TASTE OF SOUL 2015, LOS ANGELES (CA), OCTOBER 17TH 2015


Taste of Soul LA  2015 is one of the most anticipated events of the city as 300,000 plus residents flood the Baldwin-Hills Crenshaw area to taste American Soul food as well as various foods from the Carribean, South America and Africa. There are numerous radio-sponsored musical stages where renowned R&B Singers & groups such as Joe Thomas, Monica, Angie Stone, Mint Condition and Gospel singer Deitrick Haddon perform. You will also encounter craft vendors as well as different companies advertising their products and services.

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International celebrities from the area such as 90s female rap star Yo-Yo often come to support their community. Wolof Times staff including myself, Sunny Moore and Batani Khalfani were of course in attendance to enjoy the different festivities.

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Joe Thomas headlined the festival and was the last act to perform to the delight of the numerous females fans enthralled by his smooth voice and sex-appeal.

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Angie Thomas graced the audience with her soulful voice and inspiring conscious message backed by an array of sultry background singers.

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Mint Condition displayed their range as vocalists and musicians to the 90s nostalgics.

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Gospel singer Deitrick Haddon came in full-force with his massive choir backing him.

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The iconic Lula Washington Dance Theatre is located on Crenshaw Boulevard and took advantage of the event to showcase its dance talents which performed R&B, Ballet, Cuban and African dance routines for the event goers.

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The event had significant success and is a much needed financial boost to the local economy.

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DANCE & DRUM FESTIVAL, POMONA (CA), OCTOBER 9TH-11TH 2015


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The 4th Annual Dance & Drum Festival, organized by African Dance professor Jewel Jackson “Sista Jewel” also Director of African Soul International, is becoming increasingly popular with yearly attendees from California, Utah, New-York, Ohio etc…The festival took place at Cal Poly Pomona and featured master dance teachers from West Africa (Guinea, Senegal) and the Diaspora (USA, Cuba) including Youssouf Koumbassa, Mareme Faye, Jeffrey Page, Djeneba Sako, Mouminatou Camara, Babacar N’Diaye, Assane Konte and Djian Tie, with specialties in Guinean, Senegalese and Cuban dances.

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The dance classes were all accompanied by professional Djembe, Sabar and Conga players. There were professional as well as amateur dancers taking 1h30-2h long classes, three to four times a day. Some of these dancers also took part in Saturday night’s main event on stage which showcased dancing combined with acting, similarly to African Ballet or Broadway Theater.

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At the end of the main event, Sista Jewel took the time to thank African Dance pioneers within the community and nationwide for their contributions dating as far back as the 60s. Special recognitions were given to Nzingha Camara, Ndella Davis-Diassy, Mareme Faye, Mami Aleke and Assane Konte to name a few.

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The festival was a success and really emphasized a sense of community, education and respect for the elders and ancestors.

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JOSHUA TREE MUSIC FESTIVAL, JOSHUA TREE (CA), OCTOBER 8TH-11TH 2015


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The 2015 Joshua Tree Music Festival located near the Joshua Tree National Park was a colossal triumph, with the desert campground of less dense forests, bare rocks, lake with fauna as a backdrop. This was a weekend for dancing, conscious consumption, broadening, purging and enjoyment. This Music Festival celebrated the diversity and energy of art, crafts, bass, genres, sampled loops, echo-percussions and interactive stretching. Its vibrational frequency injected fire and sentiment into every soul vigorously holding attention until the very last serenade. The Festival presented Yoga, Chakra cleansing with essential oils, tuneful lyrists, soul catching rhythms and art work. Timbuktu State Art by Aly Kourouma (Senegal) displayed creations and illustrated dips of Afrocentric allegory. Timbuktu State’s oeuvre canvas paintings welded texture and bold mix of empowering abstracts. The music line-up was chockfull of musicians, one of the top liners being Daby Toure also from Senegal.

imageSuch a celestial voice, masterful guitar work and catchy melodies. From the first time hearing Daby Touré- the heart lud dubs along, head nodding to guitar and souls entrenched by the melodic hooks. Selections traveled to relationships, family, freedom, peace heaven, continents and cultures. Daby’s lyrics showcased sincerity, such an universal vibe. Easygoing pop fusion style!! He pinned ears back in the crowd. Great festival jam-packed of melodious vibrations skyrocketing the ethers.

Aminah Tolbert is a worldwide reporter and photographer, for Wolof Times.

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CATCH A FIRE TOUR 2015: DAMIAN & STEPHEN MARLEY, MORGAN HERITAGE, TARRUS RILEY, SUPERCAT ETC…, LOS ANGELES (CA), SEPTEMBER 27TH 2015


Damian Marley’s long-awaited tour finally took place in Los Angeles at the Greek Theater, a day after the All-Star line-up gave the city of Oakland a preview. The line-up included Stephen, Skip and Jo Mersa Marley, Black Am I, Reggae’s “other Royal Family” Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley and the Legendary Dancehall pioneer SuperCat who replaced Barrington Levy. The venue was packed and fans got a glimpse of different generations of musicians from the older seasoned veteran SuperCat, coming back after a long hiatus, to newcomer Skip Marley who emulates his grandfather Bob well in his voice, singing style and handling of the guitar.

imageBut of course Damian and Stephen were the highlights of the event and showed why they are the ones currently carrying the Marley torch very successfully.

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Jo Mersa Marley is reminiscent of a younger Stephen “Ragga” Marley with his strictly Dancehall style of music.

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Black Am I was in full-representation of Stephen Marley’s Ghetto Youths International Crew which also includes Jo Mersa his son.

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Tarrus Riley is now an Afrocentric force to be reckoned with in the Reggae industry. He is not shy of showcasing his R&B and Dancehall influences through reprises of Michael Jackson and Buju Banton songs, while performing.

