DONNIE MCCLURKIN RELEASES NEW ALBUM ‘THE JOURNEY (LIVE)’

 As one of the top-selling and beloved Gospel music artists of all time, McClurkin continues to move audiences around the world. Currently, he can be seen on the multi-city, An Evening with Donnie McClurkin Tour. The tour is commemorating his 10th anniversary as host of the syndicated Donnie McClurkin Radio Show and is a special way for him to thank his fans for tuning in over the years. The tour features spoken word, praise and worship alongside McClurkin’s new music.

The African Festival of the Arts announces Rose Royce and Howard Hewett to headline 'togetherness' celebration

CHICAGO, Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The African Festival of the Arts (AFA) has announced a stellar line-up of entertainment led by its Labor Day headliners Howard Hewett and Rose Royce. Hewett and Rose Royce will take the stage Monday evening, Sept. 5th. Held each Labor Day weekend in Chicago, the Festival offers the best in entertainment from around the world, and this year is no exception.  From Sept. 2-5 in historic Washington Park, these headliners are just one element of the renowned festival that offers a glimpse into the many unique treasures of the African Continent including African-centered offerings from across the globe.

Rose Royce ascended to the top of the Soul music world with a string of hits and a tight, full sound that rivaled many of the best self-contained soul and funk groups of the era.  Formed by trumpeter-vocalist Kenny Copeland; drummer Henry Garner; trumpeter Freddie Dunn; and keyboardist Michael Nash in the mid 70s, the group first served as a backup band for Edwin Starr, who introduced them to his War producer, Norman Whitfield.

With his silky smooth, straight-from-the-heart soulful style, Howard Hewett is gifted with one of the most instantly recognizable voices in contemporary music. A writer for Rolling Stone magazine once described him as "the premier vocalist in the post-Marvin Gaye era of romantic pop." He began his career as a pre-teen singing gospel music in Akron, Ohio with his older sisters as the lead singer of The Hewett Singers. Hewett was doing session work around LA when he got a phone call and was offered an opportunity to join a group called Shalamar. Shalamar went on to enjoy success with hits like "Second Time Around", "Make That Move"; "A Night to Remember"; "Dead Giveaway"; and the now-classic, "This Is For the Lover in You."

A prolific songwriter, producer and session vocalist, Hewett co-wrote and produced "Frustration" for LaToya Jackson, and sang on her LP, "Heart Don't Lie." He did lead vocals on LPs by Stanley Clarke and George Duke; a duet with Stacy Lattisaw of "A'int No Mountain High Enough," and sang with Firefox, as well as doing background on a Donna Summer release.

In 1986, Hewett launched his solo career, scoring an immediate R&B hit with "I'm For Real" (which was co-written by Stanley Clarke, and featured such stellar musicians as George Duke and Wilton Felder of the Jazz Crusaders); followed by "Stay", "I Commit to Love" and the contemporary gospel classic, "Say Amen.  He has recorded duets with legendary leading ladies of music such as, Anita Baker, Dionne Warwick, Brenda Russell and Stacey Lattisaw. He's collaborated with artists like George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Kenny Loggins, Gerald Albright and the list goes on. With 16 albums recorded, countless collaborations and over 15 million records sold throughout the world, Hewett remains a viable and legendary force in the music business. He continues to enjoy his first love, performing and entertaining for his countless fans and "Followers of the Music" domestically and worldwide.

The theme of this year's festival is Ruwadzanowhich means 'togetherness' in the East African language of Shona in Zimbabwe. During this year's event, AIH will recognize the impact togetherness has in relationships, in business, and in service to community by recognizing those who embody the concept. This year's Grand BaBa is WGN's Robert Jordan and the Grand YeYe is Diane Dinkins-Carr

Additionally, Africa International House will host a gala on August 20th at the Gabriela, 4315 S. Cottage Grove, where they will recognize the Grand Yeye and Grand Baba.  For information on tickets, call 773-955-ARTS.

Known for its themed entertainment featured on two stages each day of its four-day run, this year, Friday night will be Chicago Dance Night featuring tunes chosen especially for Chicago steppers; Saturday night is Juju Night with Nigerian musician Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey.  He will be joined by Angel 'd Cuba and the EPA! AfroColombian Band; Sunday will feature singer/composer Dee Alexander and the Evolution Ensemble, part of Chicago's Best Night, a line-up of area talent.

