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Arts and Culture Newsfeed

Step Afrika! - Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 8pm

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2016-17 season with the much-anticipated return of Step Afrika! on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 8pm. Holding the distinction of the first professional company in the world dedicated to the art of stepping, the company will conduct a three- day residency that includes not only a public performance but also a free after-school stepping masterclass on Thursday, March 30 at 3:30pm and three educational shows for schoolchildren.

Tickets for Saturday evening are $25 and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951- 4500 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-6pm).

The repertoire for the company's 2017 Brooklyn residency performance includes:
 Tribute (choreography, Jakari Sherma), a piece paying homage to the American step tradition and its roots in African American fraternities and sororities.
 Ndlamu (choreography, Jackie Semela), a traditional dance of the Zulu people
 Isicathulo (choreography, Jackie Semela), based on the South African gumboot dance
 Solo, (choreography, Christopher Brient)
 Chicago (choreography, Jakari Sherman), a "percussive symphony" that transforms traditional stepping into contemporary performance art

About Step Afrika!
Founded by C. Brian Williams in 1994, Step Afrika! aims promote an appreciation for stepping and its uses as an educational, motivational, and healthy tool for young people. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor, and audience participation. Over the past two decades, the Company has grown to become one of the top ten African American dance companies in the U.S. as well as Washington D.C.'s largest African American arts organization.

National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica Celebrates 55th Anniversary

(Photo by Bryan Robinson) The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) of Jamaica is a voluntary group of dancers, singers, musicians and creative technicians who are dedicated to the view that their work in dance can help to bring discipline, a sense of process and cultural awareness to the awesome task of nation-building. The search for a definitive Caribbean dance theater linked a varied and versatile group together to make this goal a reality. During its more than five decades of existence, NDTC has achieved a reputation for artistic excellence, developing much of its repertoire from authentic folk material.

The entirely Jamaican ensemble has performed in Europe, North, Central and South America, Australia and the wider Caribbean meeting with unqualified success and establishing for itself a laudable international reputation. A biennial visitor to the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College for more than two decades, NDTC celebrates its 55th anniversary with a program combining evocative new works with favorites from their extensive repertoire. The residency includes three New York premieres, including "Mountain Climbing," created by choreographer Chris Walker in tribute to NDTC's Founding Artistic Director, Rex Nettleford, who passed away in 2010.

Co-founded by Rex Nettleford and Eddy Thomas in 1962, at the time of Jamaica's Independence, NDTC ventures to provide an atmosphere in which dancers could create and perform works of high standards, to encourage the Jamaican public to better appreciate the art of dance, and to research and utilize indigenous dance-forms and movement pattern from Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

Forgotten Immigrant- Remember me

(For the forgotten immigrant who lost his life on 9-11)

It was so long ago but… remember me!
And it all happened so very quickly.
As you pause to remember
That faithful September
Just comfort my mother and… remember me... One Tuesday morning.
Too much pain from hate- now PERPETUAL mourning.
All this hurt and tears,
All this pain and fair,
Where were you when the heavens fell?
So as you pause to remember, consider what happened… remember me!
And now the angels have all left this square,
But I am still stuck struggling here;
Just haunting the realm, anticipating my leave 'cause I haven't been called anywhere.
And their anthem has been sung bright and early
But this poor immigrant's songs aren't worthy.
As you pause to remember, please consider a stranger and just… remember me.

Star-studd​ed line-up for Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival

built to last documentary filmSAINT LUCIA (January 31, 2013) – Sporting a new name complete with eye-catching logo and a redefined artistic direction, the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is gearing up to once again welcome the world, as it inaugurates the next chapter in the life of the region's most anticipated musical festival. Now dubbed the 'Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival', the 13-day event is expected to attract thousands to the iconic and historic Pigeon Island National Landmark, where the bulk of the festival events will unfold. With its new infusion of arts, scores of artisans, entertainers and cultural enthusiasts will take centre stage at scenic vistas across the island. At a made for television and radio press launch at the awarding winning Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort on January 31, it was announced that the revamped festival, now into its 22nd year, will feature some of the best live performances mixed-in with various artistic portrayals from acclaimed local artisans.

