Thursday February 20, 2020, at 8PM.
101 Zellerbach Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
(Bancroft Way at Dana Street, UC Berkeley Campus)
Cal Performances at UC Berkeley celebrates Black History Month with composer, conductor, producer, and pianist Damien Sneed in "We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr." in a program of African-American music, including traditional spirituals; classic and contemporary gospel songs; and soul, R&B, Broadway, and jazz selections. The score evokes the struggles and triumphs of the civil rights movement, and will be interspersed with excerpts from Dr. King’s recorded speeches.
Composer and pianist Damien Sneed’s tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebrates a living lineage of African-American music and culture that ranges from gospel, spirituals, and classical music to jazz and Broadway. Sneed, who has collaborated with Wynton Marsalis, the Clark Sisters, Aretha Franklin, and Jessye Norman, is joined by five singers, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and a live band for a performance of iconic songs by Franklin, Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Nina Simone, as well as traditional spirituals that evoke the struggles and triumphs of the civil rights movement. The music is interwoven with excerpts from Dr. King’s recorded speeches.
This performance is a featured event in UC Berkeley’s "400 Years of Resistance to Slavery and Injustice initiative", which honors and celebrates the extraordinary intellectual, social, and cultural contributions of African Americans to the United States; examines the long-lasting impacts of slavery; and explores the roots and consequences of continued discrimination, bias, and inequality in our society. Damien Sneed has worked with many in the various contemporary music genres, freely crossing between the worlds of classical music, gospel, jazz, and musical theater, and for this performance will collaborate with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir in Zellerbach Hall.
Musical selections on the program include hits by Aretha Franklin, Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Nina Simone, as well as music from Broadway’s "The Wiz". Joining Sneed on tour is an ensemble of multi-genre vocalists and instrumentalists including vocalists Chenee Campbell, Anitra McKinney, Alicia Peters-Jordan, Matia Washington, and Linny Smith. The musicians include Joel Tate on drums; Arthur Sutton on bass; and Marquéz Cassidy on keyboards.