2017: The Year of the Blues
Hayti will celebrate the Year of the Blues with programs, activities and events in recognition of the 30th year of the Bull Durham Blues Festival.
January 21, 1991 was the date of the national observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Dr. King’s achievements as a leader and a champion for civil rights and equality continue to be recognized and celebrated each year throughout the country.
In 1964 Dr. King delivered a message to the Berlin (Germany) Jazz Festival. His cogent observations are particularly applicable as we examine blues as an art form and as reflection of life itself.
The following excerpts are from Dr. King’s remarks:
“God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed His creatures with the capacity to create and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment in many different situations. Jazz speaks of life, the blues tell the stories of life’s difficulties, and if you think about it 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 sense of triumph.”
“For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man. Everybody has the blues. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith. In music, especially this broad category called jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these.”
During this “Year of the Blues” Dr. King’s words give us reassurance that in a nation, and in a world where hatred and injustice threaten our humanity, music continues to strengthen us and to calm us even when our courage begins to fail.
More details on programs and activities will be available.
Saturday, January 21 – 8:00pm – Jambalaya Soul Winter Poetry Slam*
(Hosted by Dasan Ahanu and featuring Wally B from Tampa, Florida)
Friday, February 3 – 6PM – “Black History: Artists’ Perspectives” Opening Reception
Thursday-Saturday, February 9-11 – Heritage Film Festival (starts 6pm Thursday)*
(Themes: Blaxploitation; Social Justice and Our Legacy; Science Fiction and More)
Friday, March 24 – 6pm – African American Quilt Circle Exhibition Opening Reception
(Theme: Sew Much Life…Threads Connecting Lives)
Saturday, March 25- 3PM – [email protected] Cultural Celebration of Women’s History*
(Dance, music, literature, song, etc. co-produced with SOULOWORKS/Andrea E. Woods)
Sunday, May 21 – 4PM – Durham Symphony Orchestra Tribute to Nina Simone*
(With Maestro William Curry and featuring vocalist Yolanda Rabun)