Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations planned

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  • The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • 1

    Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins

  • 2

    Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Academy alumni will perform at the annual Martin Luther King Day celebration Jan. 18 at the Whitefish Performing Art Center.

  • 3

    Erica von Kleist

  • The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • 1

    Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins

  • 2

    Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Academy alumni will perform at the annual Martin Luther King Day celebration Jan. 18 at the Whitefish Performing Art Center.

  • 3

    Erica von Kleist

Love Lives Here in the Flathead is collaborating with Groovetrail and Jazz at Lincoln Center for a night of music to celebrate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The annual celebration will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted at the celebration.

Rabbi Allen Secher and multi-instrumentalist Erica von Kleist have put together a special lineup of musicians, including musicians from von Kleist’s Groovetrail education program’s all-star Flathead Ellington Project, performing alongside Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Academy alumni. These students, who have studied under the tutelage of trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, are traveling from New York City for this event.

The speaker for the evening is Wilmot Collins, mayor of Helena, who is the first black mayor in Montana and a former refugee from Liberia who escaped that nation’s First Liberian Civil War in 1994. Since then, he has gained citizenship, served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, worked for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, raised a family, and supported his community in many ways.

He has been featured in national media and recently participated in the Cities of Solidarity Initiative panel at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Dialogue on Protection in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring together musicians from Whitefish with some incredible talent from New York,” said von Kleist. “We’ve been working for months to bring some of music that Dr. King loved right here to the Flathead to celebrate his legacy.”

This event is made possible in collaboration with Groovetrail and Love Lives Here in the Flathead Valley, a nonprofit organization committed to creating a caring, accepting and diverse community, free from discrimination and dedicated to equal treatment for all citizens.

More information can be found at http://loveliveshereflathead.org. Love Lives Here in the Flathead Valley is an affiliate of the Montana Human Rights Network.

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