Arts Devo

Celebrating MLK’s legacy for Black History Month

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Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome, some day

MLK for more than a day Chico Performances is putting the history in Black History Month. One of most respected bandleaders/musicians in the country, Damien Sneed, will conduct a choir and band for a program titled We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Saturday (Feb. 22), at Laxson Auditorium. The show is billed as “a living lineage of music and culture” that will “showcase a 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.” The prodution is part of a tour to coincide with the release of Sneed and company’s We Shall Overcome compilation of songs across many genres—jazz, gospel, classical, Broadway tunes, pop—that are featured in the show (check the groovy rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”).

Hitting the marks Congrats to Chico High School theater students for picking up awards at the Junior Theater Festival in Sacramento earlier this month (Feb. 7-9). A press release for the event announced that the Chico High group brought “fantastic energy, specific and honest storytelling, and fun choreography” to its performance of Legally Blonde The Musical JR.,

winning the Excellence in Acting award, while student Brenna Murray took home Outstanding Performance by an Individual Performer.

And though cheerleading isn’t normally on my radar, I want to give a shout out to the crosstown Pleasant Valley High squads for getting second place in both a national varsity competition in Orlando, Fla. (Feb. 7-9) and a national junior varsity competition in Anaheim (Feb. 14-16). (My niece being a flyer on the PV JV squad might have something to do with my sudden interest. Congrats, Lily Post!)


• Hot show alert: I can’t decide if this show gets a “Duuude!” or a “Daaaang!” The Big Room at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. recently announced a killer two-artist bill on March 2 that includes the man, Chris Conley—frontman for emo/melodic-punk posterboys Saves the Day (and current Chico resident)—playing an acoustic set. Joining him is the amazing Jamie Drake, an LA singer/songwriter with a powerhouse voice who recently released her debut, Everything is Fine, a gorgeous slice of ornate modern folk.

• The Younger has landed: This one gets a “Daaaaaaamn!!!” Even though I’ve already grown accustomed to the embarrassment of beer riches Chico now enjoys thanks to the re-introduction of Russian River Brewing Co. products to our area, I was shocked and stoked to see that the rarest of the Santa Rosa brewery’s beers is going to land in Chico. This Friday (Feb. 21), starting at 3 p.m., Pliny the Younger—the beloved triple IPA (and cousin to double IPA Pliny the Elder) that’s available only in February and almost exclusively at the brewery—will be tapped at Burgers & Brew. Supplies are very limited, only 5 ounce pours will be served. Though it’s a first-come first-served deal, presale tickets (good for one pour) will be available that day. See you at the bar!