Hip-Hop Legend Snoop Dogg to Headline Working Californians’ 5th Annual Labor Day Music Festival

unnamed

Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle

Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle

This Labor Day (September 5, 2016) Working Californians will hold Los Angeles’ fifth annual Labor Day Music Festival featuring hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, GRAMMY award-winning American Chicano Rock Band Los Lonely Boys; Latin- Jazz musician Poncho Sanchez; The New Orleans All-Star Band featuring Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Dr. John, James Andrews, Herlin Riley and Detroit Brooks; The Dennis Jones Band; The Victor Orlando Orchestra and Fun-Ja-La, and Cuban Funk.

More than 50 Southern California labor organizations will gather on Mondayto celebrate and commemorate both the history and future of Labor Day at Working Californians’ Labor Day Music Festival. This annual event not only benefits working men, women and their families, but also recognizes labor victories made this past year throughout Los Angeles and Southern California.

Concert performances will benefit Working Californians’ non-profit, which fosters social innovation and invests in improving low-income communities in Southern California.

2016 Labor Day Music Festival Featuring: Snoop Dogg

LA Memorial Coliseum’s Exposition Park
3911 S Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA

Monday Sep 5, 2016
Doors: 11:00 AM (ends at 8:30 PM)
$20 & $299

For tickets and more information: http://www.workingcalifornians.org/splash/

Continue reading

New “Musical Passage” Website via Duke University Explores Origins of African American Music

(Image via musicalpassage.org)

(Image via musicalpassage.org)

article via jbhe.com

Scholars at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, have debuted an interactive website that chronicles what is believed to be among the earliest examples of the music of the African diaspora. The website Musical Passage tells the story of an important, but little known record of early African diasporic music.

The project focuses on two pages of sheet music from Hans Sloane’s 1707 Voyage to the Islands of Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica It is believed to be the first transcription of African music in the Caribbean, and possibly, in the Americas.

The project was created by Mary Caton Lingold, a doctoral candidate in English at Duke, Laurent Dubois, a professor of Romance studies and history at Duke, and David K. Garner, a composer with Ph.D. from Duke who has been hired as an assistant professor of music at the University of South Carolina.

Lingold says that “you’d be hard pressed to name a living genre of music that enslaved musicians didn’t help to create or transform. Jazz, country, rock, blues, reggae and the list goes on. Turn on the radio and you are hearing these musicians’ story. But we don’t know a lot about their early music because it was not preserved in conventional ways. And that is why a little artifact like this is so important, because it helps us to know more about what their performances may have sounded like.”

Jussie Smollett to Host 8th Season of “AfroPop” Television Series Premiering on MLK Day

 Jussie Smollett will host the eighth season of the public television show AfroPoP: The Ultimate Exchange. The star of the hit FOX TV show Empire will emcee the popular show about contemporary art, life and culture across the African Diaspora as it premieres on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on WORLD Channel.

New episodes premiere weekly through February 15. AfroPoP is produced by National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and co-presented by American Public Television (APT), which distributes the series to the full public television system in February 2016.

Smollett will also be seen in the new WGN thriller Underground in 2016. The acclaimed entertainer is also involved in numerous humanitarian pursuits, sitting on the boards of the Black AIDS Institute, Artists for a New South Africa and the RuJohn Foundation. 

Previous hosts of AfroPoP include Idris Elba, Anika Noni Rose, Wyatt Cenac, Gabourey Sidibe, Anthony Mackie and Yaya DaCosta.

AfroPoP’s engaging, real-life tales add to the collection of rich Black stories that audiences are clamoring for and I wanted to be a part of bringing them to national attention,” said Smollett.

Continue reading

CULTURE: West Indian American Day Parade Comes Together One Costume at a Time

Karen Maynard putting the finishing touches on a headdress for Monday’s parade. (Credit: Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times) 

Reisha Maynard-Holder meticulously cut patterns for a collar out of foam rubber as a fan whirred in the sweltering heat. Next, she turned her attention to feathers, attaching them to the collars one at a time with a glue gun. It was another grueling evening in a monthslong effort to create some of the most elaborate and spectacular costumes seen on the streets of New York.

“These are our summers,” said Mrs. Maynard-Holder, one of hundreds of people who prepare the costumes worn in the West Indian American Day Parade, scheduled for Monday morning. More than 5,000 people were expected to take part in the parade, a tradition known as “playing mas.” And, over a million people are expected to gather on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn for the event, which celebrates Caribbean culture with food and music. But the real stars of the parade are the bright array of costumes, visually stunning concoctions of feathers and beads, with headdresses often rising several feet in the air.

“The costumes are a symbol of the flair and vibrancy of the culture and demonstrate the pride of the Caribbean,” Jamell Henderson, spokesman for Karma Carnival NYC Band, said. “They are the centerpiece and main attraction.”

The “Heaven” costume. (Credit: Marlon Smart)

Making the costumes often begins a year in advance, shortly after the parade ends, with the bands — as the groups that participate are called — selecting themes in the fall and fabric samples in the spring. Fashion shows displaying prototypes are held in early summer, followed by production until Labor Day.

