Sierra Leonean Filmmaker holds New York Premiere for his Award-winning Feature Film

July 27, 2011 § 5 Comments

The movie is called The Three Way, and it nabbed three awards at the San Diego Black Film Festival this past January. Written and directed by New York-based filmmaker Julian Renner, the film is a comedic drama “where lovers and friends are forced to reveal their secrets and confront their own lies.” On Saturday July 30 Renner’s movie will have its New York premiere at the Manhattan Film Festival, starting at 2:30pm. Renner will be in attendance, as well as a few of the cast members like Medina Senghore, Sofia Rodriguez and Karmia Berry. The 86-minute movie won Best Comedy Feature and the Filmmaker’s Choice Award at the San Diego Black Film Festival, and Julian « Read the rest of this entry »

Shattering The Silence: Benefit for the 1st World Summit of African Descendants

July 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

At the start of the year, the United Nations pronounced 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. In recognition of the resilience and power of African Descendants all over the world, the US International Coordinating Committee for the 1st World Summit of African Descendants is holding a benefit concert Friday July 15 at Bloombars in Columbia Heights, Washington, DC. This concert aims to raise funds for those who cannot afford the cost of travel to La Ceiba, Honduras where the summit will be held from August 18-21 2011. Some of the artists performing will be DC Casineros, a duo from African diaspora group Sahel, DC Mambo, and Vicky Leyva. Afro-Cuban painter Lazaro Batista will also showcase his art. Bloombars is at 3222 11th Street NW. The show starts at 9:00pm. Check out a quick preview above featuring DC Mambo, Lazaro Batista and Adrian Valdivia from DC Casineros. For more information check out the summit website here. Bless…

Africa Fashion Week New York: Sierra Leone’s Madam Wokie hits the stage Saturday

July 14, 2011 § 2 Comments

Africa Fashion Week New York started it’s runway shows July 14, featuring a who’s who of African fashion designers. Project Runway‘s Korto Momolu from Liberia, Rouch, Jo Black Craze and Blackbird designs are all on schedule for day one. One of the newest designers is a young Sierra Leonean designer who just established her brand two years ago. Madam Wokie’s Couture is the brainchild « Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating African Hip Hop at the Kennedy Center

July 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Maimouna Youssef performs with her band at the Kennedy Center

At the Kennedy Center July 12, it was an evening that music site Okayafrica called a celebration of hip hop’s new African renaissance. As part of the 10th Anniversary of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival, the show started with a “warm up” dance class led by Zimbabwean dancer Rujeko Zumbutshena (Fela!) to prep the audience for the rest of the night. She guided a fairly sizable group through hip-hop and African dance moves. Local rap star Tabi Bonney was the host of the show, and introduced Baltimore native Maimouna Youssef, an amazing grammy-nominated singer, MC and poet. Youssef got the crowd on its feet, taking them through an energetic mix of African infused hip hop and soul, « Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with Viva Riva! director Djo Munga and actor Hoji Fortuna

July 6, 2011 § 1 Comment


Director Djo Munga takes questions after the AFI screening

It’s a delicate dance that some new African film directors have to do when aiming for worldwide success with their films. By success I speak in terms of both critical acclaim and sales. This issue came to my mind when I attended a special screening of the Congolese movie Viva Riva! at the AFI theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland early last month. The movie opened in New York and LA on June 10th, and in the UK and DC on June 24th. It has already won a number of awards, most recently an MTV Movie Award for Best African Film. It trounced the competition at the African Movie Awards – it took 6 – and won Angolan actor Hoji Fortuna a best supporting actor award for his role as Angolan gangster Cesar in the film. Viva Riva! also won best feature Film at the 2011 Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles. It was during the question and answer session at the AFI with the film’s director Djo Munga that a woman in the audience took issue with the film’s scenes of sex and violence, that she felt would serve to reinforce stereotypical images of Africa.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Freshlyground Rock the Black Cat, Sahel at Bossa + More Great Concerts!

July 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

Sahel

To all Americans: Happy Independence Day! The weekend has been great already. I checked out two great concerts in the past few days. And they were all about the beat. First was Sahel, a Washington, DC-based African Diaspora group, playing at Bossa in Adams Morgan for Lunchbox Theory’s Afrobeat for ya Soul. Fronted by Jean Francis Varre, they ran through an infectious mix of music from virtually all over the globe: Samba, Salsa, Reggae, Mbalax, and Zouk. Stewart Bernard II killed that bass guitar; Tosin Aribisala, who has played with Femi Kuti, was amazing on the drums, and Didier Prossaird was all over the keyboards. From their website:

Sahel is inspired by tradition and dedicated to the progress of music that moves the world.”

Anyone present at Bossa that Thursday night can testify to that! You can catch Sahel again at the Washington, DC Africa Day Festival July 16 at the Takoma Community Center.

Freshlyground at the Black Cat

It’s a shame that South African best pop export Freshlyground is not very well-known in the US, but on this their first ever American tour that may well change. By the time the show promoter introduced them, the crowd at the Black Cat on

Freshlyground's Zolani Mahola

U Street was already roaring their approval; lead singer Zolani Mahola and her crew wasted no time, launching into their popular song “Fire Is Low”, to the clapping accompaniment of the audience. Freshlyground’s die-hard fans were up front, singing along, but by the time the band got to their huge hit “Doo Be Doo,” they had everybody in the crowd waving their hands and chanting. Freshlyground continue their North American tour in Philadelphia, before doing other dates in Canada and California. Afrofusion hopes to have more for you from  Freshlyground and Sahel later on, stay tuned! Other upcoming concerts of note: Kassav, pioneers of the zouk sound, will be in DC July 29 for a one-night only show (at the Crossroads), promoted by Kololo Entertainment, the same promoter responsible for Freshlyground’s DC show. Also at Crossroads, Beres Hammond and Wayne Wonder as part of their Cool Out Sundays Concert Series, August 7. See you there! More photos from the Freshlyground and Sahel shows below and on our gallery page. Bless…

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