro-futuristic project will usher in next-generation technologies, conscious commerce, innovation, culture and opportunity to an emerging Afrika.
a voice of FReedom. A Voice of Progress.