Continue reading

Jeffrey Osborne Headlines 26th Annual African Festival of the Arts in Chicago this Labor Day

2015AFAlogo

JeffreyOsbourne

Lesa Lakin GBN Lifestyle

Lesa Lakin
GBN Lifestyle

This Labor Day weekend Jeffrey Osborne headlines the 26th Annual African Festival of the Arts held in Chicago’s historic Washington Park (September 4 – 7, 2015). http://www.aihusa.org/african-festival

This extraordinary event transforms Washington Park into a simulated African village. Patrons experience African culture, spirituality, fine art, film, video, music and more! Over 300 vendors will present artifacts, textiles, music, food and many other interactive program spaces.

AFA is the largest event of its kind held in the U.S. with a focus on African arts and culture. Attendees are transported across the Diaspora with the AFA’s authentic pavilions, including the Drum & African Folk Village; Children and Family Pavilion; Wellness Village; Book & Author Pavilion; and Fine Art Pavilion.

CIK_7366

Each day of the Festival is themed: Opening day (Friday, Sept. 4th) will be the Chicago Steppin’ Party and Show, featuring R&B crooner K’Jon. K’Jon’s hit, “On the Ocean,” is fast becoming a classic and is a fan favorite among the Steppers’ crowd.

On Saturday, the focus will be on African Beats with Reggae, Afro-Columbian, Nigerian, and Caribbean music; Sunday is Chicago’s Best with Jazz vocalist Tammy McCann, percussionist Taylor Moore and vocal powerhouse Terisa Griffin, as well as Chicago-style Blues and comedy. Leading up to Osborne’s main-stage performance on Monday evening will be award-winning jazz/R&B vocalist Joan Collaso, along with soul artist, Sax Preacher, and the Big Band rhythms of Soundmine Merchants.

This festival is a virtual African marketplace brought to us by African International House. The mission of Africa International House (AIH) is to serve as a center that exposes and educates all people to the individual works and collective contributions of African cultures. This mission is addressed through their flagship program, the African Festival of the Arts, and through other activities that promote African-based culture. To find out more click here: http://www.aihusa.org

Grammy Awards 2015 Winners List (So Far): Beyoncé and Pharrell Win Early!

Beyonce Pyramids 4-22

Before the show even started, a handful of winners have been announced for this year’s 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

Beyonce, who has had a record-breaking 52 nominations, took home an early award in the Best Surround Sound Album category for her self-titled 2013 release. Beyonce has now won 18 Grammy’s but has yet to take home the Album of the Year title, an award she’s up for later tonight.

Meanwhile, Pharrell won another Grammy for himself in the form of Best Music Video with his wildly popular “Happy” visuals.

Ahead of the ceremony and performances, check out an early list of the winners and nominees below:

Album of the Year

Beck, Morning Phase
Beyonce, Beyonce
Ed Sheeran, x
Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
Pharrell Williams, G I R L

Best New Artist

Bastille
Iggy Azalea
Brandy Clark
Haim
Sam Smith

Record of the Year

“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
“Chandelier,” Sia
“Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith
“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift
“All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor

Song of the Year

“Chandelier,” Sia
“All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor
“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift
“Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith
“Take Me to Church,” Hozier

Best Rap Album

The New Classic, Iggy Azalea
Because the Internet, Childish Gambino
Nobody’s Smiling, Common
The Marshall Mathers LP2, Eminem
Oxymoron, ScHoolboy Q
Blacc Hollywood, Wiz Khalifa

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
“A Sky Full of Stars,” Coldplay
“Say Something,” A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera
“Bang Bang,” Ariana Grande, Jessie J & Nicki Minaj
“Dark Horse,” Katy Perry ft. Juicy J

Best Rap Performance

“3005,” Childish Gambino
“0 to 100/The Catch Up,” Drake
“Rap God,” Eminem
“i,” Kendrick Lamar
“All I Need Is You,” Lecrae

Best Alternative Music Album

This Is All Yours, alt-J
Reflektor, Arcade Fire
Melophobia, Cage the Elephant
St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Lazaretto, Jack White

Continue reading

Singer Akon Aims to Bring Electricity to 1 Million Homes in Africa Through “Akon Lighting Africa” Initiative

Singer Akon. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Singer Akon has launched an ambitious endeavor that aims to improve the lives of over one million people in Africa.  His new initiative, “Akon Lighting Africa”, hopes to bring electricity to one million households by the end of 2014 to help promote energy sustainability and sufficiency throughout the continent.  “The lack of electricity is currently a major problem in Africa,” reads the website for the campaign. “A significant number of households in rural areas and even urban cities do not have access to electricity. This is a real obstacle to Africa’s Sustainable Development.”

Akon, who is Senegalese-American, has partnered with local charities and corporations to aid in the efforts of the campaign by addressing Africa’s energy issue and installing solar equipment in households.  The “Right Now” singer will travel and meet with leaders in nine countries in nine days to discuss the project including Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and the Ivory Coast.

Learn more about Akon Lighting Africa here.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com