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Feature

Sounds of Blackness

Sounds of Blackness

University to host 24th annual MLK Concert

Published on February 25, 2005

On Sunday, February 27, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. will return to the University of Minnesota in spirit. The Ted Mann Concert Hall will come alive to the Sounds of Blackness performing songs that fueled the civil rights movement and actor T. Mychael Rambo reenacting the activist's speeches during the 24th annual MLK Concert from 4 to 6 p.m. Seating for the free concert, "Music for Martin," is on a first-come, first-served basis.

In 1963 and 1967, Dr. King gave rousing speeches at the University's Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. Now, four decades later, the University is still proud to celebrate his life and work.

The founder of this annual concert, the late University professor Reginald T. Buckner, began a tradition of celebrating through the performing arts the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. Buckner was an outstanding performer, composer, and educator, and was instrumental in establishing a jazz studies department at the University.

The "Music for Martin" performance by Sounds of Blackness will include stylized arrangements of 1960s music interwoven with excerpts from the great speeches of Dr. King, Jr. Since 1971, the Sounds of Blackness has taken audiences around the world on a musical journey through the history of African-American music via live concerts and tours, productions and plays, "Soul Symphony: Africa to America," "The Night Before Christmas--A Musical Fantasy," "Soul of the Sixties," and workshops, seminars, and rap sessions. The group is winner of three Grammy awards.

And Dr. King's poignant speeches will reverberate through the Ted Mann Concert Hall as actor T. Mychael Rambo brings the civil rights activist to life. In addition to portraying King, the actor has donned the role of Thurgood Marshall for a Philadelphia performance honoring the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education. His local credits include a role with Penumbra Theater's Black Nativity and work with other Twin Cities theater companies from the Guthrie to the Minnesota Opera. He has been seen regionally and nationally in plays, commercials, TV shows, and movies. Rambo also uses his talents to teach school children about African words and music through the Young Audiences of Minnesota organization.

"Music for Martin" is coproduced by the University's Office for Multicultural and Academic Affairs and the College of Continuing Education. Additional support comes from the Law School, the College of Liberal Arts, and General College. For more information, visit Music for Martin or call 612-624-0594.