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‘Celebrating the Dream’ pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By Staff | Feb 17, 2011

The show stars Sheryl Renee, here portraying Ella Fitzgerald. Photo by Paula Levy.

KAPALUA — The 2011 Maui Invitational Music Festival presents “Celebrating the Dream,” a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The free show will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

The evening will feature musical performances by vocalist Sheryl Renee, Deejay Steve, Kamakakehau Fernandez, The Maui Gospel Choir, Omar & The Soultones, and Latitude 21º featuring Sal Godinez, Bob Harrison and Mike Buono.

Other highlights include an exhibit of soul portraits by Ron Phillips and “We Shall Overcome,” a tribute to the civil rights movement with Bryant Neal portraying Dr. King.

An American clergyman, Dr. King (Jan. 15, 1929 to April 4, 1968) was a leader in the civil rights movement. He raised public awareness of the movement when he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the 1963 March on Washington.

In 1964, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts to end racial discrimination through nonviolent means.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. The national holiday honoring him, held each year in January, was established in 1986.

As part of the show on Feb. 19 at the Ritz-Carlton, a special performance will take place at 8 p.m., when Renee presents “I Adore Ella,” a musical salute to Ella Fitzgerald.

Dubbed the “First Lady of Song,” Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 to June 15, 1996) is one of the most popular and beloved female jazz singers ever.

Famous for her wide vocal range, she sang sultry ballads, popularized scat singing and could imitate every instrument in an orchestra.

She worked with all the jazz greats, including Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra. During her career, Fitzgerald won 13 Grammy Awards and sold more than 40 million records.

Renee, an accomplished performer, is one of the only Ella Fitzgerald impersonators in the world.

The Maui Invitational Music Festival is presented annually by Arts Education for Children Group (AECG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for artistic and cultural enrichment. It is supported by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the County of Maui.

The festival takes place throughout the year and includes a wide variety of concerts, classes and workshops for music lovers of all ages.

For more information, call (808) 667-2805 or visit www.aecg.org.