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PHOTOS: Meet The Emerging Americana Stars Of The Black Opry Revue

Musicians Denitia, Larysa Jaye and Tylar Bryant pose for a photo before their set at Lulu's Downstairs in Manitou Springs, Colo., on June 17, 2023. They are members of the Black Opry, a touring musical revue dedicated to uplifting Black artists in country music.
Amanda Lopez for NPR
Musicians Denitia, Larysa Jaye and Tylar Bryant pose for a photo before their set at Lulu's Downstairs in Manitou Springs, Colo., on June 17, 2023. They are members of the Black Opry, a touring musical revue dedicated to uplifting Black artists in country music.

Whether one considers the African roots of instruments like the banjo and the fiddle, the folk songs of the deep south or the music of Black Appalachia, it becomes clear that Black folks have always had a deep and inextricable connection to country and Americana music.

Today, mainstream country music is a multi-billion dollar industry. A cursory glance at the audience and artist demographics might lead you to believe there is no room for Black people in country music. And yet, despite the limited number of Black country artists setting the charts on fire, a quiet but powerful movement of musicians have brought their talents and unique experiences to the country music landscape during the past few years.

In an effort to highlight these emerging artists, country music fan Holly G founded blackopry.com two years ago. The site initially started as a simple directory of Black country and Americana artists, but has since blossomed into a hub for a full-blown community of artists and fans.

Today, the Black Opry Revue has emerged from this community as a touring show bringing Black country artists to venues around the country.

On June 17, 2023, the Black Opry Revue pulled up to Lulu's Downstairs in Manitou Springs, Colo., for a night of music featuring rising stars Tylar Bryant, Denitia and Larysa Jaye.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Larysa Jaye sings at Lulu's Downstairs while fellow artists, Tylar Bryant and Denitia listen in.
/ Amanda Lopez for NPR
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Amanda Lopez for NPR
Larysa Jaye sings at Lulu's Downstairs while fellow artists, Tylar Bryant and Denitia listen in.
Singer-songwriter Denitia photographed backstage at Lulu's Downstairs.
/ Amanda Lopez for NPR
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Amanda Lopez for NPR
Singer-songwriter Denitia photographed backstage at Lulu's Downstairs.
Denitia takes the stage at Lulu's Downstairs.
/ Amanda Lopez for NPR
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Amanda Lopez for NPR
Denitia takes the stage at Lulu's Downstairs.
Tylar Bryant photographed in the green room at Lulu's Downstairs.
/ Amanda Lopez for NPR
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Amanda Lopez for NPR
Tylar Bryant photographed in the green room at Lulu's Downstairs.
Tylar Bryant performs at Lulu's Downstairs.
/ Amanda Lopez for NPR
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Amanda Lopez for NPR
Tylar Bryant performs at Lulu's Downstairs.
Larysa Jaye seen before her set at Lulu's Downstairs.
/ Amanda Lopez for NPR
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Amanda Lopez for NPR
Larysa Jaye seen before her set at Lulu's Downstairs.
Black Opry members Larysa Jaye, Tylar Bryant, and Denitia, preform at Lulu's Downstairs.
/ Amanda Lopez for NPR
/
Amanda Lopez for NPR
Black Opry members Larysa Jaye, Tylar Bryant, and Denitia, preform at Lulu's Downstairs.

Amanda Lopez
John Morrison
John Morrison is a writer, DJ, and sample-flipper from Philadelphia. As a writer, his work has appeared in NPR Music, Bandcamp Daily, Jazz Tokyo, Grammy.com, and more. He is also the host of Culture Cypher Radio, a hip-hop radio show on NPR member station WXPN.