Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

Living the Dream … Singing the Dream: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Song

Photo courtesy of
‘Martin Luther King Memorial – The Eyes – 12-04-10′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

It took 22 years of celebratory performances in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before the grandest of vocal collaborations took place, but it was well worth the wait. This year’s Living the Dream … Singing the Dream took place on February 20 at the Kennedy Center and was the first-ever on-stage collaboration between the Washington Performing Arts Men, Women and Children of the Gospel Choir and The Choral Arts Society of Washington Choir.

Choral Arts has produced this annual musical tribute to Dr. King for over two decades with The Choral Arts Society Choir as the main attraction.

“It is a joyful and inspiring experience each year to celebrate [King’s] legacy with the great songs that were so central to his timeless message of peace and love among all peoples,” Choral Arts Founder and Artistic Director Norman Scribner said.

“We are especially happy this year to be joining with the Washington Performing Arts Society and their outstanding chorus of Men, Women and Children of the Gospel for an unforgettable remembrance of all that has been accomplished so far, and a re-dedication to an even brighter future for us all.” Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Arts

The Washington Performing Arts Society Presents: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Photo by Rachel Levitin

Jazz – and Country/Bluegrass – are the dominant proprietors of modern “Made in America” music and that’s something worth holding on to. In its inception, Jazz defined an era of youth during tumultuous times. That was its claim to fame. That’s what got it notice. That’s what shot it to the forefront of popular culture during World War II.

Jazz defined an era of uncertainty. It ushered in a voice for the speechless. It provided a musical and mental solace for people who wanted to feel something beyond a war being fought or a job lost or anything besides the monotony of their daily routine. Jazz was the sanctuary and swing was the medium. Throw in a little Blues for a cherry-on-top flourish and by golly you’ve got yourself a true American portrait – an American testimonial.

If Jazz was personified, its equivalent would be akin to the likes of the always effervescent, charismatic, and talented Louis Armstrong. The New Orleans trumpet player, born in 1901, wasn’t the first Jazz trumpet player in the history books but he is an icon of the genre. Wynton Marsalis is a Louis Armstrong for the new millennium. Continue reading