Newmark Theatre

We Shall Overcome

The Three Sides of Damien Sneed

A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., featuring Damien Sneed

Inspired by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., We Shall Overcome showcases 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.

Producer and Musical Director Damien Sneed’s career covers an incredible breadth of genres. He has conducted and collaborated major original works for Wynton Marsalis, regularly accompanied Jessye Norman, collaborated with Lawrence Brownlee, and has toured extensively with Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and the Clark Sisters.

This production ties together a living lineage of music and culture that includes traditional gospel, modern gospel, classical, jazz, Broadway and spirituals. From Aretha Franklin to Wynton Marsalis; Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder; Nina Simone to Donny Hathaway; and traditional spirituals and music from The Wiz, Damien’s unique understanding of each genre allows him to fluidly cover so much musical ground in a single performance.

Composers include Duke Ellington, Damien Sneed, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, and Wynton Marsalis. Songbooks of Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Donny Hathaway, Music from The Wiz.

Joining Sneed on tour is an ensemble of multi-genre vocalists and instrumentalists including Chenee Campbell (vocalist), Markita Knight (vocalist), Anitra McKinney (vocalist), Alicia Peters-Jordan (vocalist), Annalisha Jacobs (vocalist), Tekesha Russell (vocalist), Linny Smith (vocalist), and Aaron Chisholm (vocalist), along with classical recording artists Patrice Eaton, Audrey DuBois Harris, Brandie Sutton, and Kierra Hogan, who will all appear on select tour dates. The musicians include Mark Clark (drums), John Matthew Clark (bass), and Marquéz Cassidy (organ and keyboard).

Sneed has also served as music director for Grammy Award-winning gospel artists The Clark Sisters, Richard Smallwood, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Kim Burrell, among others.

Sneed is the founder and artistic director of Chorale Le Chateau, which has gained a global reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance period pieces to art songs to jazz, spirituals, gospel, and avant-garde contemporary music. He is featured on the recording of Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass as a conductor, with Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Chorale Le Chateau.

In April 2015, Sneed made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall for Wynton Marsalis’ “Abyssinian 200: A Celebration” on the legendary Ronald O. Perelman Stage. Sneed has also ventured into the world of musical theater and has partnered with Tony Award winner George Faison as the musical director for CityParks Foundation’s SummerStage production of “The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance & Music” in historic Central Park.

“Damien Sneed is an ambassador for classical and gospel music who brings positivity, optimism and thoroughness to every occasion. His talent stretches across traditional divisions. In the realest sense, he uses his artistry to make our world a better place.”—Wynton Marsalis

We Shall Overcome is part of the 2019/20 Portland'5 Education Program season.

Arts For All Tickets

Arts For All tickets ($5) available with Oregon Trail Card two hours prior to show at the Portland'5 Box Office in Hatfield Hall at 1111 SW Broadway Ave. (limited quantities, first-come, first-served, while supplies last.)

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