Speaking on the new and broadened festival outreach, Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus noted "That after setting the musical benchmark for over two decades, Saint Lucia as a destination needed to redefine not only itself, but critically its flagship special events activity. According to Minister Theophilus, "As we seek to implement our new strategic focus, it became necessary to forge closer linkages between the traditional festival line-up and a now burgeoning creative industries sector." Addressing a captive and anticipative audience, Tourism Director Louis Lewis remarked that the redefined festival still boasts an impressive star-studded list of performers designed to satisfy the most discerning music aficionados. "While certain aspects of the festival needed to be redefined, its over two decade history of attracting some of the most recognizable and sought after names in the music business remains, intact," says Lewis.

The Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival will comprise over fifty (50) artistes performing against some of the best backdrop locales this side of the hemisphere, from the signature Atlantic Ocean backdrop of the Pigeon Island National Landmark, to quaint and rustic village settings like Fond d'Or Heritage Park in Dennery; Rudy John Beach Park in Laborie; and the tranquil Port Castries waterfront setting of the Pointe Seraphine Duty Free Shopping complex. The 2013 Jazz and Arts Festival will also see the much awaited return of the popular 'Jazz on the Square' in the heart of the Capital city Castries and a return to the picturesque open-air venue of Balenbouche Estate in the South.

The festival will open with much fanfare on April 30 at the 'people's auditorium' – the Mindoo Phillip Park - to a line-up that will be announced shortly. From the get go, the musical presentations are unrivalled with Caribbean jazz, creole collaborations and African infused funky rhythms that can only be found on the unique stellar lineup of Jazz in the South, Fond d'Or and the Derek Walcott Square.

The festival's new listings of artistic activities that will incorporate Drama & Dance, Steel Pan, Spoken Words, Fashion Shows and other cultural extravaganzas will follow at key venues stretching from the northern town of Gros-Islet to Vieux Fort in the South. "Several of our traditional community celebrations like the Friday night street parties, culturally rich Fish-Fries, our creole music and the like will be woven in the fabric of the redefined Jazz and Arts Festival and showcased in all their splendor in a made-for-export fresh and exciting way," says Deputy Director of Tourism Tracey Warner Arnold.

Performances at the Gaiety on Rodney Bay on May 8 & 9 will feature Trinidadian born Trumpet player Etienne Charles; Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca; contemporary jazz bands from the French Antilles Fal Frett and electric guitarist The John Scofield Uberjam Band. Main stage activities at the Pigeon Island National Landmark will begin on Friday May 10, with performances from R&B multi-platinum American singer, songwriter, dancer and actor Ginuwine; Saint Lucian songwriter and producer ACE and the iconic American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana The Jacksons.

Headlining the spanking new Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival is celebrated multiple Grammy-winner R&B mega star singer-songwriter, and record producer Robert Sylvester Kelly, more popularly known as R Kelly. Kelly has established his name on the music scene as the King of R&B with dozens of chart topping hits. Other musical hard-hitters include the legendary Ojays; acclaimed Caribbean maestro David Rudder, bandleader and mambo musician Tito Puente Jr.; celebrated guitarist and singer Ronald 'Boo' Hinkson and accomplished Senegalese-American hip-hop recording artist, songwriter and record producer Akon.

The 2013 festival which is presented by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and is supported by Platinum sponsor Digicel along with other Gold, Bronze and Collateral sponsors, culminates on the traditional Mother's Day, May 12. For more information on the full lineup for Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival 2013 along with show dates, venues and ticket sales, log onto www.stluciajazz.org.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia call 1-800 456-3984, or 1-800 4STLUCIA or visit www.saintlucianow.com

Caribbean documentary "Built to Last" debuts in London

built to last documentary filmLONDON, United Kingdom, August 3, 2012 - Days before hundreds of millions of people around the world witness the outstanding skills of the Caribbean's athletes, a documentary about the spirit of region's people will be unveiled in London.

