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MLK Saratoga To Offer A Full Slate Of Cultural Events For Its MLK Weekend Celebration

Highlights include a performance by Soul Session frontman Garland Nelson at Caffè Lena and a talk presented by Yaddo.

Garland Nelson
Gospel music director Garland Nelson leads A Joyful Noise! performance with Lena’s Heavenly Voices. (Saratoga MLK)

Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day will be a day off from work for most Saratogians and for many, it’ll be a day of reflection on the life of one of America’s most iconic Civil Rights figures. Saratogians are lucky, in that we have countless ways to celebrate the life of Dr. King. In fact, MLK Saratoga, a Spa City-based community organization, has planned an MLK 2020 Celebration Weekend of events throughout the city in the days leading up to MLK Day on Monday, January 20.

The weekend’s events officially kick off on Friday, January 17 at The Holiday Inn on Broadway with the 5th Annual Dr. King Challenge, which will include an opening reception, as well as artistic performances and live music by the Azzaam Hameed R&B Ensemble. Saturday, January 18 will feature four events, the first of which begins at 9:30am with a workshop presented by the Sunrise Movement, a national, youth-led organization that addresses climate change; and concluding with a discussion at 6:30pm presented by Yaddo on writing across racial/religious boundaries with award-winning author Uwem Akpan. Both Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20 will be equally packed with fun, educational events, including a A Joyful Noise! performance, featuring Soul Session frontman Garland Nelson at the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church on Sunday; and a Dr. King CommUNITY Commemoration Program at Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church on Monday.

Take a look at the rest of the week/weekend’s events below.

Monday, January 13

Local favorite DJ Dingz will be playing on the fourth floor of the Saratoga City Tavern January 13-14

Tuesday, January 14

JAZZ at Caffè Lena with Chuck Lamb will bring composer and sax legend Chico Freeman to the Spa City venue

Take part in Mom Meetup, a new real-talk mom group at the Palette Cafe in Saratoga

Wednesday, January 15

Cantina in Saratoga will be donating 33 percent of all proceeds from its Cantina for a Cause’s Incredible Teddy Fundraiser

Dancing with the Stars: Live! 2020 is coming to the Palace Theater in Albany

Author Thomas Travisano will discuss his biography, Love Unknown: The Life and Worlds of Elizabeth Bishop, at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck

Catch the critically acclaimed comedy Jojo Rabbit running at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady from January 15-18

Thursday, January 16

Check out an Emerging Artists Showcase, featuring Jackie Dugas, Angelina Valente and Eric-Jon Tasker at Gaffney’s in Saratoga

Those looking to spice up their palate should head down to the Albany Capital Center for the 2020 Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival from January 16-18.

The 2020 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championship will take place at Albany’s Times Union Center from January 16-18

Friday, January 17

Grammy winner and two-time Emmy nominee Dom Flemons is returning to Caffè Lena for an evening performance of raw, authentic folk and roots music

Catch Troy native/guitarist George Muscatello at 9 Maple Avenue

Don’t miss Dashboard Anthem, a rock anthem band, perform a “Benefit for the Family of Big Joe” at Putnam Place in Saratoga

Famed jam band Umphrey’s McGee returns to the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan for a pair of shows on January 17 and January 18

Saturday, January 18

Help Kelly’s Angels celebrate its 10th anniversary at its “10 Years of Love Gala” at Canfield Casino in Saratoga

Raise money for local animal shelters and rescues through the 2nd Annual Pours for Paws Pub Crawl starting Saratoga City Tavern

Regional mystery authors Phil Bayly (Murder on Skis) and Catherine Bruns (Penne Dreadful) will be giving a talk at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga

There’ll be plenty of spirits and good times during the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival at the Brooklyn Expo Center

The Palette Cafe in Saratoga is kicking off a brand new Story Slam series

Listen to Van Morrison’s classics performed live by the Van Morrison Experience at the Cohoes Music Hall

The Village of Rhinebeck kicks off its regular ArtWalk series, open the third Saturday of every month

Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, NY presents the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabin Fever Cabaret

Sunday, January 19

New exhibitions featuring works by African-American artist Dox Thrash and etchings by famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya, will open at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls

The Battenkill Chorale will kick off its 25th season with Coronation: Royal Masterworks of Mozart and Handel at Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center

Proctors in Schenectady will present We Shall Overcome, a celebration of Dr. King through African-American music that includes spirituals, gospels, jazz, Broadway tunes and more

Don’t miss a Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Brunch (plus day party) at the Taj II Lounge and Event Space in Manhattan

Jeff Dingler
Jeff Dingler

Jeff Dingler is saratoga living's Senior Writer. He's a graduate of Skidmore College and a professional musician.

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