It’s been a long time coming! Conceived in 2007, AfrobeatRadio, the brainchild of Wuyi Jacobs, sought synergy between the arts, culture, politics, dialogue and technology in the African community. The result: Afrobeat Radio, Afrobeat Journal, and now, the New York Afro Fest.
NY Afro Fest 2011 brings together culture, arts, literature, music (both popular and sacred), politics, dialogue and community in its celebration of the African Diaspora, and in recognition of the United Nation’s designation of 2011 as the international year for people of African descent. The festival also coincides with the release of Afrobeat Journal’s second issue, with a theme towards African rhythms, roots, and culture, in homage to Randy Weston.
This year’s NY Afro Fest serves up an exciting line up: a literary conference, film screenings, and live music performances. It will be broadcast live on WBAI 99.5 FM, NY from 4 to 7 p.m. on two Saturdays: September 24 and October 1st, and hosted at the Buka New York Restaurant (946 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238), where Nigerian culinary delights goat head, pepper soup, moi moi are popular fare.
The September 24 event opens with live music from Asiko Afrobeat’s pulsating sounds, followed by a literary conference on the theme of “Root Words: A Celebration & Discussion of African Literature.” Panelists include Catherine E. McKinley, author of Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World, Tanya Wright, author (Butterfly Rising), actress (HBO series True Blood) and director, and others. It will be moderated by Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of Harmattan Rain, and poet and writer Benjamin Hinson. The literary conference will be followed by the Nigerian-American Film: Tears of My Joy. Then it’s music all the way with Togolese sensation Ammy Coco and other performers, and a community and networking social at Buka.
NY Afro Fest continues on October 1 with sacred music of the African Diaspora. For updates visit, www.afrobeatradio.com.
AfroBeat Radio is a news-based social network and multimedia platform supported by regular weekly global Africa-focused current affairs programs broadcasting on WBAI 99.5 FM every Saturday from 4 to 4 pm EST; Afrobeat Journal is described by its editor-in-chief and NYU professor, Cheryl Sterling, as a “multimedia, interactive journal dedicated to cultural and artistic expressions of African- descended people.” It aims to “facilitate the discussion between scholars, professional artists in all media and savants about African and African Diaspora cultural forms.”
NY Afro Fest is a collaboration between WBAI producers Imhotep Gary Byrd of Global Black Experience and AfrobeatRadio. New York Afrobeat Festival, Inc. is a not-for-profit enterprise dedicated to fostering and promoting African cultures and community through art, music, performance and visual arts. We aim to excite, entertain, inform, educate and to create awareness of the value of the cultures of Africa within the vibrant multicultural fabric of New York City.