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  • Joan Baez, Mavis Staples Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy With New Projects

    Mon, 18 Jan 2016 09:30:00

    Joan Baez, Mavis Staples Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy With New Projects - Celebrate Dr. King

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Photos

    • Martin Luther King, Jr. - People visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall October 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. The US federal government reopened after a 16-day forced shutdown. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. - A US Park Ranger helps a tourist at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall October 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. The US federal government reopened after a 16-day forced shutdown. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. - People ride bikes past stacks of barricades used to close monuments near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall October 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. The US federal government reopened after a 16-day forced shutdown. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

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    Mavis Staples Videos

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    Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day, people!

    As we celebrate the legacy of the man who devoted and sacrificed his life in the name of civil rights, we're reminded of the '60s soundtrack that set so much of it in motion, and the artists who fueled its spirit.

    The music of Joan Baez and Mavis Staples are two examples; both not only marched and protested with King himself, both also have new projects in the works that touch on themes from his life's work. (Both were also romantically linked to Bob Dylan, but that's a story for another post.)

    Baez has organized a tour around her 75th birthday, and recruited Staples herself, along with Paul Simon, Richard Thompson, Judy Collins, Jackson Browne, Mary Chapin Carpenter, David Bromberg, Damien Rice, Emmylou Harris, the Indigo Girls, and Nano Stern to help her celebrate at the tour kick off performance January 27th at New York City's Beacon Theatre. The concert will be recorded for an episode of PBS' Great Performances series.

    Baez has partnered with Amnesty International for the circuit in an effort to raise awareness of the disproportionate number of minorities incarcerated in the United States.

    "I am pleased once again to be joining forces with Amnesty International, this time on the critical and urgent issue of racial and ethnic disparities of incarceration, right here in the United States," she said in a statement.

    Staples is additionally gearing up to release her new M. Ward-produced album, Livin' on a High Note, February 19th on Anti- Records. The record features custom compositions from Valerie June (who scored the title track), Benjamin Booker, Ben Harper, The Head and the Heart, tUnE-yArDs, M. Ward, Aloe Blacc/Jon Batiste, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Neko Case, Son Little, and Nick Cave, along with a freedom song inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Ms. Staples is also the subject of the upcoming documentary, Mavis!, debuting on leap day, Monday, February 29, on HBO.

    Watch the trailer for 'Mavis!'

    Mavis! - Documentary Trailer from Film First on Vimeo.

    More information on Baez's upcoming tour and Staples' new album and tour can be found at their respective websites: JoanBaez.com and LivinOnAHighNote.com.

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff
    01.18.16

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