Each year the U. of Michigan holds a symposium in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In lieu of class, students are encouraged to attend events ranging from lectures to community service. In honor of MLK day this year, this short documentary about the 2001 recording session of Dave Brubeck’s oratorio The Gates of Justice (1969). The oratorio mixes jazz harmonies, African-American spirituals, Jewish cantorial singing, and orchestral music in a commemoration of freedom and justice. You get a sample if you watch the clip:
The rare 2001 recording of Gates of Justice was funded by the Milken Archive of Jewish Music. Of the work, they write,
The Gates of Justice was composed during the tense atmosphere of the post-Civil Rights Era to help ease the enmity between Jewish and African Americans, but for Dave Brubeck the work’s message is much more universal. As he notes in this video, “this world could really disappear on us unless we really get down to believing in the original meaning of all the great religions and the brotherhood of man.”
Also of interest were Wynton Marsalis’s performance and words on today’s CBS This Morning.