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2022 Celebration of the Lives and Legacies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King

This virtual event will be live streamed on boston.govbu.edu, and the City of Boston’s cable network.

In partnership with Boston University and the New England Conservatory, the City of Boston will present "A Celebration of the Lives and Legacies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King" on Monday, January 17, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.  The event will be live streamed on both boston.gov and Boston University website, as well as on the City of Boston’s cable network (Xfinity: channel 24, RCN: channel 13, and Fios: channel 962.) 

This year’s program features:       

  • Robert A. Brown, President Boston University
  • Brianna Bourne, Boston University Arts & Sciences ’22, Boston Latin Academy ‘20
  • Saida Grundy, Assistant Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies at Boston University
  • Andrea Kalyn, President, New England Conservatory
  • Katherine Kennedy, Director, Boston University Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground
  • Jean Morrison, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Boston University
  • Jean-Luc Pierite, Tuncia-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana,
    President of the Board of The North American Indian Center of Boston
  • Kelsey Russell, Boston University Arts & Sciences ‘22
  • Tanisha Sullivan, President of the NAACP Boston Branch
  • Andrea Taylor, Senior Diversity Officer, Boston University
  • Michelle Wu, Mayor, City of Boston

The program also features musical selections performed by student ensembles and choirs from the New England Conservatory and the Boston University the Inner Strength Gospel Choir.

In previous years, leaders such as U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, Beverly Morgan-Welch, Sonia Sanchez, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, Judy Richardson of Eyes on the Prize, and civil rights activist and filmmaker Topper Carew served as keynote speakers. Governor Deval Patrick, Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, Boston Poet Laureates Sam Cornish and Danielle Legros Georges, former Orthopaedic Surgeon-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital Dr. Augustus White, and WGBH Radio host Eric Jackson are among those who have served as readers in previous years.

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House Music Dance Party

Come to City Hall Plaza for a free house music dance party on Friday, October 22!

DJ Bruno will be providing the music. Dance the night away to house music at this free, family-friendly dance party by The Patios on City Hall Plaza.

The City of Boston is also hosting a pop-up Beer and Wine Garden, showcasing local businesses, in The Patios space on City Hall Plaza from 4 - 8 p.m. On the night of the event, Distraction Brewing will be vending at the Beer and Wine Garden.

About DJ Bruno

DJ Bruno has been a DJ in Boston since 1987. He became known in the college scene in the late 80s to early 90s for mixing hip hop, reggae, R&B, and house music. In 1991, he began a residency at the Boston Loft after-hours club with Armand Van Helden. The following year, he started the Legendary Utopia Parties. Utopia still remains as one of Boston’s hottest deep house music events.

In 2006, Boston Magazine named DJ Bruno “DJ of the Year'' and in 2007, Weekly Dig awarded Utopia Sundays the “Best House Night in Boston.” With clubs not opened to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, DJ Bruno decided to take his music virtual on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and on Fridays from 7 - 9 p.m. His motto is, “If we can dance together, we can live together." He is on a mission to spread this motto all over the world, whether it be virtually or in person. Follow DJ Bruno on Instagram @djbruno30.

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Salsa Dance Party

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a free salsa dance party!

Show off your salsa dance moves at this free, family-friendly dance party by The Patios on City Hall Plaza! DJ Big O will be providing the music and free salsa lessons will also be offered.

  • 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. | Free salsa lesson by Salsa y Control Dance Studio
  • 6:45 - 7 p.m. | Special salsa dancing performance by the Hyde Square Task Force

The dance floor will be open 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The City of Boston is also hosting a pop-up Beer & Wine Garden, showcasing local businesses, in The Patios space on City Hall Plaza from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. On the night of the event, Essex Park, a collaboration between Savvor Lounge and District 7 Tavern, will be vending at the Beer & Wine Garden.

About DJ Big O

Born in Venezuela, and raised in Massachusetts, Oscar ‘DJ Big O’ Nunez, has used his knowledge of many different genres of music to create a larger than life persona as a top DJ and emcee in Boston. DJ Big O is a true expert when it comes to any Latin genre, and he is always able to captivate his guests by his exceptional mic presence. DJ Big O is outstanding at interacting and engaging with guests... and does so in a way that makes guests feel welcomed, and ready to have fun and dance all night long!

