Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January every year. The weekend ahead of the holiday usually includes celebrations of Dr. King's life where people participate in large, in-person events. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the events will look a lot different this year.
Thankfully, there are still virtual events and radio programs out there for people to tune into.
Several programs on KUVO JAZZ this weekend will highlight the music spawned by American’s quest for civils rights.
On Saturday January 16, Rolando Garcia hosts a special edition of the R & B Jukebox at 6 p.m., including songs that shine the light on Rhythm and Blues’ long and tenuous relationship with race relations in the U.S. dating back to the late 1940s. Sam Cooke, The Impressions, Otis Redding, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe are a few of the artists featured this Saturday night on the R&B Jukebox.
Saturday night at 8:00 p.m., the Groove Jazz Rendezvous hosted by Adam Morgan celebrates the movement with classic soul and smooth jazz versions of songs that cry out for justice.
Because the civil rights movement was anchored in the church, there’s plenty of gospel music in the protest catalog. On Sunday’s Gospel Train, January 17 at 8:00 a.m., Deborah Walker hosts her annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day special, featuring the crooning of Ray Charles, music from the soundtrack of the film “Martin,” a version or two of “We Shall Overcome,” Mahalia Jackson and more.
Your Sunday night host on KUVO Jazz is local poet, bandleader and KUVO host Andy O’Leary. “Every episode of ‘The Nightside’ has social justice at its core,” O'Leary said. Tune in Sunday beginning at 8:00 p.m. for modern jazz versions of freedom songs and some segments of Martin Luther King Jr. speeches.
On the 18th, THE DROP will air testimonials from people in the community, as well as excerpts from some of Dr. King's most memorable speeches.
On Dr. King's birthday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock sent out a video promoting some of the MLK events in the city, including the 1,000 Free Meals event.