Musical Performances Part of Penn’s MLK Observances

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | | 215-898-4820January 25, 2013

PHILADELPHIA -- Live musical performances are part of the University of Pennsylvania’s activities surrounding Martin Luther King Day.

From 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, Penn faculty, staff and students are invited to have dinner, participate in a discussion and listen to music that made history during “Liberating Music: the Parallels of Africa’s Freedom Music and U.S. Civil Rights Songs,” at the W.E.B. DuBois College House, 3900 Walnut St.

“There is a soundtrack behind most movements,” Valerie Dorsey Allen, director of the African-American Resource Center, said.  “Songs like ‘We Shall Overcome,’ Helen Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman,’ Sam Cooke’s ‘Change Gonna Come’ and other music inspires, stirs up passions and mobilizes people to action. The civil rights movement used a combination of jazz, folk and gospel music so that everyone could connect and be a part of changing America.”

At 7:30 p.m. on  Friday, Feb. 1, at the Iron Gate Theater, 37th and Chestnut streets, “Performance Art for Social Change” will feature drumming, jazz, singing and spoken-word performances by PLP The Unity.  This event is free and open to the public.