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Morgan Heritage aka Reggae’s other Royal Family was also present and this tour shall help them promote their album which came out this year.

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SuperCat definitely showed that he’s a veteran of the game despite a long hiatus. He is nonetheless well-remembered in America thanks to his 90s Hip hop collaborations which are now classic hits.

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BAY AREA VIBEZ: DAMIAN & STEPHEN MARLEY, MORGAN HERITAGE, TARRUS RILEY, I-WAYNE, NAS, ALOE BLACC ETC…, OAKLAND (CA), SEPTEMBER 26-27TH 2015


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The Bay Area Vibez Festival, in its first year, boasted an unbelievable and eclectic line-up which included the acts from Damian Marley’s Catch A Fire Tour 2015 (Damian & Stephen Marley, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, SuperCat etc…) and Hip hop heavyweight NAS, as well as other R&B/Jazz/Blues artists such as Meshell Ndegecello, Aloe Blacc and FishBone. The venue was in an industrial port area which offered a scenic view of the city of San Francisco and the newly-built Oakland bridge.

The Festival featured one of the Best Hip Hop Freestylists ever: SuperNatural, working as a host and displaying his skills intermittently.

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The highlights of the Festival were of course Damian and Stephen Marley as well as the other acts from their tour due in Los Angeles the next day.

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Upcoming rising stars Skip Marley (Cedella’s son) and Ghetto Youths Crew Black Am I are regularly part of the line-up whenever Damian or Stephen Marley perform.

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Morgan Heritage, the other Reggae Royal Family was also featured.

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Legendary SuperCat reemerged after a long hiatus as one of the most energetic and entertaining artists of the line-up.

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Tarrus Riley has definitely become a Reggae Powerhouse with his sultry voice and dancehall and R&B influences. Not to mention that he is backed by Reggae’s most recognizable saxophonist in Dean Fraser.

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It was a delight watching I-Wayne perform his now classic and newest hits with his trademark high-pitched tone, on the smaller stage.

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Hip Hop Heavyweight NAS was part of the line-up and delivered a mesmerizing performance with his array of classic hits from the 90s to the 2000s much to the delight of Sunday’s Hip hop crowd. However, he surprisingly did not perform with Damian Marley though their collaborative album “Distant Relatives” is a modern Hip hop/Reggae classic.

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Established Blues and R&B/Jazz legends FishBone and  Meshell NDegecello as well as newcomers Blues singer Aloe Blacc and Techno/Club-influenced Reggae band The Courtney John Project contributed more to the eclecticism of this festival which fulfilled the musical fantasies of a very diverse crowd.

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YOUSSOU N’DOUR, NEW-YORK CITY (NY), NOVEMBER 1ST 2015


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Youssou N’Dour is and has been Senegal’s Ambassador of music since the 80s despite a quick recent hiatus in politics as minister of culture following his presidential bid in his country. Rolling Stone describes him as “perhaps the most famous singer alive” in Senegal and much of Africa. He has popularized the Senegalese music genre known as M’Balax. Youssou will be performing at Terminal 5 in NYC. You may obtain more info and purchase tickets here: http://www.terminal5nyc.com/event/896643/

JOSHUA TREE MUSIC FESTIVAL, JOSHUA TREE (CA), OCTOBER 8TH-11TH 2015


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The 10th  Annual Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival (JTMF) is happening October 8-11, in Joshua Tree, CA.
Merging its funky desert style with an internationally acclaimed lineup of musical artists, this three day (and four night) family-friendly festival is truly a global music experience. The festival melds the overwhelming spirit of desert freedom, with powerful music from around the world, to create a lighthearted oasis for music lovers. Magically magnificent art installations, a robust Kidsville schedule, the heavily shaded Music Bowl, a full spectrum of yoga classes from sunrise to sunset, 27 different music playshops and didjeridu classes, late night Astronomy theatre, and a World Market further inspire, intrigue and invite festival goers. Discover your new favorite band and dozens of new friends in the shadows of the otherworldly Joshua Tree National Park.  The fall line-up features the hip swaying positive sounds of Xavier Rudd & the United Nations (AUS), the Brooklynbased, horn-filled freight train of a funkestra that is Turkuaz, the rollicking ‘Ozark Stomp’ of the Ben Miller Band, Daby Toure’s (Senegal) soulful global sonic mixture, the raw funk of Ronkat Spearman’s Katdelic, steamy tropical beats by Boogat (Argentina), the soul-tastic stylings of Chali 2na (J5) and the Funk Hunters (Canada), global superstar DJs Marques Wyatt and Adam Freeland (UK), and the belting rock and roll anthems of Lee Gallagher & the Hallelujah.  Twenty eight artists representing more than 10 countries, with just one band live at a time so you don’t miss a beat. An eclectic line-up, artfully sequenced throughout the weekend for maximum impact.  For the full line-up and festival info, log onto:  http://www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com
The Joshua Tree Music Festivals (there are two each year, with the 14th Annual Spring JTMF happening May 12-15, 2016) are intimate, community-centric, artistically infused and highly participatory affairs. They capture the DIY funkiness of the high desert, turning rusted junk into striking art, old trailers into stages, and a shaded stretch of campground on the outskirts of the infamous national park into a family friendly global music experience. Focusing on up-and-coming artists, the festiva lhas a penchant for picking about-to-break names, from Deer Tick to Trombone Shorty, Edward Sharpe to Brett Dennen, the Avett Brothers to Toubab Krewe, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Elle King, Chicano Batman, Trampled by Turtles, Greensky Bluegrass, Valerie June and more.
JTMF is produced by a family of friends and funsters convinced that music is the soul of life, and that art enriches and saves lives. The festival is constructed around one Music bowl, with two alternating stages. “It’s the combination of the magical setting, the music and the people that leads to epiphanic moments. We’ve created a space that enables folks to spend more time together with the ability to not miss any of the music.” Those ‘shared experiences’ are where you find the magic. Kidsville is action packed, and people rate JTMF as one of the few festivals that truly caters to the entire family. There are no ‘nosebleed’ sections, white tents, long lines or yellow-jacketed security details. Instead find instant community with nonstop interaction, as folks gather under the billowing shade cloth (over 30,000 square feet of shade flying over the stages and audience), while soaking up the sonic celebrations of the inspired artists. This intimate affair is splashed with ‘conversation stopping’ golden sunsets and star-filled desert night skies.
The desert is freedom, music is power, and community is crucial. Tap into this magical trifecta and get your JTMF tickets now! http://www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com/tickets.html
Full festival line up, schedule, and more information at the following sites: Website  |   Facebook  |  Instagram   |  Pinterest   |  Graphics   |   Hi Res Images

