Afro Blue, a premier jazz ensemble from Howard University, will be the featured performer for The University of Findlay’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21.
The free, public performance will be held at Winebrenner Theological Seminary’s TLB Auditorium.
Formed in 2002, the group performs music styled after Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 while adding its own unique sound. It characterizes itself as a “vocal big band” and has performed on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” reached the top four on NBC’s a cappella group competition “The Sing-Off,” and joined Bobby McFerrin during the 2011 D.C. Jazz Festival.
Afro Blue has also established a continuing relationship with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, has opened for The Manhattan Transfer and John Hendricks and has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops.
The group has won multiple awards, including 2011 Jazz Artist of the Year by the Washington City Paper and the Spotlight Award from the Washington Area Music Association. Most recently it received Washington Area Music Awards’ recognition for Best A Cappella Group and Album of the Year for their CD release “The Best is Yet to Come.”
The event is being sponsored by The University of Findlay Diversity Initiative, The Buford Center for Diversity and Service, Student Government Association and the Anointed Worship Gospel Choir.
To also honor King’s memory, the University groups will be participating in two service days for the needy, served by Chopin Hall, in collaboration with the University’s Office of Service and Community Engagement. On Friday, Jan. 23, they will host a toiletry drive to collect soap and shampoo at the Buford Center, 1222 N. Cory Street, and at the Alumni Memorial Union’s Fireplace Lounge on Frazer Street, both between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 24, they will be volunteering at a mobile food pantry.
Also, the Buford Center will team with Findlay’s Black Heritage Library and Cultural Center for a Martin Luther King, Jr. community unity walk and program that will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15 at First Lutheran Church, 109 E. Lincoln St.
For more information on these events, contact Eileen Rucki at (419) 434-5911.
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