About Salsa y Control Dance Studio

Salsa y Control, a local small business with locations in both Allston and Cambridge, is one of the most beloved dance companies in the area, offering top quality and easy-to-follow instruction to get you on the dance floor in no time. Their classes provide a fun and welcoming environment for everyone of all levels. They also have performance opportunities where dancers are inspired to gain more confidence and reach their fullest potential. “Salsa y Control” originated in 1999 with Johnny and Andres, two brothers who perform amazing duets with unique, intricate salsa footwork combinations. Salsa y Control later expanded to include partner dance performances with Johnny and Felicita. In 2003, the three established what we know today as "Salsa y Control Dance Company." Their drive came from the desire to inspire others to express inner emotion through the art of dance. In 2008, the Salsa y Control Dance Studio opened its doors in Allston under Andres and Leah. Today, Salsa y Control has grown to be one of the biggest dance companies in Boston with over 80 performing members for multiple dance teams and they continue to offer classes in Allston and Cambridge. Learn more on the website.

 

About the Hyde Square Task Force

The Hyde Square Task Force amplifies the power, creativity, and voices of youth, connecting them to Afro-Latin culture and heritage so they can create a diverse, vibrant Latin Quarter and build a just, equitable Boston. The Hyde Square Task Force supports youth as they explore, master, and celebrate Afro-Latin culture through art; learn, grow, and achieve academically and in life; and develop into changemakers and advocates for themselves. Learn more on the Hyde Square website.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Join us from September 15 - October 15 to celebrate the history and culture of Latinos around Boston.

Learn more

About the Latinx ERG

The Latinx Employee Resource Group (ERG) serves as a network of employees at the City of Boston. The ERG promotes the cultural diversity and professional development of its members. By doing so, they hope to create a supportive environment for the Latinx community.

Learn more
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Old School R&B Night

Dance the night away to R&B classics from the 60s, 70s, and 80s at our inaugural Old School R&B Night!

Music will be provided by Maverik — Recording Artist and Boston Red Sox Official DJ — and DJ Vince 1. Show off your dance moves under the fun lights and disco ball at Copley Square.

The Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition (BBCC), in partnership with Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, will be hosting a COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic on site.

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GospelFest 2021

Boston GospelFest is back in person this year at a new venue: Playstead Field at Franklin Park! Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 8 at 5 p.m.

headshot of Rich Tolbert Jr. the headliner for GospelFest 2021

GospelFest is New England’s largest Gospel music celebration. Now in its 21st year, GospelFest showcases both national and local gospel talent, blending contemporary and traditional gospel melodies. Performers this year include Rich Tolbert Jr, The Worship Bandits, and the Mayor’s Community Gospel Choir. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring a chair or blanket to the concert venue, Playstead Field at Franklin Park.

This is an entirely outdoor, open-air event.  It is encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. Hand sanitizer will be available on-site.  Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are still at high-risk of spreading COVID-19.  If you are not fully vaccinated, you should avoid large social gatherings. If you do plan to attend, avoid congested areas, wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth, and maintain 6 feet of physical distance as much as possible. To find a location to get vaccinated, check our COVID-19 vaccine website.

This annual event is produced by the Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment in partnership with the Faith Collective.

About the headliner

New York City native Rich Tolbert Jr. grew up in church, singing and leading worship by age 10. As a young adult, Tolbert was part of the five-member ensemble Livre’ (Portuguese for “free”), which debuted at an anniversary event for the Bronx Mass Choir where they were discovered by Alicia Keys. The group went on to release a series of singles, including “Amazing,” which hit the Top 40 of Billboard’s Hot Gospel Radio chart, and “I Will Be Alright,” which hit the Top 20, along with the full-length album, "Jericho: Tribe of Joshua". After the group disbanded, Tolbert continued to write and perform as a solo artist, penning the hit song “Miracle Worker” before releasing his No. 1 debut album, "Never Be Defeated".

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Friday Afternoon Concert Series: New Legaxy

New Legaxy will perform at The Patios on City Hall Plaza on August 27, as part of the City of Boston's Friday Afternoon Concert Series in partnership with Berklee College of Music.

New Legaxy is a Boston-based band led by New Orleans drummer Brian Richburg that blends jazz sensibilities, sampled beats, and breezy vocals. The band's debut EP, Summer Songs, came out in late 2020, and its follow-up is due this summer.

