Tuesday, September 8, 2009
George Clinton and Sly Stone @
African Festival of The Arts
20th Year Anniversary
September 4-7 2009
[Chicago] Celebrating its 20th year, the African Festival of The Arts continues to deliver an action packed weekend of sheer fun every Labor Day Weekend. Title sponsor, Chrysler Financial shares the vision of keeping the African culture and heritage alive! This festival has had some of the most internationally renowned musical artists to grace its stage, from the late James Brown and Isaac Hayes to Chaka Khan, Rachelle Ferrell, George Duke, Roy Ayers, MC Lyte and the list is just way too long to name them all and this year was no different, for the exception of reaching a twenty-year milestone. Given a very anemic economy, this festival offer much bang for the dollar. For the admission price of $10 in advance or $15.00 at the gate, festival goers were treated with a wonderful shopping experience with vendors from all over the country and abroad, showcasing beautiful works of art, jewelry, apparel, body potions and plenty of incense and a scrumptious array of African, Caribbean and America food vendors.
Now if that wasn't enough, you have the pleasure of watching the Ohio Players, I should say, the legendary Ohio Players, Booker T. Jones, Ahmad Jamaal and George Clinton as headliners. Sharing the stage with these music icons were the lovely and talented Julia Huff, South African lady of soul and song, Lorraine Klassen, native Chicagoan, Ugochi (a must-see) and so many other artists, dancers and drummers, a kids' stage and plenty to do and see for the whole family!
How delightful it was to be surprised at the closing of this milestone weekend with yet another legend, Sly Stone. He joined George Clinton on stage in unbelievable fashion and played a medley of his hits as the audience sang along with "Everyday People," "Thank You," "Family Affair" and other classic jams!
Festivals like the African Festival of The Arts are so vital to our humanity and community! In losing Isaac Hayes, James Brown, Michael Jackson and others, we're always fortunate that a venue such as this still continues to exist in the worst of times to brighten up the Southside of Chicago and put smiles on thousands of faces.
See you next year, visit their website, check out video and pics of 2009 Festival, it's a rare opportunity!