A Musical Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King once referred to jazz as "triumphant music."
Martin Luther King once referred to jazz as "triumphant music." (Rich Black)

While primarily known for his work in civil rights and his passion for community service, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also had a lesser known passion for jazz music, citing it as the source of “much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States.” This MLK holiday weekend, Living Jazz honors the life and legacy of King by bringing together his passions and utilizing music for philanthropy, with a star-studded lineup of artists, musicians, spoken word poets and more in their 19th Annual Musical Tribute “In The Name of Love.”

Featuring performances by musicians Toshi Reagon and Allison Miller, the Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet, Bay Area-based singer-songwriters Meklit and the Dynamic Miss Faye Carol and others, the evening offers a diverse array of musical talent across the Bay Area.

Just days after delivering remarks at a Congressional Black Caucus hearing on white supremacy in light of the January 6 capitol riots, Congresswoman Barbara Lee will present the Oakland Citizen Humanitarian Award to Dr. Noha Aboelata, the founder and CEO of Roots Clinic, an East Oakland-based community health organization focused on ending health disparities. In the past year in particular, Roots’ work has been essential, with an expansion of services that includes free walk-up COVID testing in a neighborhood hit especially hard by the pandemic.

In the interest of accessibility, Living Jazz is offering “pay what you can” ticket prices, with all proceeds going to the Living Jazz Children’s Project. The Living Jazz Children’s Project (LJCP) reaches 400 second- and third-graders from low-income public elementary schools each year, and has provided virtual classes during the COVID-19 pandemic to support students through the joy of music as they continue online learning. Launched in 2005, LJCP brings a full year of music and performance education to schools with little or no access to the arts, meeting a critical need in a district with pervasive issues of inequity.

“In the Name of Love” streams online on Sunday, Jan. 17, from 4pm-6pm. Tickets and details here.

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