MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Mamaroneck School District along with the Tri-Municipal Human Rights Committee is co-hosting a series of celebrations to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
The first event, a performance which will take place on Thursday, , Jan. 9 will consist of a professional jazz concert intertwined with a performance of poems from the “Weary Blues” collection of Langston Hughes. The event is funded by the Committee and will take place at Mamaroneck High School’s McLain Auditorium.
Earlier in the day, students will participate in master classes with the performers.
The six-piece Washington Musica Viva Band will play jazz of Charles Mingus as well as some pieces by the band’s saxophonist Charley Gerard.
Performance artist and poet Holly Bass will be reading the poems in a dynamic performance.
“We are excited to be hosting this one-of-a kind event with the Mamaroneck School District. It’s going to be a very special evening,” said Mary Lee Berridge, Human Rights Committee member.
The committee spans the town and village of Mamaroneck and the village of Larchmont.
She added, “The jazz concert is our first Dr. King event to concentrate solely on the jazz and poetry of African-American culture in the 27 years we’ve held these celebrations. Maybe it is the first Dr. King celebration of this kind in all of Westchester.”
Harold Wolfson of Larchmont, 87, is another member of the committee.
He said, "We chose jazz for the performance because jazz is the suppressed music of slaves that has evolved over the years and decades. It is the music of harshly treated minorities."
The Jazz concert is the first of three scheduled January celebrations in honor of Dr. King. The second is a public discussion of the recently published book, Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle that Changed a Nation, by Johnathan Rieder of Larchmont on Sunday, Jan. 12, at 3:30 p.m.
The event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Committee and the Friends of the Larchmont Library.
The final event is Mamaroneck High School’s Multicultural Celebration on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in the McClain auditorium.
With the theme, “The Dream Continues,” the dinner and performance features MHS students in a variety of music and dance numbers.