MLK Holiday and Black History Month Concert

February 20, 2022 at St. Joan of Arc, Minneapois: T Mychael Rambo, Dan, Thomasina Petrus, Charmin Michelle, Gwen Matthews, Jordan Hedlund (bass), Peter Johnson (drums), Daryl Boudreaux (percussion) and Tommy Barbarella (keyboards). Photo: William Cameron.

Every year since 2000 Dan has been curator and host of a concert in celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday and Black History Month at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community in Minneapolis. Over the years it has evolved from a musical celebration of the civil rights era into a larger and deeper conversation on Black history and experiences, featuring original research, interviews and stories, spoken word and music. At all shows: the SJA choir directed by Anna Vagle, TMychael Rambo interpreting Dr. King, an all-star band and many guests. A sampling of recent shows:

  • 2013: Unforgettable: Dennis Spears, Yolande Bruce and the Wolverines, on the interwoven legacies of Nat King Cole and Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 2014: Rondo ’56: remembering St. Paul’s African-American main street and the building of I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul; music, story and archival images
  • 2015: Marching to a Better World: performer moms and their kids talk about the Selma marches and the Black Lives Matter movement; with Gwen Matthews, Yolande Bruce, Thomasina Petrus, Tonia Hughes, Cameron Wright and Brittany Delaney
  • 2016: On My Way Home: exploring the history of home in the African-American experience; interviews and music with Bruce Henry, Debbie Duncan, Sondra Samuels, Jerry Blakey and Rep. Keith Ellison; opening dance number by the Wayman AME Steppers of North Mpls.
  • 2017: When I Think of Home: continuing exploration of the history of home and housing discrimination, with special focus on North and South Minneapolis; featuring Bruce Henry, Yolande Bruce, Dr. Mahmoud El-Kati, storyteller Nothando Zulu, the Mapping Prejudice Project and more.
  • 2018: Watch That Star: Bruce Henry leads a journey through 400 years of freedom songs.
  • 2019: Sheroes and Heroes: Bruce Henry and an array of guest musicians pay tribute to the women, men and youth fighting for freedom and justice across the globe
  • 2020: Are We There Yet?: Thomasina Petrus and a dozen performer friends in a meditation on the journey and its joys.
  • 2021: No Turning Back: A virtual concert with intimate music and stories from musicians and activists T Mychael Rambo, Thomasina Petrus, Julius Collins, Maria Isa and Brittany Delaney.
  • 2022: Oh Let Us Build This Place: SJA and 75 Years on the South Side: Thomasina Petrus, Gwen Matthews, Charmin Michelle, T Mychael Rambo, Daniel Bergin, Emilia Mettenbrink and Enzo La Hoz Calassara
  • 2023: Change Is Gonna Come: The South Side and SJA in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.  T Mychael Rambo, Thomasina Petrus, Julius Collins, Charmin Michelle, Lee Vague, Daniel Bergin, Enzo La Hoz Calassara, Brass Solidarity and Emilia Mettenbrink.

Contact Dan about the MLK Holiday and Black History Month concerts.

Learn more about Dan’s other projects: