Jan. 12 2011 12:00 AM

Two Sunday concerts honor Martin Luther King's legacy

Three Michigan State University jazz groups will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. in “Jazz: Spirituals, Prayers and Protests.” The concert — to be performed twice on Sunday — features Michigan State University’s Jazz Orchestras I, II, and III, playing pieces by Max Roach and Booker Little.

It’s the 11th annual concert directed by Rodney T. Whitaker, MSU’s director of jazz studies. “Finding the music has become more challenging,” said Whitaker. “We try and find things from the civil rights movement … the more political side of it.”

The orchestras are joined by the Earl Nelson Singers, a community gospel choir, MSU’s Children’s Choir, and James Forger and Deborah Moriarty, two MSU faculty members. This concert, co-sponsored by the MSU College of Music and the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, is part of MSU’s campuswide commemorative celebration “Global Voices for Justice.”

The performances will be held at the Wharton Center’s Pasant Theater at 3 and 7 p.m. Jan. 16. The general admission tickets are free, but are required for entry and can be picked up at the Wharton Center box office, on a first-come first-served basis.

All donations will benefit the Martin Luther King Jr. Endowed Scholarships. To learn about the other events visit http://www.inclusion.msu.edu/mlk/

“Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest”

3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16

Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre