New Delhi, January 11, 2024 – Herbie Hancock and Dianne Reeves, iconic figures in the world of jazz, accompanied by the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA Ensemble, will visit New Delhi and Mumbai from January 14-25. Their performances and master classes with students will be dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The highlight of their visit will be a special concert in New Delhi on January 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed annually on the third Monday of January in the United States, pays tribute to the life and achievements of the renowned civil rights leader. Dr. King’s leading role in the American civil rights movement, advocating for racial equality, justice, and unity, is a poignant reminder on this federal holiday.
Dr. King Jr.’s journey was profoundly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent resistance, developed during India’s struggle for independence. This influence played a pivotal role in shaping the strategies and character of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Dr. King’s pilgrimage to India in 1959 further solidified his appreciation for nonviolent resistance and its potential to effect social change. The connection between Martin Luther King Jr. and India extends beyond a shared commitment to nonviolence; it embodies a recognition of the global nature of movements for justice and human rights. Their philosophies underscore the interconnectedness of struggles against oppression worldwide.
Highlighting the importance of the day, Ambassador Eric Garcetti said, “On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, let’s honor the enduring impact of Mahatma Gandhi’s principles, which continue to inspire the pursuit of justice and equality. Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy, advocating profound respect for the inherent dignity of every individual, regardless of background, caste, religion, or social status, echoes the core values championed by Martin Luther King Jr. Their shared example underscores the belief that everyone deserves respect and fair treatment in our ongoing journey toward a more just and equitable society. As a lifelong fan of Herbie Hancock and Dianne Reeves, I’m excited for them to highlight the global relevance of the unity Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King sought, motivating us in our collective pursuit of a world founded on justice, equality, and respect for all.”
Herbie Hancock noted, “It was a privilege to travel to India 15 years ago to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic visit. I look forward to returning to India for the fourth time to perform for audiences and work with young, aspiring musicians. Jazz is a true representation of the ideals Dr. King stood for – freedom, democracy and equality. It will be an honor to share these ideals and reconnect with the wonderful people and musicians of India.”
Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, and the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA Ensemble will participate in education programs and perform in New Delhi and Mumbai to further foster the bonds between musicians and the peoples of the United States and India. Celebrated Indian artists, including Sitar Maestro Purbayan Chatterjee and Tabla player Swarupa Ananth-Sawkar, will feature in the performance in Mumbai.
This program is made possible in part through the generous support of United Airlines and Boeing.