Africa Salon Festival Brings African Culture to New Haven, Connecticut, USAscare d


Just A Band, a band from Kenya, will be headlining a free concert on Saturday at Battell Chapel, 400 College St., New Haven, as part of a series of programs, performances, and artists collectively called “Africa Salon” hosted by the Yale African Initiative at Yale University.

Just A Band, a band from Kenya, will be headlining a free concert on Saturday at Battell Chapel, 400 College St., New Haven, as part of a series of programs, performances, and artists collectively called “Africa Salon” hosted by the Yale African Initiative at Yale University.

NEW HAVEN — The Yale African Initiative will host the first “Africa Salon” featuring a festival filled with African arts, culture, music, and contemporary artists at the Afro-American Cultural Center in New Haven Friday and Saturday.
The festival will highlight African music, fashion, dance, art, film, literature, and much more, giving people an opportunity to learn about the culture.

“The idea was to allow students, faculty and others in the community to engage directly with other contemporary African artists,” said Ifeanyi Awachie, a Woodbridge Fellow at the Yale African Initiative for Yale University.

“It’s the first one of its kind,” she said.

After more than six months of planning, the event will include some of the top artists from Africa, starting on Friday at 8 p.m. with a panel moderated by Michael Veal, a professor of music and African American studies. There will also be a performance by the urban, contemporary Afrobeat Yale dance troupe called Dzana.

Saturday will bring an abundance of panels accompanied by performances or visual presentations.

“The lineup for this weekend is above and beyond anything that we expected,” said Uma Ramiah, director of communications for Yale World Fellows. “It’s really high energy. People are willing to fly from all over the world.”

Saturday morning events start at 10 a.m. with “The African Imagination and The Western Market” featuring conversations with Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, the founder and publisher for Cassava Republic Press in Nigeria and Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, an author and journalist from Nigeria.

At 3 p.m., a program called “Pan-African Storytellers in Fashion” features the fashion of 54 Kingdoms. By 4 p.m., there will be film screenings featuring selections from The Johannesburg Pavilion Film.

Awachie, who helped start the planning back in October, wanted to start an educational conversation about African culture and have others experience it through performances, readings, and films and “have deep discussions in a lively forum.”

Saturday night, a handful of African musicians will perform. Artists include, Just A Band, from Kenya; Jean Grae, of South Africa; Kae Sun of Ghana; and Fela Akustic, of Nigeria. The concert is free and will be held at Battell Chapel, 400 College St.

“It’s quite a huge deal,” Awachie said of the concert. “Four acts who are all pretty well known in their own right, sharing a stage.”

Awachie said she’s excited to hear them all perform, but in particular is looking forward to the performance of Just A Band.

“They’re steadily gaining traction,” she said. “They’re becoming more and more well known internationally.”

For more information about the Africa Salon and to view the schedule, visit www.africasalong.org. All programming will be held at the Afro-American Cultural Center, 211 Park St., New Haven and the concert will be held at Battell Chapel, 400 College St., New Haven.

“African art is not just masks, there is so much more to it,” Ramiah said.

Source:Farrah Duffany (Twitter: @FollowingFarrah)|MyRecordJournal.com

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