Emory’s Quadrangle will be alive with the rhythm and spirit
of African culture during the Carlos Museum’s outdoor “African
Flava: A Festival of Art, Music and Cuisine” on Saturday,
May 1, from 4–8 p.m.
The jazz station WCLK-91.9 FM will team with the museum to promote this child-friendly
event. African Flava will feature performances ranging from traditional dancers
and drummers to some of the city’s best—and youngest—jazz musicians.
Games, storytelling, art-making activities, tours of the museum and food for
purchase from local African restaurants (It’s Tropical, Queen of Sheba
and Shewit) will complement the performances and engage festival-goers of all
The Carlos’ permanent exhibition of African art (the inspiration for the
festival and concert) focuses primarily on masks, figural sculptures, weapons
and textiles from West and Central Africa. Not to be missed are a rare Mambila
shrine screen painted on a canvas made of raffia palm pith; a dazzling 19th century
bowl-carrier figure covered in blue bugle beads from Cameroon; and a Mande hunter’s
jacket emblazoned (for the wearer’s protection) with animal and raptor
claws and boar’s tusks.
The museum has been actively collecting in this area since it acquired approximately
900 works from William Arnett in 1994. Scheduled performers include:
• Joe Jennings, director of the jazz program at Spelman College. Jennings’ teaching
experience spans 30 years and his professional performing experience includes
concerts and tours with Duke Pearson, Clifford Jordan, Reuben Phillips and
Johnny Taylor. Jennings is co-founder and director of the recording
group Life Force, and he is founder and director of the Metropolitan
Youth Jazz Ensemble.
• The Young
Performers Jazz Workshop, under the tutelage of Jennings and
organized in 2003 as a vehicle to assist serious students of jazz in learning
a repertoire and experiencing small ensemble performance practices. These young
musicians, ages 14 to 17, include saxophonist Edwin Barbash, pianist Dave Naylor,
drummer Daniel Platzman and Stanford Leon Thompson on trumpet.
• Fungafrica Cultural
Bridge, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which
shares its members’ culture and heritage through song, dance and stories
with U.S. audiences. Since its founding in 1990 by director Koblo Kibul,
the group has performed throughout the Congo and the continent of Africa.
Its focus has grown to include health outreach, youth ministry, care for
the poor, and food, shelter and clothing programs.
• SamaTo, led by Artistic Director Aly Camara, a nonprofit corporation established
to enlighten and entertain communities through culture, information and performance.
SamaTo offers West African drum and dance workshops, performances and artist
residencies, and is committed to preserving heritage with presentations on
the culture and traditions of West Africa.
• Kinah Boto, percussionist for the Georgia State University Faculty Jazztet.
Boto has an extensive list of performance credits that has taken him to Europe
and the Far East. He has worked with jazz musicians Bill Anschell, Russell
Gunn and Nnenne Freelon on four Grammy-nominated recordings, and also has recorded
with Marcus Printup.
Admission to “African Flava” is free for Emory faculty, staff
and students with ID. General admission is $7 (museum members receive a discount),
and tickets are available through the Arts at Emory box office, 404-727-5050.
Lawn chairs and picnic blankets are permitted.