7th Annual Festival at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center Celebrates Jazz and Recognizes the African Diaspora

The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center presents the 7th Annual Sankofa Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 30, 2022 from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. pianist Christian Sands.

The Sankofa Jazz Festival highlights the diversity and vitality of arts from the African Diaspora and showcases local and emerging artists who embody the spirit of African heritage jazz artists. The accomplished Christian Sands Trio will showcase their vast repertoire, which draws on historical and contemporary sources, and will perform catchy covers and selections from Sands’ Be Water album. Reflecting on her inspiration for the Grammy-nominated work, Sands noted, “It’s ubiquitous […] yet somehow intangible, able to shape-shift or take on the shape of its surroundings.” The Trio’s performances underscore Sands’ inspiration, as well as her dedication to being “more open, more free [and] more flexible.”

The Festival will also feature Melton Mustafa, Jr., “Mustafa on Sax”, a two-time Grammy-nominated saxophonist and educator, in addition to Aniye Strachan, Robert Bradley, Arnitris Williams, Luis Disla, John Dixon and Rodney de HOT 105. Baltimore.

“The Sankofa Jazz Festival celebrates the rich history of the African Diaspora,” said Marshall L. Davis, Executive Director of the Center. “This family-friendly event embodies African pride and culture, introducing our audience to established and emerging talent. It’s not just an opportunity for our community to reconnect, but to share an appreciation for music that draws inspiration from the traditions of jazz music.”

The namesake of the Festival is the mythical bird “Sankofa” of the Akan tribe in Ghana. The Sankofa bird’s legs point forward and its head tilts back, symbolizing the vital role of the past in moving forward with determination.

“The Sankofa bird symbolizes the strength, hope and wisdom of the African people,” Marshall added. “It evokes our collective future, and the timelessness of the music is the perfect way to illustrate the power of many.”

The festival will also include a gallery exhibit, local art for purchase, and food vendors. The gallery’s exhibit, titled “We The People,” pays tribute to prolific Miami muralist Oscar Thomas on the 25th anniversary of his passing. The exhibition features three decades of Thomas’ work, a collection of photographs of his murals and never-before-seen videos, plus a tribute showcase that showcases local and international talent inspired by Thomas’ legacy. The show will continue until June 5.

The Festival is recommended for all ages. Tickets will be sold through Eventbrite until 6 p.m. the same day or while seats last. General admission and reserved seating tickets are available for $25 to $45. VIP tickets are $75 and include reserved seating in the first four rows, reserved parking, and free food and drink.

For more information, visit AHCACMiami.org.

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