CATCH A FIRE TOUR 2015, LOS ANGELES (CA), SEPTEMBER 27TH 2015


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In celebration of what would have been Bob Marley’s 70th birthday year, his
son Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley announced the “Catch A Fire Tour 2015”. The
stacked line-up features some of the world’s greatest reggae artists
including “Jr. Gong”, Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Barrington Levy, Morgan
Heritage, Tarrus Riley, with special guests Jo Mersa, Black Am I, Skip
Marley and Jmere Morgan.

You may obtain more info and purchase tickets here: http://www.greektheatrela.com/events/event_details.php?id=3144

BAY AREA VIBZ, OAKLAND (CA), SEPTEMBER 26TH-27TH 2015


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Check the Bay Area Vibz Reggae Festival with its strong line-up:

Bassnectar
Damian “Jr.Gong” Marley
NAS
Aloe Blacc w/ Sankofa Sound
Stephen “Ragga” Marley
Meshell Ndegeocello
Paper Diamond
Morgan Heritage
The Grouch & Eligh
Cut Chemist
Tarrus Riley
Fishbone
Richie Spice
Mod Sun
Fiji
I-Wayne
Jo Mersa
Krooked Treez
Black Am-I
Jemere Morgan
Skip Marley
Forrest Day
The Courtney John Project
Queen Omega
I-Live
Z Trip
More Artists to be Announced

You may get more info and purchase tickets here: http://www.bayareavibez.com/index.php

BHAKTI FEST, JOSHUA TREE (CA), SEPTEMBER 9TH-12TH 2015


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Bhakti Fest reached its peak attendance since its inception in 2009 though there weren’t powerhouse World music bands such as Salif Keita’s in the line-up this year, mainly local acts as opposed to international. The festival took place in its usual desertic setting in the Yucca Mountains, in the Joshua Tree desert to be more specific. Thousands of Yoga adepts and Hindi culture enthusiasts traveled from all over the globe to camp and enjoy Yoga classes (slow or fast-paced, all levels) and workshops from world-class trained experts. Traditional Kirtan music or fused with modern music (Hip hop, Reggae, Dance) was played by various bands and DJs. There were healthy vegan food and artistic craft from local state vendors. Musical performances lasted until 3AM and some food and craft vendors also remained open until then. The festival was a definite success and will feature more eclectic and dynamic acts as well as a stronger line-up in the future, per its new production management.

Wolof Times was in attendance and our lovely reporter Sunny Moore graced the cover of the festival’s program.image

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ANKARA LOS ANGELES FESTIVAL (AFLA), LOS ANGELES (CA), SEPTEMBER 11TH-12TH 2015


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If you weren’t at Ankara Festival Los Angeles 2015, you missed out on a wonderful cultural experience delving into different parts of Africa with high-end and ready-to-wear fashion, amazing dancers, musicians, food and most of all: BEAUTIFUL AFRICAN PEOPLE IN BEAUTIFUL ANKARA CLOTHING. The melanin was definitely on fleek and so were all of the ankara prints and patterns. The energy in the atmosphere was on a higher vibratory plane than any other fashion show. You were first introduced to the show by flags from different African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya. Seeing the different flags drew a sense of pride. For the fashion show, down the runway was an eclectic mix of models and designers such as Sania Josiah, Kabeh Ojo, Treasure Eutopia, Fantabela and Tinz, my favorite line which consisted of well tailored suits for men and modernized shirt dresses for women all in Dashiki print, everything in the line you wanted to have in your closet. In between some segments, the house was rocked by rhythmic beats and lyrics from African music artists such as Meaku. The crowd was also entertained by dancers shaking it to the drum beat like only our people know how. There were also a couple of comedy skits, one in which was a “Coming to America” themed skit that involved twins. The most amazing part of the show was the energy and the people, proud African people shining bright in every aspect, like always. It was a very well-organized journey that you didn’t want to end. The next Ankara Fest will be in New York, in May 2016! Will you be there? I know I will!

Batani Khalfani, reporter and photographer for Wolof Times.

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DELL-P, VOLTAGE LOUNGE, PHILADELPHIA (PA), SEPTEMBER 11TH 2015


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Who is Dell-P??? I was recently at Voltage Lounge in Center City Philadelphia, where I had the great privilege to come across one of the Dopest and Livest Hip Hop Artists called Dell-P. His song delivery leaves the audience no choice other than feeling the passion, anger, love and rawness of his lyrics. As he performed, I glanced around at the crowd, and all were doing the classic Hip Hop Head Bob in unison, which was awesome.

Dell-P is the true definition of Hip Hop. A West Philadelphia native who isn’t afraid to create his own lane and refuses to conform to the new waves of the industry . Dell-P has a lot of great things currently happening for him as well as on the horizon.

