Serious Bizness, the New York husband-and-wife team of Ngoma and Jaribu Hill, describes its music as "contemporary freedom songs. We write original music about current events and the different struggles in the lives of people who are fighting for social change. Our music advocates a better way of life."
Serious Bizness will join Bright Morning Star at 8 tonight in a benefit for the Committee Against Registration and the Draft at Catholic University's McMahon Auditorium. The duo has been here before, playing one of its favorite Ronald Reagan songs, "An American Folk Song Brought To You By Hollywood," to 400,000 people gathered on the Mall for Solidarity Day last year. "We think it's important within our music to link up the struggles of various people," says Jaribu Hill, "to make it clear that these struggles are not isolated and that we all are fighting the same kinds of brutalities and oppressions." Examples: "Dusting Dreams," written for custodial workers local 1597, and "Undocumented," for a conference on undocumented workers.
Working in an acoustic mode, the Hills are following in the committed footsteps of another Hill (Joe), the Freedom Singers and Pete Seeger, who has said that while "some songs just help you to forget about your problems, Serious Bizness has songs to help you solve your problems." Both are also union workers with District Council 37 of AFSCME; she's a secretary in the occupational safety unit and he's a paralegal worker in the union's legal service. They recently released an album on Folkways titled "For Your Immediate Attention." Their material, say the Hills, has little chance of drying up "as long as people have to struggle for their rights."