Upcoming Events & Newsletter


The Michigan Center is pleased to present events in 2021-22 that again emphasize the contributions of Christianity and Christian antiquity to the foundations of Western and American Culture. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Center is unable to offer its usual in-person events.

The Michigan Center Board is pleased to offer two upcoming online presentations in January and February.

The first is Thursday January 27, 3-5 PM Eastern Standard Time via Zoom: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a Black King of the Bible in Duke Ellington’s Symphonic Triptych “Three Black Kings”.


This event is organized by The International Center for American Music, or ICAMus. It co-sponsored by the Michigan Center for Early Christian Studies,  the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies and the Department of Middle East Studies, University of Michigan. It is part of the University of Michigan’s 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebrations.

“Three Black Kings” is a score for ballet in three movements, and Duke Ellington’s last major work. The first movement presents Balthazar, a Black king of the Nativity, and the second Solomon, King of Israel. The third celebrates Dr. King, Ellington’s personal friend.

Our presenter is Professor of Jazz History Luca Bragalini at the Music Conservatory or Brescia, Italy. He has discovered unpublished works by Duke Ellington, among others, and premiered and recorded several. His book Duke Ellington’s Symphonic Visions (2018) is the first volume entirely dedicated to Ellington’s Symphonic music.

The registration and event are free. But you must register in advance at https://tinyurl.com/2zvsappv.

The second event is also free, at 3-5 PM Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, February 1: Jewish Blues in 20th-Century Classical Music, also in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

Professor Bragalini will give a second lecture on The Blues, the expression of late 19th-century Southern African-American folklore. Many composers turned their attention to the blues in the twentieth century, including a number of Jewish classical composers: Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Milhaud, Copland, Gershwin, and Ullman and Schulhoff who perished in the Shoah. Professor Bragalini will examine significant connections between African-American and Jewish musical traditions.

As for the “Three Black Kings” presentation, advance registration for the “Jewish Blues” event is required at https://tinyurl.com/t77y66uh.

 If you would like to receive email notices about these, and other MCECS events, and have not done so, send us your email address through the Contact Us page. We will be glad to put you on our newsletter mailing list to  receive notices about upcoming events and reports about past events.