Dell-P has performed at many premier locations in the Philadelphia area including the TLA and the Wells Fargo Center. His musical talents have granted him the opportunity to open up for hip-hop acts such as DMX, Slum Village, Rich Boy, Fabolous, and State Property. With this resume, there is no question as to why XXL Magazine and This Is 50.Com have named Dell-P one of the best kept secrets of Hip Hop…

Dell-P dropped his new project this summer on the WHOMAG/SONY Distribution imprint, and from the comments on iTunes his project “A New Beginning” is exactly what he’s got in store for Hip-Hop as he sees it. There are some like minds out there hungry and “A New Beginning” feeds them properly. Once you take a listen to the music, you will understand why Dell-P has been called “the best kept secret of Hip Hop” by XXL Magazine… Feel free to follow Dell-P on IG & TWITTER @DELLP215

I firmly believe that Dell-P is an artist that every true Hip Hop lover should definitely support by purchasing his albums and attending his shows, given the current state of Hip hop.  If you thought this art form was dead, Dell-P is here to let you know its a New Beginning…

Khadijah Yayefall Ndiaye is a Worldwide reporter and photographer, based in Philadelphia, for Wolof Times.

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ANKARA FESTIVAL LOS ANGELES (AFLA), LOS ANGELES (CA), SEPTEMBER 11TH-12TH 2015


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Ankara Festival Los Angeles (AFLA) organization is hosting its 6th annual
event to promote African culture and modern arts in Hollywood, CA. The
event showcases various aspects of African culture through fashion, music
and entertainment. It features both local and international participants
which include: fashion designers, musicians, dancers, comedians and actors.
You can get more information and purchase tickets here: http://www.ankarafestla.com

THE WEST COAST LOVES SEAN PRICE-A TRIBUTE, LOS ANGELES (CA), AUGUST 28TH 2015


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This event was organized to pay tribute to one of the best Hip Hop Lyricists ever Sean Price aka Sean P, half of Heltah Skeltah and member of the Boot Camp Clik…Rest in Peace! The event featured a DJ who played classic Sean P and East Coast tracks throughout  the night (9pm-4am) and various local MCs also performed. There was a food caterer, vendors with Sean P apparel and CDs as well as an outdoor projector displaying the Brooklyn/Brownsville rapper videos. The Hip Hop venue, located in Chinatown, was punctuated with graffitis and offered a Basement-like/Underground atmosphere with an East Coast flavor enhanced by the DJ’s tracks. All proceeds from the event will go to the deceased MC’s family. Sean Price was an enigmatic real MC with lyrical skills who never compromised his music and was never afraid to speak his mind. Hip hop has suffered a great loss and he will most surely be missed.

Donations can be made to Sean Price’s family via this Duck Down Music sponsored link: http://www.crowdrise.com/seanp

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JE SUIS SOUL, HARLEM (NY), DECEMBER 5TH 2015


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FEATURING MANU DIBANGO, BEN L’ONCLE SOUL AND MONOPHONICS, AND LES NUBIANS
In  interconnected global village, the soul of today’s musical soupcon is rooted in the multiple strands of the African diaspora. This weekend celebrates Africa’s gift of soul and its musical manifestations throughout the Americas and France.

This weekend of events celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the Jazz Á Vienne Festival. Founded in 1980, Jazz à Vienne is one of the world’s premiere music festivals. This annual, three week festival stretches from mid June to July and features a mix of gospel, soul,
funk, blues, groove and, of course, jazz. In July 2014, the Festival celebrated the Apollo Theater’s 80th anniversary in its 7,500 seat Roman amphitheater.

Featured artists include:
Legendary Cameroon saxophonist, Manu Dibango, best known for his hit “Soul Makossa;” French soul superstar Ben l’Oncle Soul performing with San Francisco’s foremost retro soul group, Monophonics and Les Nubians, the Grammy nominated duo whose unique mix of neo soul, hip- hop and African music is epitomized in their most recent hit, Nü Revolution.

Location: Apollo Mainstage
Tickets: $28.50, $43.50, $53.50, $68.50
In person at the Apollo Theater Box Office
By phone call Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000
Online at http://www.Ticketmaster.com
For Groups Call (212) 531-5355

DRY DIGGINGS, PLACERVILLE (CA), BEER, CAMPING & MUSIC FESTIVAL, SEPTEMBER 25TH-27TH 2015


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New Reggae Festival created by the organizers of the Cali Roots Festival. You can get more info and purchase tickets here: http://www.drydiggingsfestival.com

LINE-UP:

DIRTY HEADS
TRIBAL SEEDS
COLLIE BUDDZ
NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE
J BOOG
DON CARLOS
STICK FIGURE
ZION I
MIKE LOVE
THROUGH THE ROOTS
JOSH HEINRICHS
HIRIE
MAKUA ROTHMAN
SEEDLESS
THRIVE
INNA VISION
LEILANI WOLFGRAMM
MYSTIC ROOTS
ARISE ROOTS
SKANKS ROOTS PROJECT
BRODI NICHOLAS

JOSHUA TREE MUSIC FESTIVAL, JOSHUA TREE (CA), OCTOBER 8TH-11TH 2015


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The Joshua Tree Music Festivals are produced by a family of friends and funsters convinced that music is the soul of life, and that art enriches and saves lives.
That experience is enhanced when embraced in the great outdoors amongst fellow music lovers. Better still in an intimate setting, where the distinction between artist and audience is blurred, and a passionate performance can be truly relished in close proximity to the stage. Add FREE water to patrons, no service charges on reasonably priced tickets, and well … let the games begin. You can purchase tickets here: http://www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com

REGGAE NIGHT: BOB MARLEY’S ROOTS, ROCK, REGGAE – A 70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, HOLLYWOOD BOWL (CA) – AUGUST 16TH 2015


