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‘We Shall Overcome’ Set for Tuesday Show at UM Ford Center

Damien Sneed’s acclaimed multimedia production of ‘We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’ combines the culture of African-American music traditions throughout the period of the struggle for civil rights with King’s spoken words. Submitted photo
Versatile recording artist Damien Sneed brings his production of “We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.” to the University of Mississippi for a Tuesday (Feb. 12) performance at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

This multimedia production combines the culture of African-American music traditions throughout the period of the struggle for civil rights with the spoken words of King. “We Shall Overcome” features a variety of music genres, including traditional and modern gospel, jazz, Broadway, classical and spirituals.

“It’s an opportunity for the audience to experience the work of Damien Sneed and hear the words of Martin Luther King Jr. in a different context as well as experience some of the music that was popular in the era and used during the civil rights movement,” said Kate Meacham, Ford Center marketing director.

The production includes music by composers such as Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Wynton Marsalis and Stevie Wonder, as well as songs associated with Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Dionne Warwick and the musical “The Wiz.”

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $30 for orchestra/parterre and Tier 1 Box-level seating, $25 for mezzanine and Tier 2 Box-level seating and $20 for balcony seating. UM student tickets are $10. A 20 percent discount is offered to Ole Miss faculty, staff and retirees.

Tickets can be purchased at the UM Box Office or online at http://fordcenter.org/. Discounted and student tickets are available only at the Box Office with a valid UM ID.

Sneed, a pianist, musical director, producer and arts educator, has worked with legendary African-American artists such as Franklin, Marsalis and Wonder, as well as Diana Ross and the Clark Sisters. While on campus, he will host a master class for the UM Gospel Choir.

“The Gospel Choir is elated to have this opportunity to work with such a successful individual within the music industry,” said Jarrius Adams, the choir’s director. “We have been practicing consistently and are ready for his critiques so that we can continue to grow as a choir.”

Having an opportunity to work with Sneed has special meaning to Adams.

“His song ‘Broken to Minister’ speaks personally to me,” Adams said. “I have listened to that song since high school. Despite what I have been through, the song encourages me that God created me for a purpose – to minister and spread the love of Jesus.

“Having him here could potentially inspire people to come and experience more of the African-American culture. It will give more people the chance to see how music is used not just for entertainment, but as a way of praise and worship as well.”

For more information about the performance, visit http://fordcenter.org/event/we-shall-overcome-a-celebration-of-martin-luther-king-jr/.

By Kendall Patterson

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