Count Basie Center announces free performance in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


(RED BANK – JAN 4) The Count Basie Center for the Arts has announced a free community presentation of actor Damien Sneed’s multimedia performance, We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on January 17th at 7:30pm at the Basie Center’s Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre.

Free tickets can be acquired by clicking here, the venue box office located onsite at 99 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, or by calling 732-842-9000.

Advance acquisition of free tickets to this event is required and recommended, though any remaining tickets will be available at the box office night of show. The event is open to all ages, and group trips are welcome and encouraged.

Inspired by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., We Shall Overcome showcases repertoire from across the African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders with interwoven spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches.

Producer and Musical DirectoWe Shall Overcome Facebookr Damien Sneed’s career covers an incredible breadth of genres.  He has conducted and collaborated major original works for Wynton Marsalis, regularly accompanies Jessye Norman, collaborated with Lawrence Brownlee, and has toured extensively with Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and the Clark Sisters.

This production ties together a living lineage of music and culture that includes traditional gospel, modern gospel, classical, jazz, Broadway and spirituals.  From Aretha Franklin, to Wynton Marsalis; Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder; Nina Simone to Donny Hathaway; and traditional spirituals and music from “The Wiz”, Damien’s unique understanding of each genre allows him to fluidly cover so much musical ground in a single performance.

We Shall Overcome is a beautiful testament to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Senator Vin Gopal, who is urging area residents to experience the performance. “This moving production showcases the innovators, the change-makers, and the prevailing voices of our African American brothers and sisters, incredibly talented individuals who continue to live the words of Dr. King. I am proud and I am honored to see this production be held here in Red Bank, and I encourage every member of our community to attend, to pay homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to revel in the beauty of music that has been shaped by African American performers.”

“Damien is an extraordinarily talented, intelligent and well-rounded musician as well as a human being of depth and passion.”  Jessye Norman

“Damien Sneed is an ambassador for classical and gospel music who brings positivity, optimism and thoroughness to every occasion. His talent stretches across traditional divisions. In the realest sense, he uses his artistry to make our world a better place.”Wynton Marsalis