The African Festival of the Arts is one of the largest, and longest running festivals in the Midwest focused on African art and culture, and each year draws tens of thousands of people to Washington Park.  The AFA is a four-day immersion into African culture and heritage as Chicago's historic Washington Park is transformed into an authentic African village.  Over 300 vendors and artisans will present artifacts, textiles, traditional crafts, and museum-quality art.  Enjoy the African-influenced food, music, and dance traditions during an entertainment rich, family-focused celebration unlike any other in the Midwest. 

The Festival boasts five distinct areas each representing a center of culture and commerce on the African Continent:  Nubia (fine arts); Kush (wearable arts); Songhay (African arts & crafts, collectibles and natural products); Timbuktu (African fabric and fashions); and Bank of the Nile (food court). 

There will be pavilions highlighting South African wines, health & wellness and fine arts. Pavilions include: Spiritual Pavilion Quilting Pavilion; David Durojaiye Olupitan African Heritage Pavilion; Author & Book Pavilion; Drum Village; Dr. Nurudeen Olowopopo Health & Wellness Pavilion; and the Bernice Gardner Children's & Family Pavilion.

Master African drummer, Olu Shakoor, founder and conductor of the African Drum Village, specializes in both traditional and contemporary styles of African Drumming and excels in the Djum-Djum and Djembe Drum.

For those wanting to sample the tastes of Africa, you can dine on dishes in the tradition of Nigeria, Senegal and the Caribbean, as well as Cajun and Southern soul.  But, the real stars of the Festival are the fine arts and the artists who make them—be they painters, sculptors, jewelers, or wood carvers.   

Founded by Liberian-born business leader Patrick S. K. Woodtor, the African Festival of the Arts has become a national destination point for those seeking to immerse themselves in the African culture.  Each year, tens of thousands attend the four-day event from across the U.S.

Woodtor founded the African Festival of the Arts as an outgrowth of his art shop, Windows to Africa, and he, along with his board of directors, have grown the event into a Labor Day staple.  In all these ways, the Festival gives attendees a glimpse of Africa without the need for plane tickets and for less than the cost of applying for a passport.

Sponsors of the 2016 African Festival of the Arts include: Chicago Park District, University of Chicago Medicine, ComEd, Next Level Health, Community Currency Exchange, Jewel/Osco, ISF Bank, the Chicago White Sox, Moneygram, and the Illinois Lottery. Media partners include: Comcast, NBCUniversal, WVON, Bronzecomm, the Chicago Citizen and the Chicago Crusader newspapers. 

Tickets are $15, in advance, and $20 at the gate.  There are discounts for seniors, as well as four-day and VIP passes.  Children under five are free. Learn more by visiting www.aihusa.org and clicking on African Festival.  Follow us on all social media using the hashtag #AFAChi.

Kanvee Adams leads Liberia to Kora Music Awards

Liberia’s multiple-award winning Gospel musical star Ambassador Kanvee Gains Adams has finally achieved one of her dreams of pathing the way for her fellow Liberian artists to participate at an international award ceremony. 

The all-time favorite Liberian Gospel music singer will lead her compatriots to this year’s KORA Awards, the first time ever in the continental awards’ 21-year history.

Liberia’s inclusion in the KORA Awards 2015 would be the first time for Liberian artists to be recognized at the level of Africa’s highest musical event. Last year, KORA named the Liberian star its Goodwill Ambassador on Ebola to Liberia as the virus raged in her home country.

KORA, the Pan-African equivalent of the American-based Grammy Awards, honors the best artists from Africa and its Diaspora. 

In a letter to Kanvee dated June 11, KORA asked her to lead the initiative for the opening of entry submissions for KORA Awards 2015 in Liberia.

“For me, this is a dream come-true. Over the years, it’s been my wish that my fellow Liberian artists get the opportunity to showcase their talents, those God-given talents of my compatriots in the musical industry, to the outside world. Now is the chance”, Kanvee said.

It can be recalled that after being awarded the Special International Award for the Promotion of African Gospel Music by the London-based Africa Gospel Music Awards (AGMA’s) in 2013, Kanvee had stated: “At that event that attracted musicians from all over Africa and the African Diaspora, I thought to myself that it was time that other Liberian musicians be recognized internationally too beside me because our country has the talents for such awards”.