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Bob Marley’s 70th Birthday Celebration at the historical Hollywood Bowl was sold out, which shows how influential and relevant this cultural icon still is with older and newer generations. Bob’s children Ziggy and Stephen, who were trained with their off and on stage appearances by their legendary father, can be held as responsible for keeping their father’s legacy alive with the newer generation. This through their music and mentoring of younger stars Damian, Julian and Kymani. Ziggy and Stephen strictly performed their father’s classic songs such as Redemption Song, Iron Lion, Crazy Balhead, One Love just to name a few, much to the crowd’s delight that knew all of the words. The legacy of Bob will also be kept alive with future generations with grandsons Jomersa (Stephen’s son) and Skip (Cedella’s son) Marley who also performed briefly. This was clearly a celebration as the place was jam-packed and live with great crowd participation. Ziggy and Stephen were seemingly very excited and proud to represent their father. The Skatalites and Inner Circle were great choices in opening the event as they also represented the Ska to Reggae transition from the 60s to the 70s which Bob Marley was a part of.

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BHAKHTI FEST, JOSHUA TREE (CA), SEPTEMBER 9TH-14TH 2015


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Bhakti Fest is the premier yoga, sacred music, and personal growth festival in the United States. Since 2009, for six days each September, we have featured the best Yoga Teachers, Kirtan Musicians, and Workshop Leaders in the world. We are part of the Center for Spiritual Studies, a 501c3 nonprofit that supports charities across the globe, mainly in India. Proceeds generated each year, after we cover our costs, go to our chosen causes. We accept donations to help us provide extraordinary festivals and give support to those less fortunate than us. We invite you to view our gallery. We hope to see you in the Bhav!

You can view our gallery and purchase tickets here: http://www.bhaktifest.com

REGGAE NIGHT: BOB MARLEY’S ROOTS, ROCK, REGGAE – A 70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, HOLLYWOOD BOWL (CA) – AUGUST 16TH 2015


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For this year’s reggae party, sons Ziggy and Stephen Marley lead the celebration of their legendary father’s 70th birthday and the best of the roots rock tradition. They will be joined by Inner Circle and the Skatalites with KCRW’s Jeremy Sole as a host. Tickets can be purchased on: http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/tickets/reggae-night-bob-marleys-roots-rock-reggae-70th-birthday-celebration/2015-08-16

STEPHEN MARLEY, GHETTO YOUTHS CREW, REGGAE ON THE RIVER, JULY 31ST-AUGUST 2ND 2015


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Stephen Marley was definitely the highlight of the festival and delivered by far the best musical and vocal performance with his trademark Marley lionesque voice. He delivered classic Bob tunes such as “Iron Lion” and his newest hits “Rock stone” and “No cigarette smoking in my room” much to the great delight of the crowd. His protégés known as the Ghetto Youths Crew performed before him with Wayne Marshall somewhat reminiscent of Dennis Brown (Bob’s favorite artist) in looks and voice and rendering a funny version of “Southern California” which revolved around Ganja and police search, Jo Mersa (Stephen’s son) is more on the Dancehall Ragga side while Skip (Cedella’s son) is definitely very reminiscent of his grandfather Bob and uncle Stephen in his singing style and guitar-playing. This was definitely the event that showcased the next Marley generation.

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CHAM, CECILE, TARRUS RILEY, REGGAE ON THE RIVER, GARBERVILLE (CA), JULY 31ST-AUGUST 2ND 2015


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Baby Cham now officially Cham performed for the first time at Reggae on The River 20 years ago and arguably had the best performance of the Festival with his gruffy voice, hyper dance & energy as well as lyrical ability. Cecile gave a Rihanna/Beyonce-like sexy performance much to the delight of the male audience but also addressed female relationship issues. Tarrus Riley is a true singer and did that to the best of his ability with conscious and love lyrics, while acknowledging his 90s Dancehall roots. He also paid homage to the greats such as Michael Jackson with his rendition of “Billie Jean”.

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COLLIE BUDZ, ALBOROSIE, REGGAE ON THE RIVER, GARBERVILLE (CA), JULY 31ST-AUGUST 2ND 2015


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Collie Budz delivered a great performance setting things off on Friday night while Alborosie closed out the Festival majestically and beautifully on Sunday night, proving Reggae transcends all racial boundaries as both artists are able to sing in Patois. Collie Budz sang his Dancehall anthems “Come around”, “Blind to you Haters” and enchanting rendition of Peter Tosh’s “Legalize it” which all give him much street credibility and respect. Alborosie is a true and energetic entertainer with his trademark thick dreadlocks which nearly touch the ground, he also utilizes them to poke fun at the crowd by using them as a firing weapon or rope which makes his own musicians laugh. His voice is lionesque and reminiscent of Buju Banton’s. Alborosie delivered great renditions of “Police in Helicopter” & “Crazy Baldhead” and even sang Italian opera, showing his range as an artist and celebrating his roots.

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EMMANUEL JAL, BASSEKOU KOUYATE & NGONI BA, REGGAE ON THE RIVER, GARBERVILLE (CA), JULY 31ST-AUGUST 2ND 2015


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The 31st Annual Reggae Festival featured an international and eclectic cast of artists from African countries such as the Sudan and Mali. Sudanese rapper and spoken word artist Emmanuel Jal offered conscious radical lyrics meant to awaken the crowd regarding the socio-political issues of his country which include war, violence and child exploitation with his poignant life story as a child soldier and refugee. He received numerous accolades and crowd participation. The Malian Family Ensemble which featured husband and wife Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba enchanted the crowd with their original Malian Blues singing, guitar and percussion using traditional instruments. You could clearly see and hear the African influence on Blues and Rock N’ Roll with the Jimmy Hendrix-like guitar-playing as well as sultry voice of Ngoni Ba. The youngest members of the Family ensemble also performed so well and energetically at the traditional guitars and talking drums that the crowd demanded an encore.