"Built To Last", produced by the Barbadian production company Studio Caribe, follows the amazing Caribbean men and women competing in a range of Olympic, Paralympic and non-Olympic sports whose stories of success defy the odds stacked against them.

The documentary screens ahead of the highly anticipated track sprints this weekend at the London Summer Olympic Games. It was commissioned by the Caribbean Export Development Agency as part of the London Engage Initiative to help take Caribbean excellence to the world... read more

FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2012

Do the Reggae: Brooklyn Film Series Celebrates Jamaica's 50th Anniversary

BAMcinématek presents Do the Reggae, a 14-film series celebrating Jamaica's unique and widely influential musical tradition and the 50th anniversary of the nation's independence. The film series will take place on August 2-6, 2012. BAM is located at the Peter Jay Sharp Building at 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

Focusing on vintage films from 1971 to 1983, the series opens with the Trenchtown-set Rockers (1978), Ted Bafaloukos' rousing Rasta adaptation of De Sica's The Bicycle Thief. Also screening are seminal nonfiction exploration Land of Look Behind by Alan Greenberg, three parts of the British series Deep Roots Music, Jeremy Marre's Roots Rock Reggae, and possibly the earliest feature film on reggae, Horace Ové's Reggae. The series is named after Toots and the Maytals' eponymous song—the first to use the word "reggae."

The series closes on Jamaican Independence Day (August 6) with OnePeople, the country's official 50th anniversary doc, premiering simultaneously in Kingston and London. There will be a live performance by Deadly Dragon Sound System, featuring legendary DJ Ranking Joe and special guests.

FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Stars Converge on A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway

Celebrities Danny Glover, Delroy Lindo, Eriq La Salle, Sinbad, Boris Kodjoe and Rhonda Ross together with Robert Greenblatt, President of NBC, caught Streetcar Named Desire stars and producer Stephen Byrd backstage last night at the Broadhurst Theater. The Tennessee Williams' classic play is headed into its final performances; it is set to close on Sunday, July 22.

Backstage at Streetcar 11 Jul 12—Delroy Lindo, Eriq La Salle, Robert Greenblatt, President of NBC, Danny Glover and Sinbad join A Streetcar Named Desire star Blair Underwood backstage at the Broadhurst Theatre on Wednesday. Streetcar closes on Sunday, July 22. (Credit: Lisa Pacino/Under the Duvet Productions, NY)

Backstage at Streetcar 11 Jul 12-4— A Streetcar Named Desire stars Daphne Rubin-Vega and Nicole Ari Parker (c) are joined by Boris Kodjoe, Danny Glover, Sinbad, Robert Greenblatt, President of NBC, Eriq La Salle and Delroy Lindo backstage at the Broadhurst Theatre on Wednesday as the show heads into its final performances. Streetcar closes on Sunday, July 22. (Credit: Lisa Pacino/Under the Duvet Productions, NY)

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012

World tour for 'Best of Reggae Film Festival'

The Jamaica Reggae Film Festival (RFF) will begin its 2012 World Tour with 'The Best of the Reggae Film Festival'.

The 12-day event will commence on May 18 at the Drum Festival in Birmingham, UK. This event will screen seven films including RFF 2011 UNESCO Honour Award winner Bob Marley: Making of a Legend, the documentary by Jamaican award-winning actress Esther Anderson, who will attend in person to introduce her film.

The event will present the UK premiere of, Red Amber Green by director Christopher Byfield, winner of the Cine Jamaica Best Short Film Award at the April 2012 festival.

