The official word: To celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will once again open its doors to the public free of charge on Monday, January 16 in a celebration of community spirit and civic pride. This marks the 11th straight year that the Museum offers FREE admission to the public. The Rock Hall’s Community Festivals are sponsored by KeyBank.
The festival will feature an array of musical talent throughout the day on the Museum’s Main Stage, beginning with performances at 11 a.m. by the Antioch Spiritual Arts Choir, followed by Cleveland poets Nina Borsay and the Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word, vocalists Londyn and Indianapolis’ Whitney Coleman, and headlined by Grammy Award-nominated singer and songwriter, Ledisi. The event will be emceed by Jason Walker of Terry Macklin Entertainment.
Born in New Orleans, Ledisi Young (her given name meaning "to bring forth" in Nigerian) has been singing professionally for much of her life. Her first gig was at the age of eight, fronting the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. Her mother, also a singer who performed in local bands, was an early inspiration. Ledisi's family eventually relocated to Oakland, California, and it was there that she seriously pursued a career in music.
Ledisi later formed her own band, Anibade, whose sound mixed classic soul and hard-hitting funk with jazzy overtones. She eventually released two indie albums: 2001's Soulsinger and 2003’s Feeling Orange But Sometimes Blue. Both became underground hits and led to opening dates for Chaka Khan.
Although Ledisi was a seasoned artist before joining her now-label Verve, she says she is still finding herself musically. Acclaim from her 2007 album Lost & Found boosted Ledisi's profile in the music industry, but it’s her latest album Turn Me Loose she calls a turning point in her artistic evolution. Inspired by the freewheeling music of Buddy Miles, Ledisi enlisted various collaborators, including Grammy® winners Raphael Saadiq and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, to create an album that fuses rock, blues, classic soul, funk and hip-hop sounds.
The Rock Hall will be open from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Visitors to the Museum will have the opportunity to tour the facility free of charge until closing. For a list of current exhibits and for more information about this and other Rock Hall events, visit rockhall.com.