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KING JAMMYS, DON CARLOS, THE CONGOS, REGGAE ON THE RIVER, GARBERVILLE (CA), JULY 31ST-AUGUST 2ND 2015


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The 31st Annual Reggae On The River, longest running American Reggae Festival, featured 70s & 80s Conscious Roots powerhouses such as King Jammys Sound System, Don Carlos Ex Black Uhuru lead singer and founder as well as The Congos. These acts proved once again Reggae and consciousness are timeless and social issues of those times are still relevant. The Festival organizers did well mobilizing groups of different eras and geographical areas to please the diverse festival attendees.

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KYMANI MARLEY, REGGAE ON THE MOUNTAIN, TOPANGA (CA), JULY 25TH-26TH 2015


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Kymani Marley now a major Reggae Force to be reckoned with combined with being a member of Reggae’s First Family of course, closed out the Festival as he was its highlight. Kymani mainly focused on promoting his latest album Maestro but of course had to deliver some of his father’s classics such as Iron Lion and Redemption Song much to the delight of the crowd. He is also encouraging his son KJ to perform and brought his other sons on stage during his performance of Bob’s “One Love”. KJ Marley did a great job hyping up the stunned crowd with his energy and new school dancehall/hip hop influenced gangsta lyrics.KJ Marley is clearly a star on the rise.

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REGGAE ON THE MOUNTAIN, TOPANGA (CA), JULY 25TH-26TH 2015


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In its sixth year, the festival has made tremendous progress in regard to its organization and expansion to 2 stages, as well as implementation of Food and Art & Clothing sections. The line-up wasn’t as impressive as previous years though boasting superstars Kymani Marley, Alborosie and Marlon Asher on Sunday. Saturday featured mostly locals including Quinto Sole, JahGun, Ras Rebel etc…The beauty of this festival resides in its sense of close-knit community and lack of crowdiness and scenery up in the Topanga mountains.

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Fitness is 80% Nutrition and 20% Exercise! If you’re interested in losing weight, check: https://woloftimes.wordpress.com/herbalife-fitness-nutrition/

SIERRA NEVADA WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL, BOONVILLE (CA), JUNE 19TH-21ST 2015


imageLuciano was definitely the highlight, in my eyes, of the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival with his mesmerizing Dennis Brown-inspired voice which has the power to draw tears of joy or compassion from audience members including myself. His message is of world peace, love and unity and he is very conscious of world political issues, fights for freedom and poverty. He also made the crowd laugh with his artistic and acrobatic dance moves and comedic acts close to stand-up comedy with funny autobiographical story-telling.

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SIERRA NEVADA WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL, BOONVILLE (CA), JUNE 19TH-21ST 2015


imageThe Sierra Nevada World Music Festival took place as usual in the very rural setting of Boonville, surprisingly only  a couple of hours north of San Francisco but well-attended. The festival featured Reggae powerhouses such as Third World, Steel Pulse and Luciano to name a few. The festival also featured newcomers from a variety of places worldwide such as my fellow Senegalese countryman Meta and his Cornerstones, ex Ziggy back-up singer Jesse Royal, St-Lucia’s own Taj Weekes and a personal favorite of mine Nattali Rize & Notis. Nattali Rize was part of the opening acts and seemed like a cross between Nelly Furtado with her beautiful high-pitched voice, and Ani Di Franco in her musical talents at the guitar and conscious delivery, not to mention she’s a hand drum virtuoso. There were numerous performances throughout the venue by local African dance troops and numerous food, art and clothing vendors as well as campers from all over the country. Many rejoiced at the idea at continuing the party at the “Dancehall” with the Bay’s top sound systems which featured icons such as Yellowman.

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NEW-ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL, NEW-ORLEANS (LA), APRIL 24TH-MAY 3RD 2015


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The 2015 New-Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival featured a plethora of artists as its name suggests, ranging from local legendary local Jazz bands such as Dirty Dozens to mainstream acts such as Macy Gray, John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Lady Gaga. Afro-Pop Diva Angelique Kidjo was also part of this eclectic festival. There were four main stages, various performance tents, food and craft vendors, all contained within a race track. Attendance was great despite the rain and seasoned attendees wore mud boots.

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REGGAE ON THE RIVER, FRENCH CAMP, GARBERVILLE (CA), JULY 30TH-AUGUST 2ND 2015


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We are pleased to announce that the 31st annual Reggae on the River returns July 30-August 2, 2015

The non-profit Mateel Community Center presents the 31st anniversary of the longest running reggae festival in the U.S., the one-and-only Reggae on the River.

Set on the banks of the majestic Eel River and delivering the best in reggae and world music to the hills of Humboldt County, CA, the 2015 edition of this iconic gathering will feature global musical luminaries, showcase more than 60 vending and non-profit booths as well as the ever-lively KidLandia, and offer the an opportunity to help with the Tools For Change humanitarian outreach program.

Reggae on the River is famous for its camping, community, and irie vibes – making this a world-class destination.

It’s happening July 30th-August 2nd at French’s Camp, in Garberville, CA – heart of the Emerald Triangle – and your portal to a higher consciousness! Let’s work together to make this the best Reggae on the River ever!