Other films scheduled are the 2011 Best Feature Film Rocksteady - The Movie co-starring David Hinds of Steel Pulse, the 2011 Best Documentary Fire In Babylon about the victorious West Indies cricket team and We The Ragamuffin, a classic rare gem by Jamaican-born British film-maker Julian Henriques - winner of Best Soundtrack 2012... read more

MAY 2012

The Anancy Festival 2012 - Four Cities. Four Events: Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, Washington DC And Kingston, June 9, 2012

Anancy FestivalThe Anancy Festival is a celebration of Caribbean cultural heritage and designed with particular appeal to children and teenagers curious about the Caribbean. Anancy (or Anansi) is the West African trickster hero of numerous folk tales that are popular across the Caribbean, indeed popular throughout the African Diaspora. This clever and conniving character is familiar to millions of people around the world and an appropriate icon for the festival's blend of Caribbean culture on a platform geared for children and adolescents. Here are the locations for this year Anancy Festival 2012.

Pembroke Pines/Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,
June 9th, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Southwest Broward Regional Library
7300 Pines Boulevard, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
Admission: Free

Washington, DC
June 9th, 10:00 am-2:00 pm
MLK Library
901 G Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
Admission: Free

Orlando, Florida:
June 9th, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The Princess Theater
15 W. First St. Sanford, FL 32771
Door Prize: $100 Gift Certificate
Admission"FREE to children under the age of 2yrs, Children over 2yrs up to 18yrs is $3 and Adults $5

This event is Sponsored by Jamaicans.com


Leonie Forbes Film Fest
Four Films! Three Directors! One Star!
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Medgar Evers College
1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

NEW YORK: The vision of some of the Caribbean's most prolific filmmakers join in a New York City celebration of the illustrious career of legendary Jamaican actress, Leonie Forbes. Caribbean Classics - Leonie Forbes Film Fest features work from Lennie Little-White (Jamaica), Andrew Millington (Barbados), and Frances-Anne Solomon (Trinidad & Tobago), and takes place at Medgar Evers College on Saturday, May 5, 2012.
A celebration of the artistry of one the Caribbean's most acclaimed actresses of stage and screen via the work of three of the region's most prolific filmmakers.

What My Mother Told Me

2:00pm - Frances-Anne Solomon, dir. (Trinidad & Tobago) A journey towards self-discovery forces a young woman to meet her mother, whom she thought had abandoned her as a child.

April 21, Bronx - April 22, Brooklyn

caribe fete EVERYBODY'S, the Caribbean-American Magazine, launches its 2012 Entertainment Series (annual Caribe Fete Events) this weekend in New York City with the presentation of the thrilling Jamaican play, "Jamaica Farewell," starring Debra Ehrhardt. Direct from performances of the sizzling play last week in San Francisco, Ehrhardt brings Jamaica Farewell on Saturday, April 21, 8pm to Philip Sousa, 3750 Baychester Ave., Bronx, NY and Sunday, April 22, 4pm to Tropical Paradise Ballroom, 1367 Utica Ave., Brooklyn, NY.

Jamaica Farewell has received rave reviews in the international media such as The New York Times, Washington Post and Toronto Star. "Powerful ... with wit and a melodic Jamaican lilt," says The New Yorker Magazine of Jamaica Farewell.

Tickets are $42 in advance and available online at www.everybodysmag.com. For more information call (718) 941-1879 or visit www.everybodysmag.com

Jamaica Farewell is the first of several events EVERYBODY'S will present during the spring, summer and autumn. All events will salute Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago on their 50th anniversary of independence.


viva sandy bakerNew York, NY (BlackNews.com) -- For the first time, Sandy Baker who has a long standing brand of art-to-wear jewelry bearing her name in sterling silver with rich unique organic inlays will exhibit her collection at Wholesalecrafts.com's upcoming ACRE show in Las Vegas from June 2 to June 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
ACRE is a juried show of American and Canadian wholesale artists seeking to expand their markets and to connect and do business with retailers that have an appreciation for high quality handcrafted goods. This show is unique in that the all professional designers themselves will be in attendance. Baker was the first Black to boldly enter the jewelry industry decades ago as designer and manufacturer. Her work can be seen in the following books - "500 Earrings - New Directions in Contemporary Jewelry", "Brilliance! Masterpieces of the American Jewelry Design Council" and "500 Gemstone Jewels".

