March on Washington

54th Anniversary of the March on Washington: Orlando Watson

Monday, August 28, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm


At the historic March on Washington that featured the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his "I Have a Dream" speech, musicians performed powerful songs that helped articulate parts of the struggle. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez as well as other artists including Harry Belafonte all took the stage in solidarity with their brothers and sisters across the nation against whom injustices were inflicted. We celebrate this momentous anniversary today with gospel music from Cleveland.


Monday, August 28 at 3pm on the PNC Plaza Main Stage

The set list will include original thought provoking works performed by Orlando Watson - spoken word artist/poet.  Accompanying him on stage will by Quiana  Pettigrew of Cleveland's most refined soul/fusion vocalist.  The rhythm section will be anchored by band leader Jonathan "Skip" Winfree. Kenny Bell, and David Harp will round out the trio on keyboards and bass respectively.  The presentation will highlight themes of social justice, the complexities of love, and redemption.  Artistically, the listener can expect to hear elements of jazz, jazz fusion, R&B, soul, rock, and gospel.  Orlando will serve as the featured artist and narrator for this 1 hour presentation in response to the nation's over the rally in Charlottesville. 


Cleveland, Ohio native, A. Orlando Watson II is a graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. While attending YSU he was an active member of “Student African-American Brotherhood”, which inspired him to found and facilitate his very own student organization called “Premier Poet’s Guild” from 2010-2012.  While attending Youngstown State University, Orlando studied under the tutelage of renowned poet and Executive Director of Etruscan Press, Dr. Phil Brady.

Orlando has been fortunate enough to share the stage with international acts such as: Dominic Farinacci, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Dr. Alton Merrell, Jessica Caremoore, Rafael Casal, Geoffrey Golden as well as Grammy award winners Tye Tribbett and Kirk Whalum. While he's no stranger to performing at colleges and universities, he was awarded the Kente Cloth, which is the highest honor presented by Ohio State University’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Among the few awarded with the Kente cloth for diverse and creative contributions are: Reverend Al Sharpton, Danny Glover, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Jerry Revish.

In March of 2014 Orlando released a single entitled “The Weigh” under his former moniker,“7 Hykoo” (pronounced: seven haiku). The debut single quickly moved to the top of the independent sales charts appearing as #1 on Jazz, #2 on Urban R&B and #1 on Smooth Soul on the CD-Baby sales charts within its first 2 weeks.  Most recently, Orlando has released his debut EP Everything’s Personal, which charted at #18 on iTunes R&B/Soul charts upon its release on 7/7/17.

Orlando Watson