  • 12:00pm - 2:00pm
  • 1 City Hall Square
    Boston, 02201-2006
  • Price:
    FREE
  • Contact:
    TOURISM, SPORTS, AND ENTERTAINMENT
  • Neighborhood:
    Citywide
  • Event Type:
  • Posted:
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Friday Afternoon Concert Series: Nia Ashleigh

Ashleigh will perform at The Patios on City Hall Plaza on August 20 as part of the City of Boston's Friday Afternoon Concert Series, in partnership with Berklee College of Music.

Inspired by her Jamaican and Canadian roots, Nia Ashleigh is an up-and-coming R&B artist from Newark, New Jersey. After making her debut as Nala in "The Lion King" on Broadway at age 10, she went on to sing for greats such as Dionne Warwick, Clive Davis, and Andra Day. With her first single, "Kevin," spotlighted by Spotify (on the "Fresh Finds: The Wave" playlist), Ashleigh has a bright future ahead of her.

  • 12:00pm - 2:00pm
  • 1 City Hall Square
    Boston, 02201-2006
  • Price:
    FREE
  • Contact:
    TOURISM, SPORTS, AND ENTERTAINMENT
  • Neighborhood:
    Citywide
  • Event Type:
  • Posted:
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Friday Afternoon Concert Series: Mestizas

Mestizas will perform at The Patios on City Hall Plaza on August 13, as part of the City of Boston's Friday Afternoon Concert Series, in partnership with Berklee College of Music.

Mestizas is a musical group specializing in the fusion of flamenco, jazz, and various genres of Latin American and Caribbean folklore. The group has an extensive repertoire that includes original music as well as arrangements of traditional Spanish, Cuban, and Uruguayan songs. Known for its refined musicality, this all-female quintet stands out among bands from Berklee College of Music (where the group was formed) for its quality, originality, aesthetic, and social sense, making them one of the most in-demand groups on campus and in Boston.

  • 12:00pm - 2:00pm
  • 1 City Hall Square
    Boston, 02201-2006
  • Price:
    FREE
  • Contact:
    TOURISM, SPORTS, AND ENTERTAINMENT
  • Neighborhood:
    Citywide
  • Event Type:
  • Posted:
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Friday Afternoon Concert Series: Alex Maes and the Connection

Alex Maes & the Connection will perform at The Patios on City Hall Plaza on August 6, as part of the City of Boston's Friday Afternoon Concert Series in partnership with Berklee College of Music.

Alex Maes grew up in a small town in Colorado nestled in the Rocky Mountains. She developed a knack for songwriting and performing when she was 10, and shortly after formed a rock-pop group with friends, touring the state and gaining a love for performing. Eventually she received a full ride to Berklee College of Music, where she began exploring the depths of her artistry and met the artists who would become Alex Maes & the Connection. The group is a Boston-based nu-funk band that has been together since 2019. They play catchy original material that Maes composes and also cover popular songs in their funk-jazz style. With Francisco Morales on drums, Warren Pettey on keys, Kevin Barber on bass, Flynn Tanner on guitar, and Maes on vocals, Alex Maes & the Connection is impossible to ignore with the band's infectious grooves and contagious arrangements.

  • 12:00pm - 2:00pm
  • 1 City Hall Square
    Boston, 02201-2006
  • Price:
    FREE
  • Contact:
    TOURISM, SPORTS, AND ENTERTAINMENT
  • Neighborhood:
    Citywide
  • Event Type:
  • Posted:
Last updated:

Friday Afternoon Concert Series: Sheila del Bosque Trio

The Sheila del Bosque Trio will perform at The Patios on City Hall Plaza on July 30, as part of the City of Boston's Friday Afternoon Concert Series in partnership with Berklee College of Music.

Created in 2018, the Sheila del Bosque Trio gives the audience a selection of contemporary and traditional Afro-Cuban music with the influence of European and jazz ingredients. The trio has been performing in festivals like the 49th annual Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, Berklee Performance Center, Brown Bag Series, and Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, among others.

  • 12:00pm - 2:00pm
  • 1 City Hall Square
    Boston, 02201-2006
  • Price:
    FREE
  • Contact:
    TOURISM, SPORTS, AND ENTERTAINMENT
  • Neighborhood:
    Citywide
  • Event Type:
  • Posted:
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