YORK’S biggest soul and gospel event of the year, the Andraé Crouch tribute concert, will celebrate the songs of the father of modern gospel music at 43 Monkgate on Saturday night.

“We’re paying tribute to legendary gospel musician Andraé Crouch, who died on January 8,” says event hostess Libby Redman. “President Obama said that Andrae’s soulful classics had ‘uplifted the hearts and minds of several generations and his timeless influence continues to be felt in not only gospel but a variety of music genres’.

“Our event has been mentioned twice on the MOBO site, the website of Europe’s leading urban music brand, as well as on the UK’s leading gospel radio station, Premier Gospel, and has attracted considerable attention from the UK gospel community and beyond.”

Among his work, Grammy award-winning Andraé provided the musical arrangement for Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror and wrote arrangements for the musical The Lion King.

“We’ll have an incredibly talented line-up of musicians paying tribute to Andrae on Saturday, such as Ben Brady of York’s This Resistance, Mel Nicholls of York’s Route Five and Yorkshire’s incredibly gifted jazz saxophonist, Jon Taylor,” says Libby.

Saturday’s special guest will be MOBO writer Steve Alexander Smith, the author of British Black Gospel, the first publication to trace the history and origin of black gospel/sacred music in Britain since the Victorian era.

Meanwhile, York singer-songwriter Libby continues to perform her gospel and soul songs across Britain and Europe. “I did a Christmas tour in Denmark, performing in a range of venues, and I’m looking forward to touring Denmark again later this year and to releasing my next album,” she says.

Libby, who served as musical and creative director at the Ark Church in York for ten years, studied for an MA in community music at the University of York after undertaking her first degree in theology. She wrote her first gospel number at the age of 11 and released her debut album, Where Love Begins, in 2013 .

Libby is the director of Libberty Arts, the sponsors of Saturday’s 7.30pm concert. “So admission is free,” she says.