NEW-ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL, NEW-ORLEANS (LA), APRIL 24TH-26TH & APRIL 30TH-MAY 3RD 2015


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You may get more info and purchase tickets here: http://www.nojazzfest.com
The lineup of the 2015 New Orleans Jazz Fest boasts Elton John, The Who, Keith Urban, Ed Sheeran, Pitbull, Jimmy Buffett, No Doubt, T.I., and Tony Bennett paired with Lady Gaga. They’ll join a schedule that includes Widespread Panic, Wilco, Maze, the O’Jays, Hozier, John Legend, Shirley Caesar, Alison Krauss, Chicago, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Cliff, Ryan Adams and Kacey Musgraves, plus Dr. John, the original Meters and hundreds of other Louisiana artists at the Fair Grounds this spring.

The 2015 Jazz Fest — officially it’s the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell — is April 24-26 and April 30-May 3.

LA MARATHON, LOS ANGELES (CA), MARCH 15TH 2015


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The 2015 LA Marathon was as usual dominated by East Africans as Kenyans won both first and second places in the Men’s category (Daniel Limo, Lani Rutto) and first place in the Women’s (Ogla Kimaiyo). American Jared Ward and Blake Russell did manage to both slip in third places to the delight of the home crowd. Respectable times (Men: 2hr10min, Women: 2hr34min) were set despite the scorching temperature of 96 F and there was great crowd participation throughout the city as this is a charitable event that spans from Dodgers Stadium to Santa Monica.

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Fitness is 80% Nutrition and 20% Exercise! If you’re interested in losing weight, check: https://woloftimes.wordpress.com/herbalife-fitness-nutrition/

2015 LA MARATHON, LOS ANGELES (CA), MARCH 15TH 2015


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The LA Marathon is a great opportunity for amateur athletes such as myself to challenge ourselves, enjoy the ambiance of the event, sightsee the city of Los Angeles, meet the winners such as Ogla Kimaiyo (Kenya) here with Wolof Times reporter Sunny Moore from Wolof Times, and more importantly contribute donations to organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Students Run LA, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society etc… via our registration fees. I trained for 5 weeks by running a weekly half-marathon on top of my regular training. I managed to achieve my goal of running 26.2 miles non-stop with a time of 5h11min at an average pace of 11 min per mile, despite a scorching temperature of 96 F. I learnt on my first marathon that running 26.2 miles from Dodgers Stadium to Santa Monica is only achievable for amateur athletes via nutrition and hydration, and also that after 22 miles your overall body muscles are so stressed that there is a high potential for injury. It was a great experience nonetheless and I will forever wear my 2015 LA Marathon Finisher with pride.

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SIERRA NEVADA WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL, BOONVILLE (CA), JUNE 19-21TH 2015


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WELCOME TO EPIPHANY ARTISTS 22ND ANNUAL SUMMER SOLSTICE AND PEACE CELEBRATION!
Get more info and tickets here: http://www.snwmf.com

We are excited that SNWMF 2015 marks our 10th anniversary at the beautiful Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, CA. SNWMF is an annual family reunion for many and is known as being one of the most positive festivals with an incredibly irie vibe. This year, Epiphany Artists presents another intriguing lineup of the best in roots reggae and world music on two stages and in our late night dancehall. Embrace the sweet sounds of reggae and world music. Soak in the beautiful streaming colors and irresistible aromas of our festival village of arts, crafts and food.
Projected line-up:
JIMMY CLIFF
THIEVERY CORPORATION
STEEL PULSE
THIRD WORLD
COMMON KINGS
SOUL SYNDICATE +
SPECIAL GUEST
KEN BOOTHE
THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
BIG YOUTH
THE VERY BEST
GENTLEMAN’S DUB CLUB
NATTALI RIZE + NOTIS
JESSE ROYAL
STICK FIGURE
TAJ WEEKES
META + THE
CORNERSTONES
ADMIRAL TIBET
KEITH & TEX
B.B. SEATON
NO-MADDZ
DAKHABRAKHA
HIRIE
THE ITALS
THE MELODIANS
MONTY MORRIS
RAS MUHAMAD
PENTATEUCH
HEMPRESS SATIVA
TAFARI

IN THE DANCEHALL
RORYSTONELOVE
BLACK DUB
MUNGO’S HI FI

MORE ARTISTS TBA

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REGGAE ON THE RIVER, GARBERVILLE (CA), JULY 30TH-AUGUST 2ND 2015


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Check the website for tickets and more info: http://www.reggaeontheriver.com
Join us on the weekend of July 30th through August 2nd, 2015 for the 31st annual Reggae On The River™. One of the most loved and iconic festivals on Earth, Reggae On The River will delight once again as we celebrate our global community with the best in reggae and world music on the sacred banks of the Eel River at French’s Camp in Humboldt County, CA.

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2015 PANAFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS – LOS ANGELES (CA) – FEB 5TH-FEB 16TH 2015


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The Panafrican film festival featured at least 150 films from Africa and The Diaspora. Attendees were presented with a great opportunity to learn of social and political issues that affect folks of African descent worldwide and learn about our cultural similarities and differences.

Here is the list of the 2015 Panafrican Film & Arts Festival Winners:

Best Feature Narrative:
Difret (Ethiopia), Director: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

Special Jury Recognition-Feature Narrative:
Imperial Dreams (US), Director: Malik Vitthal

Best Director-First Feature Narrative:
Unsound (US), Director: Darious Britt

Special Jury Recognition-Director – First Feature Narrative:
Christmas Wedding Baby (US), Director: Kiara C Jones

Best Documentary:
The Case of the Three Sided Dream (US), Director: Adam Kahan

Special Jury Recognition-Documentary:
Tales of the Grim Sleeper (US), Director: Nick Broomfield

Best Narrative Short:
The Bravest, The Boldest (US), Director: Moon Molson

Special Jury Recognition-Short Narrative:
Love Thyself (US), Director: Chris Bailey

Festival Programmers’ Award-Narrative Feature:
October 1 (Nigeria), Director: Kunle Afolayan

