Contents

Cover Story

African Festival of the Arts: Reflections of Our Culture

cover (580x363)

CHICAGO, AUGUST 14, 2012 – The Big Easy meets West Africa as Grammy Award-winner Charles “Horn Man” Neville of the Neville Brothers teams up with Senegalese harpist and vocalist Youssoupha Sidibe at the 23rd annual African Festival of the Arts, “Reflections of Our Culture,” over the Labor Day weekend August 31 – September 3 in Washington Park, 5100 S. Cottage Grove Ave.


Charles Neville and West African Harpist Youssoupha Sidibe

Charles Neville and West African Harpist Youssoupha Sidibe

Saxophonist Charles Neville’s music is rooted in New Orleans rhythm and blues, but with funk, jazz, be-bop and even American Indian musical influences. In addition to his more than 30-year career with the Neville Brothers, Charles Neville has performed with legendary musicians like Ray Charles, James Brown, B.B. King, Santana, The Grateful Dead, and Herbie Hancock. Youssoupha Sidibe’s music fuses traditional West African sounds on the Kora, with the Sufi devotional chanting of the Senegalese Baay Faal community. He has collaborated and performed with artists such as India Arie, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and Spearhead.

artist 2 (445x549)

The Godfather of Funk George Clinton also returns to join the eclectic mix of local, national and international entertainers at the 23rd annual African Festival of the Arts, “Reflections of Our Culture,” over the Labor Day weekend August 31 – September 3 in Washington Park, 5100 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Festival goers will experience a wide swath of music, talent and culture from across the Africa Diaspora during Chicago’s largest outdoor cultural festival. Other headliners will include George Clinton, Kahil El’Zabar, Dwele, Lyfe Jennings and Nona Hendryx, as well as a bevy of local, national and international talent.

New to the African Festival this year, attendees will have the rare opportunity to experience the exotic heritage, arts and entertainment of the French West Indian Island of Guadeloupe (pronounced Gwadloup in Antillean Creole) at the Guadeloupe Pavilion, presented by Africa International House and the Global Music Network France. When you travel to Guadeloupe, you can hear in every street corner the multiple cultural sounds that define the Guadeloupean culture: zouk, Gwo Ka and biguine music. The pavilion will feature headliners Melting-Groov’ and
the Sonny Troupé Quartet.

Advanced tickets are $10 a day; $30 for an adult weekend pass. Daily admission for a family of two adults and up to four children is also $30, and senior citizens and children under 13 pay just $5. (Advanced ticket offers expire August 28). Daily admission is $20 at the gate and $300 for access to the VIP Main Stage Seating. Visit africanfestivalchicago.org to buy advanced tickets and for updated performance schedules. The African Festival of the Arts is the destination for family fun, culture, food and music from across the African Diaspora. Activities for the youngest festival-goers will take place at the Bernice Gardner Children and Family Pavilion Stage, and international and inspirational sounds can be heard on the World Music Stage.

The African Festival of the Arts is the destination for family fun, culture, food and music from across the African Diaspora. This year, the honor of Grand BaBa and Grand YeYe, bestowed on community elders who have led exemplary lives, goes to urban radio pioneer Herb Kent (BaBa) and 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin (YeYe). Chicagoans Marvin Sin, who created this year’s festival poster, and Taylor Moore, a drummer, percussionist and producer from the South Side, will be this year’s featured artists. Each day will carry a different inspirational theme to set the tone for the South Side’s cultural and entertainment event of the year. “Africa International House is dedicated to the celebration and preservation of African cultures and traditions with the intent to pass them on to future generations,” said Patrick Woodtor, executive director of Africa International House and the founder of the African Festival of the Arts. “To do that, we must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward and understand why and how we came to be who we are today.”

Marvin Sin, Featured Artist for the 2012 African Festival of the Arts

Marvin Sin, Featured Artist for the 2012 African
Festival of the Arts


Kahil El’Zabar, the festival’s artistic director, added: “We share an important legacy in terms of our diverse cultural gifts, and how they have completely transformed the 20th and the 21st Centuries. I humbly encourage everyone to spread the word with exuberance and passion. It is time for Reflections of Our Culture and an opportunity to regenerate. Let’s seize the moment and use the African Festival of the Arts 2012 as the gathering place to reengage the best of who we are.”

African Festival of the Arts is sponsored by Africa International House; NBC 5 Chicago; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois; The University of Chicago Medicine; State Farm; Walgreens; Yellow Tail; the Chicago Park District; the Black McDonald’s Operators Association; the Illinois Arts Council; the National Endowment of the Arts; Chase Liquid; Urban Partnership Bank; NAMASTE/ Organic Root Stimulator; Save a Leg Save a Life Foundation; State Farm Bank; AMBI; Vocalo 89.5, the Chicago Tribune; and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; Chicago South Loop Hotel; WVON; African Ancestry, Inc.; The Africa Channel; Soleil’s To Do’s; iRock Jazz; and the Citizen newspaper.

About Africa International House

Africa International House (AIH) exposes and educates people about the individual works and collective contributions of African cultures. It carries out its mission through its flagship program the annual African Festival of the Arts Chicago and a unique brand of cultural programming and activities. For more information, visit www.aihusa.org.

You must be logged in to post a comment.