Cheza Nami Foundation will present the seventh annual “A Taste of Africa,” an adventure into African culture at the Bankhead Theater Plaza in downtown Livermore on Sunday, October 6. This free family-friendly event, co-sponsored by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, is a celebration of culture and diversity offering food, music, and various activities for kids.
About “A Taste of Africa”
The vibrant music and movement that are central to African cultures will be at the center of the celebration as performances by local artists are showcased on the outdoor stage throughout the day. Opening the celebration will be Tô Aí, a group focused on diaspora arts and culture. Their performance will offer excerpts from their current folkloric arts production which incorporates dance, song, visual arts, percussion, spoken words, and capoeira.
Followed by Tô Aí is Djidé Koffa from Cameroon and Mabanza from Congo-Brazzaville, whose engaging music tells the story of Africa in the post-modern era. Those in attendance can look forward to a story of longing, hope and love shared around the world. A performance by Bitezo Bia Kongo concludes the morning, as director Loubayi Arnaud and others share their goal to spread awareness of Congolese culture and fostering peace and understanding through drumming and dance.
In the afternoon, the lively percussion and dance of Afrique Sogue feature the culture of the Manding and the Mandinka people. We also look forward to the Malima Kone Trio offering the beautiful sounds of Mali and Burkina Faso, before Namorados Da Lua presents a blend of diverse styles from reggae to Brazilian samba and Axe carnival music. Closing the day will be the unique contemporary Afro-World fusion music of Rahan Boxley and his band.
To enjoy more African music, visitors can also enter a drawing at the Cheza Nami booth to win free tickets to see Zimbabwe’s all-female a capella group Nobuntu when they perform at the Bankhead in early November. The quintet, recently nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards, represents a new generation of young African women who celebrate and preserve their culture through art. Their inventive pure vocal harmonies and minimal percussion infuse music from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro jazz and gospel.
Other activities at “A Taste of Africa” include an African Gojo hut exhibit, a reading library at the Maktabas booth, face painting at the Mami Afrika booth sponsored by Waw Amasha, and Cheza Nami’s photo booth. The Kids Zone offers hands-on experiences in African arts and crafts as well as other activities. A true taste of Africa will be available throughout the day at the food and marketplace, featuring booths by Golden Safari Restaurant, Kitenge 365, VaziSafi and Urembo Asili, African Wood Carving and Handicrafts, and many more.
“A Taste of Africa” is made possible through a generous supporting grant from the City of Livermore’s Commission for the Arts, as well as support from the Clorox Company and SambaDá.
The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center staff looks forward to seeing you and your family at “A Taste of Africa!”