Baker's love of world cultures inspires her work and the use of non-traditional combinations of materials. The rich variety of natural materials includes South Sea abalone, fresh water pearls, non-endangered sponge coral, marble, mother of pearl and horn. Baker plies her Art for the majority of women in America-the ones with jobs, families and busy lives. "The working woman is my specialty," Baker declares. "She wants engaging jewelry that can be worn through the day and into the evening. She has an educated eye for good design and wants to make a personal style statement."

The Sandy Baker brand is known for bold, modern, fluid clean lined mini sculptures. Her style is described as casual elegance that is appealing to the eye and fashionably timeless. The highlights of her extraordinary vision are designs for the front and back of the ear. During the day a more conservative look is obtained while saving the removable "jazz stems" to be slipped on as a busy woman moves to a more festive appearance later. Other designs are structured for women who spend a lot of time on the phone and don't want to remove their earrings every time they take a call. Baker says her customer is always on the move, so all pieces are designed to be easy to wear and comfortable. Baker, never one to rest on her laurels, continues to do what she does like nobody else. Over the years Baker has curved a distinctive niche in all corners of the globe.
Her work is available primarily at better gift shops, art galleries, museum stores, jewelry stores and upscale women's specialty shops. For more information, visit www.sandybakerjewelry.com

First Annual Los Angeles Caribbean Culture Festival – June 28-30, 2012

Regulaz Entertainment, Inc. is proud to announce the 1st Annual Los Angeles Culture Festival, three (3) days of events featuring the unique tradition of "Carnival! Caribbean Style!" This celebration of our Caribbean culture will feature splendid colorful costumes, various island culinary dishes, arts & crafts, and pulsating rhythms of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Chutney, Kompas, Zouke, Punta, Meringue, and Steel-band music.

Additionally, as our community celebrates Caribbean Heritage Month, there will be special tribute to The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, the mecca of all Caribbean Carnivals, as they are about to celebrate their 50th Anniversary of Independence.

Regulaz Entertainment invites everyone to experience first-hand the colorful pagentry, tantalizing cuisines, live entertainment, and melodius sounds of the Caribbean, with these five (5) exciting events:

•Thur-June 28, 2012: "Welcome Lime" at the Caribbean Treehouse (7pm – Until)

• Fri-June 29, 2012: International Soca Awards (iSA) Ceremony at the Hilton Universal City (5pm – 10pm)

• Fri-June 29, 2012: iSA After-Party at the Hilton Universal City (10:30pm – 2am)

• Sat-June 30, 2012: Parade of the Bands on the world-renowned Hollywood Boulevard (11am – 2pm)

• Sat-June 30, 2012: Regulaz Entertainment After-Carnival Fete on Hollywood Boulevard (9:30pm – 3am)

The 1st Annual Los Angeles Culture Festival will be a history-making and proud endeavour for Regulaz Entertainment as we introduce a unique experience to our Hollywood residents and businesses. Our vision is to work hard and collaborate with multi-ethnic groups to introduce them to our Caribbean cultures.

To learn more about sponsorship, vendor, and general information for the 1st Annual Los Angeles Culture Festival.

Please call 310.800.3272 or visit www.regulazentertainment.com

New York African Film Festival

The 19th New York African Film Festival, “21st Century: The Homecoming,” will run from April 11 through 17 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

APRIL 5           WNYC Jerome L. Greene Space

April 11-17      Film Society of Lincoln Center

April 19            Institute of African Studies, Columbia University

May 4-5            Maysles Cinema Institute

May 25-28      BAM cinematek @ BAM Rose Cinemas

Details to come.