In addition to performing as a family group, the five siblings stay busy with other endeavors.
J.D. Steele: He's composing "Shaamya — Of Equality" for Katha Dance Theatre, inspired by the poetry of Bengali writer Kazi Nazrul Islam. He also created "The Movement Revisited" with celebrated jazz bassist Christian McBride; featuring a 17-piece band and 30-voice choir, they performed in several cities this year, with an album due in 2020. J.D. directs the Mill City Singers and MacPhail Community Youth Choir and teaches voice at the Guthrie, MacPhail and other schools.
Jearlyn Steele: For two decades, she has served as a Sunday night talk-show host on WCCO Radio. She's also an entertainment reporter on TPT's "Almanac," motivational speaker, panel moderator and voice-over talent and jingle recording artist, and has been singing in a series at Crooners called "The Pianist Knows Best," with male accompanists in 2019 and female players in 2020.
Fred Steele: He has been performing a solo series at Crooners titled "Baritones," featuring songs associated with deep-voiced singers; he also did a solo Christmas show at the Fridley supper club this month. He works with brother J.D. at MacPhail Center for Music, directing and accompanying the youth choir on piano.
Jevetta Steele: She directed the opening ceremonies this year at the National Baptist Convention in Minneapolis and will do it again in February at Bethel University. In 2019, she acted in "Crowns" at the New Dawn Theatre in St. Paul. She's on the board of directors of MacPhail Center for Music and serves as the minister of music at Progressive Baptist Church in St. Paul.
Billy Steele: He's music director at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis and assistant director of the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness. And he's collaborating with J.D. on "Shaamya — Of Equality." A full production is planned for next October after its work-in-progress staging Jan. 5 at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis, featuring Billy on piano, vocalist Tonia Hughes, percussionist Abhinav Sharma and poet Ifrah Mansour.