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“The Civil Rights Movement through the Music of Nina Simone


“IN THE NAME OF LOVE”: THE ANNUAL MUSICAL TRIBUTE HONORING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. is an extensive civic and cultural event bringing our diverse community together to honor, through music, the inspirational teachings of the great Dr. King. Now in its 14th season, “In the Name of Love” remains Oakland’s only non-denominational musical tribute to Dr. King. The event showcases locally and internationally known performing artists, children from Oakland public elementary schools, archival footage of Dr. King, and the presentation of the “Oakland Citizen Humanitarian Award” given by a prominent dignitary. 

Performers have included such notable artists as Mavis StaplesJennifer HollidayLedisiGoapele, the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, the Gospel Hummingbirds, and many others. 

The MLK Tribute also serves as the final showcase for the Oakland Children’s Community Project (OCCP), a free music education program that Living Jazz provides completely free of charge to 3 Title One Oakland public elementary schools. Serving 400 2-3rd graders under the musical direction of Amikaeyla Gaston and backed up by the Oaktown Jazz Workshops, the OCCP opens the show with material written exclusively for this event. The 55-voice Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, under the musical direction of Terrance Kelly, follows with a soulfully stirring set of spirituals and gospel tunes.

“In the Name of Love” has cultivated partnerships with local musicians and arts organizations, social justice activists, religious and political leaders, public school educators and students, the business community, and others. It was developed in direct response to a need in the Oakland community for a musical celebration that brought the community together to honor one of history’s most important African American civil rights leaders.  

All proceeds benefit the Oakland Children's Community Choir.