by Debi Mason
In the first major celebration of the year, Living Jazz (formerly Rhythmic Concepts), with the support of the Target, is inviting the Oakland community to come out and celebrate the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Tribute - "In the Name of Love," A Musical Tribute honoring the slain civil rights leader.
The event - featuring Grammy award-winner Mavis Staples and local favorite Pop Lyfe - will be held at the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Oakland and also will include the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, the Oakland Children's Community Choir and Youth Speaks. As in years past, interspersed throughout the evening will be archival footage of some Dr. King's most memorable and powerful speeches.
During the evening, Congresswoman Barbara Lee will present the Seventh Annual City of Oakland Citizen Humanitarian Award to Derrick B. Johnson for his dedicated service to the community. Johnson is president of Home of Chicken and Waffles - one of the most popular and successful soul food restaurant chains in the country. Fondly referred to as the unofficial Mayor of Oakland by some, Johnson uses his business to give back to the community by hiring individuals in need of support, including young men returning home from prison. In a hands-on, working environment, he teaches young men and women the basic skills they need to survive in today’s workplace and economy. He is currently rallying other small businesses to step up to hire and mentor those most in need of employment in order to break the cycle of recidivism.
One of Oakland's most significant events of the year, "In the Name of Love" remains Oakland’s only annual non-denominational musical tribute to Dr. King.
Helping to bring together Oakland's diverse community and to pay tribute to King’s message of community, equality and inclusion, Oakland Community Exhibition, will host a pre-concert event beginning at 6 p.m. in the Paramount’s lobby, providing exposure to more than 30 Oakland nonprofit organizations and businesses working to make a difference.
If You Go
10th Annual Martin Luther King Tribute - "In the Name of Love," A Musical Tribute
When: Oakland Community Exposition, 6 p.m.; concert, 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 15
Where: Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland
Tickets: Reserved seating, $18; children 12 and under; $8. Tickets available at ticketmaster.com, 1(800) 745-3000 or at the Paramount Theatre Box Office.