Festival Programmers’ Award-Documentary:
Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band (US), Director: Carol Bash

Festival Founders’ Award- Narrative:
Triangle-Going to America (Sost Maezen) (Ethiopia), Director: Theodros Teshome Kebede

Festival Founders’ Award-Documentary:
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (US), Director: Stanley Nelson

CAPRI Capital Partners Award:
The Man in 3B (US), Director: Trey Haley

Audience Award—Documentary
Bound: Africans vs African Americans (US), Director: Peres Owino

Audience Award—Narrative Feature (tie):
The Two of Us (Thina Sobabili) (South Africa), Director: Ernest Nkosi and Imperial Dreams (US), Director: Malik Vitthal

BAFTA LA PRIZE (Pan African Film Festival-British Academy of Film and Television Arts/LA Prize):
Gone Too Far!, (UK) Director: Destiny Ekaragha

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“NAS: STILL ILLMATIC” – 2015 PANAFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL – LOS ANGELES (CA) – FEB 5TH-16TH 2015


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This documentary is released 20 years after Nas’ first album release “Illmatic” considered one of the best Hip Hop albums of all-time. It focuses on Nasir Jones’ upbringing in the Queensbrige housing projects and how his childhood environment and parents’ background influenced his mind state at the time and thereby the lyrics of this classic album. Nas relates how his successful aims were to paint a vivid picture of NYC street life and put Queens “back on the Map” after one of its pioneering MCs “MC Shan” was “defeated” by “KRS ONE” from the South Bronx. The documentary also emphasizes his success as he’s considered one of the greatest of all-time. Nas, a high-school dropout, is not only enjoying commercial success but has also been embraced as a writer and poet by his contemporaries and by renowned academic institutions such as Harvard. This documentary is a must-see for any avid or moderate Hip Hop fan.

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“BOUND: AFRICANS VS AFRICAN-AMERICANS” – 2015 PANAFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL – LOS ANGELES (CA) – FEB 5TH-16TH 2015


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Bound explores the relations between Africans and African-Americans. Counterparts from America and Africa including actors Isaiah Washington and Bambadjan Bamba are interviewed in group settings and individually to discuss issues ranging from cultural differences to dating, in an attempt to bridge the gap and improve relations and mutual understanding. This documentary is directed by Kenyan-born Peres Owino and has won Women In Film, Lena Sharpe and Seattle International Film Festival awards.

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“FREEWAY CRACK IN THE SYSTEM” – 2015 PANAFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL – LOS ANGELES (CA) – FEB 5TH-16TH 2015


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This documentary reveals how “Freeway Rick Ross” (Not to be confused with Rapper Rick Ross who utilizes his name as a moniker), a South Central teenager with humble beginnings and aspirations to become a tennis player, made his start as a drug dealer and introduced crack cocaine to the streets of Los Angeles and consequently America during the 80s Reaganomics era. His cocaine deals with Nicaraguans, seeking to use these funds to finance the Contras revolution in that country, allow Rick Ross with the help of childhood friends Cornell Ward and Norman Tillman to name a few, to rise to the rank of almost Billionaire King Pin. The latter two along with Film Director Marc Levin and Rick Ross’ mother Anne attended the event for support and Q&A since he did not participate in it. Ex Corrupt Narcotics officer Roberto Juarez also attended the event to further expose the CIA corrupt tactics and participation in the drug trade. Check Afrocentric Shirt Designs: https://woloftimes.wordpress.com/baby-f-dada-custom-clothing-www-babyfdada-com/

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“CITY OF GOD – 10 YEARS LATER” – 2015 PANAFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL – LOS ANGELES (CA) – FEB 5TH-16TH 2015


image   The “City of God – 10 years later” documentary produced by Carla Osorio focuses on the post-movie lives of the actors in the classic Brazilian movie “City of God” directed by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund. The documentary is somewhat similar to the movie as it takes place in the slums called favelas where most of the actors still reside. Though the movie is critically-acclaimed worldwide with numerous awards and oscar nominations, the main actors such as Leandro Firmino (Li’l Ze) and Alexandre Rodrigues (Rocket) still live in the favelas and are still confronted to the struggle, poverty and crime of these areas. Now adults, some of the actors such as Douglas Silva (Li’l Ze as a child) are now living their lives as parents who must fend for their families but luckily starring in the subsequent TV series “City of Men”. Meanwhile, Alice Braga (Angelica) has starred in blockbusters such as “I am Legend” with Will Smith and Elysium with Matt Damon while Seu Jorge (Mane Galinha) a talented singer/rapper is enjoying local as well as international success. Therefore, the movie served as a stepping stone to some but also as a new burden to others who suffer being typecasted or not being able to find regular employment as they’re now associated with acting due to the popularity of the movie, considering most of them were amateurs shooting their first movie. The documentary gives us a glimpse of the harsh realities brazilian actors endure daily not only because of their profession but also because of their race, it also triggers mixed emotions linked to humor, hope, sadness, despair and success.

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2015 PANAFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL, LOS ANGELES (CA), FEB 5TH 2015.


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Gala Night took place after the showing of the festival’s introductory documentary “Black Panthers – Vanguard of The Revolution” at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. A live band performed older and newer R&B tunes (Isleys, Stylistics, Cameo, Janet Jackson etc…) and Chicken Masala, Tilapia, green beans and pasta were served on the menu, not to mention the cocktail bar. In attendance were Stanley Nelson executive producer of the documentary, original Black Panthers Mohammed Mubarak and Michael McCarthy, singer Sandra Izsadore (Fela) and Jimmy Jean-Louis (Actor, Toussaint Louverture) just to name a few as there were several Hollywood personalities that came out to show support to the African-American film community. In attendance were also local and international filmmakers and actors involved in the festival.

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