Currently visiting the United States, Kanvee will soon return to Liberia to galvanize fellow Liberian musicians for the KORA Awards nomination which finals are set to take place on the 13th of December, 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia. 

“As a KORA Goodwill Ambassador, I’m encouraging all artists, Gospel, HipCo, traditional, and so on, to submit their high quality video and audio on KORA website. I will be seeking the interest of the Liberian artists and will ensure that Liberia is represented at every international musical event”, the four-times Gospel Artist of the Year added.

Featuring 27 categories across regions and common genres, KORA announces a monetary reward associated with each trophy, with the main prize ‘Best Artist of the Continent’ receiving a grand prize of US$1 million.   

According to KORA, eligible artists for the ‘Best Artist of the Continent’ trophy must have been voted the best of their respective regions, further warning that the financial reward will, however, only be given to award-winners who will be in attendance at the awards ceremony. Absent artists will be awarded the trophy alone (see below for detailed eligibility requirement).

Other categories include ‘Best Male/Female Artists’ for Western, Eastern, Southern and Northern Africa with a cash prize of US$50,000 each; ‘Best African Group’, ‘Most Promising Male/Female’ Artist,  ‘Best Video of the Year’ and ‘Most Downloaded Music’ (US$20,000 for each category), among others.

Accordingly, applicants must include the following elements:

a) digital or CD version of the album; (b)Two color publicity photographs in format jpeg, png  – NOT passport or ID photograph; (c) A biography in English and (if possible in French and Portuguese); (d) Digital copy of the video (High quality).

Created in 1994 by Ernest Coovi Adjovi, a businessman originally from Benin, the award ceremony honours the best artists from Africa and its Diaspora. The inaugural edition of KORA was held in 1996 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Known as the Pan-African version of the Grammy Awards, the KORA Awards ceremony is one of the most viewed TV live shows on the African Continent, gathering over 720,000,000 views according to CNN.

Since its inception, the Pan-African cultural event named, “Les Trophées KORA de la MusiqueAfricaine” or “KORA – All Africa Music Awards” has taken place 12 times on the African continent.

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

1 / Kora Awards are opened to all musicians, singers of Africa and its diaspora living on the continent or abroad. The competition includes several awards and each artist may enroll in one or more categories of their choice.

2 / The song or songs participating in the competition must have been published between January 1st, 2014 and July 15, 2015.

3 / The songs must be of quality, and must not be damaged and must be readable on any drive.

4 / The artist, author, or composer of the titles in competition must submit his / her application(s) to the KORA Awards’ Team in Abidjan until July 20, 2015.

5/ A formal letter of authorization to be sent to KORA Awards Committee. This authorization concerns the use of your image, videos, music and biography for promotion of the current KORA’s edition at: info@koraawards.org or entries@koraawards.com

Gospel musician turns politician

A Liberian Gospel musician Kanvee Adams has joined politics, declaring her intention to contest for legislative seat in Montserrado County electoral district #6 in the ensuing 2017 elections.

Kanvee, also a Gospel music ambassador, told reporters in a press conference Tuesday in Monrovia she is prepared to go to the end. “Although there will be challenges and distractions but we will remain focus and will not be deterred,” she stated.

She noted that after three years of prayerful time, seeking God’s face about Liberia and consultation with marketers, youths, elders, community leaders and political actors in district#6, she has decided to contest for a representative post to champion the interest of her people in the Liberian Legislature.

The Gospel musician said she joined the race to win and change the way business is done in the district, vowing to run an open or inclusive administration that would encourage district#6 residents to make decisions that will directly or indirectly affect their lives.

According to her, if elected as District#6 Representative, she would embark on community projects for her people, using her connections and relationship in Liberia and abroad to impact lives of the people without waiting on Central Government or the Executive Branch for everything.

Kanvee added that becoming a representative in Liberia has been her dream, which she prayed about and God acknowledged that’s the right path. “We need to start from somewhere; my district can make the difference to help change Liberia and my being into politics has nothing to do with my Gospel music; I will still continue to sing for God because singing is my life.”

 

Posted By: Harris H. Arku