This video can be seen online at :
"Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In a truly revolutionary moment in early 2019, the Philadelphia Jazz Project was invited to develop and present a special performance celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. during his birthday weekend at The Museum of the American Revolution. Entitled, We Shall: A Lyrical MLK Celebration, the performances were an engaging intermingling of spoken word, singing and instrumental music, including Jazz, Gospel, Blues, Soul and Hiphop. All to pay tribute to one of America’s true revolutionaries and greatest citizens; Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The participating performers included:
▪ Kareem Idris - poetry/recitation
▪ Toby VEnT Martin - vocals
▪ V. Shayne Frederick - vocals
▪ James Solomon - vocals
▪ Kendrah Butler-Waters - piano & vocals
▪ Jocko McNelly - bass & guitar
▪ Kimpedro Rodriguez - drums
We Shall Again Performance 1
The performance was so successful that we were invited back in early, pre-pandemic 2020 to remount it. Due to the CDC’s COVID-19 restrictions we were unable to once again present a live performance. However, we in collaboration with the musuem and PhillyCAM have developed a remarkable, virtual experience, entitled, WE SHALL CONTINUE: A REFLECTION ON REVOLUTIONARY LEGACIES, which pulls together video footage from the two concerts, as well as commentary from the performers and other contributors, all to take a look at Dr. King’s enduring impact on the struggle for Human Rights and ongoing American Revolution.
You can learn more about the We Shall performances at:
MLK Illustration: Eric Battle
Photos: Tim Blackwell of shotsfired
To all of the artists who worked so long and hard on this project.
Diane D. Turner and Leslie Willis of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection
Sergio Galeano, Laura Deutch and PhillyCAM
Adrienne Whaley and the Museum of the American Revolution