These vocal artists and students at Tennessee’s Fisk University sing and travel worldwide. The original Jubilee Singers introduced “slave songs” to the world in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals. Famed American novelist Mark Twain was a fan, proclaiming: 'Their music made all other vocal music cheap. In the Jubilees and their songs, America has produced the perfectest flower of the ages.'They broke racial barriers in the US and abroad in the late 19th century and entertained royalty in Europe. In 2008, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were selected as a recipient of the 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation's highest honor for artists and patrons of the arts.