LSM Newswire

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Celebrate Black History Month at Harbourfront Centre's 14th Annual Kuumba Festival

Presented by TD

Two jam-packed weekends celebrating the history and the future of black culture

TORONTO, ON (Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010) – Kuumba
, Toronto's longest-running and largest Black History Month festival returns to Harbourfront Centre with two jam-packed weekends commemorating both the history and the future of black culture. The first weekend of Kuumba focuses on ideas surrounding Old School and Power of Soul while the second weekend will explore themes of Black to the Future and One Love.

“Kuumba” is the Swahili word for creativity and has become synonymous with showcasing the best local and international artists from the African and Caribbean diaspora each February at Harbourfront Centre. Join us Feb. 6-7 and Feb. 13-14, 2010 for dance workshops, film screenings, music, comedy, family activities, food demos and more. All programming is FREE (except the Valentine’s Day Comedy Clash $10, $15 at the door) and runs each day from 1 p.m. into the evening.

Kuumba, presented by TD, runs Feb. 6-7 and Feb. 13-14, 2010. All events take place at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queen’s Quay West). For more information and to purchase tickets for the Valentine’s Day Comedy Clash, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit



Feb. 6, 8:30-11 p.m.

Saidah Baba Talibah is the daughter of Obie award-winner and Tony- and Grammy-nominated Salome Bey, Canada's Queen of Jazz, Blues and Spirituals, and the niece of Andy Bey, also a Grammy-nominated musician. She offers up a distinct and fluid blend of bluesy rock, deep funk and hot, buttered soul with a voice that can go from a seductive, soft purr to a powerful bellow at the turn of a dime. With special guest DJ L’Oqenz spinning the tunes.

Feb. 6 & 7, 1:30 p.m.
Learn to play traditional African drums (djembe, sangban, kensedeni, dununba) with
Barrington Hibbert! A limited number of drums are available; participants are asked to bring their own drums.

Feb. 13, 2-5 p.m.

This event honours consciousness in hip hop and spoken word (active art forms for social change) and features an artist showcase and cash prize contest for the most talented conscious wordsmith and raptivist rhymer! An open "infotainment" forum will be set up, featuring organizations that marry art with commerce and activism, giving youth the tools to get involved. Representatives from non-profit urban art organizations include: Manifesto, Lost Lyrics, Beatz to Da Streetz, Nia, Stolen From Africa, Young Diplomats, Regent Park Focus, Medina Collective, L.I.F.E. Movement and the Toronto Youth Cabinet.

Co-produced with UMAC, The Urban Music Association of Canada

(The Real) Soul on Ice: Feb. 6, 8-11 p.m.

DJs Carl Allen and Kwame Younge spin the best in soul, funk, house & reggae!

Feb. 6 & 7, 4-5 p.m.

A live music and dance class with Cuban musician extraordinaire Roberto Linares Brown and dance instructor Vladimir Aranda.


Enjoy traditional Caribbean cuisine prepared by La-toya Fagon of Twist Catering and Ras Iville & Ikeila Wright from One Love Corn! Patricia J. hosts.
- Stew Chicken with Rice and Peas (Feb. 6, 5:30-6:30 p.m.)
- Jamaica’s National Dish: Ackee & Saltfish with Fried Dumplings (Feb. 7, 5:30-6:30 p.m.)
- Coconut Rice & Peas, Fried Cornmeal Dumplings & Cocoa Tea (Feb. 14, 5:30-6:30 p.m.)
- Callaloo Soup (Feb. 13, 5-6 p.m.)


“Soul Power!”
Feb. 6, 6:30-8 p.m. & Feb. 7, 1-3:30 p.m.

In 1974, the most celebrated American R&B acts of the time came together with the most renowned musical groups in Africa for a 12-hour, three-night concert held in Kinshasa, Zaire. Included are performances by James Brown, BB King, Bill Withers, Celia Cruz and many others.

“Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae”
Feb. 7, 4:30-6 p.m.
The remaining great singers and musicians of Jamaica's Golden Age of music, Rocksteady, come together after 40 years to record an album of their greatest hits, to perform together again at a reunion concert in Kingston, and to tell their story. Features many reggae icons including The Tamlins, Stranger Cole, Dawn Penn, Derrick Morgan, Ernest Ranglin, Judy Mowatt and more.

“Good Hair”
Feb. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (PANEL) & Feb. 14, 1-2:30 p.m. (NO PANEL)

An exposé of comic proportions that only comedian/actor Chris Rock could pull off, “Good Hair” visits beauty salons and hairstyling battles, scientific laboratories and Indian temples to explore the way hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships and self esteem in the black community.
: Featuring black hair experts Ruth Smith (Strictly Roots), Buster Berkley (Amorphous Group), and Asha McLeod (Jazma).

“Rastafari Then and Now: A Message From Jamaica”
Feb. 14, 6-7 p.m. (followed by short film preview & panel discussion)

Nation Cheong, a Rastafarian community youth worker and African drummer is concerned about youth violence and wonders if the principles and values of Rastafari could benefit today’s youth. He gathers a group of black youth and takes them on a journey of discovery into Toronto’s Rastafarian community. Along the way, he re-connects with some of his elders which eventually leads him to travel to Jamaica, the birthplace of Rastafari, for the very first time.

“In Search of Rastafari: A Soul’s Journey” (special seven-minute preview)

Bob Marley, a Rasta Prophet, and music icon of the 20th century, almost singlehandedly spread Rastafari to the rest of the world through his powerful lyrics and music. Now, 27 years after Marley’s untimely death, his granddaughter, Donisha Prendergast, 24, embarks on an epic journey of faith and self discovery as both a Rastafarian and a daughter of the Marley dynasty. Along the way she will explore the roots of Rastafari and its links to our cultures.
: Immediately following these two films, there will be drumming and a discussion panel with Nation Cheong, Doctor Patrick Taylor, and Ras Iville.


VALENTINE’S DAY COMEDY CLASH: One Love (or Diasporic Disharmony?)
**Special Ticketed Event** ($10 in advance / $15 at the door)
Feb. 13, 8:30-11 p.m.
Comedians from the U.S., Jamaica, Africa and Trinidad vie for Afrocentric supremacy and regale us with tales on how (and how not) to love the black man and woman. No subject is off limits to Jay Martin, Marc Trinidad, Dwayne Landry, Arthur Simeon!


Led by some of the city’s finest dance instructors (including Jade “Hollywood” Anderson, and Vladimir Aranda), workshops will include:
- “Thriller” Music Video Choreography (Feb. 6, 2:30-3:30 p.m.)
- Salsa 101 for Dummies (Feb. 6 & 7, 4-5 p.m.)
- Voguing & Old School House Dancing (Feb. 7, 2:30-3:30 p.m.)

Feb. 13, 1-2 p.m. & Feb. 14, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Krumping, an expressive and high energy form of hip hop dance, originated in the streets of South Central Los Angeles and has quickly evolved into a global phenomenon. Northbuck is an organization of Toronto krumpers from diverse backgrounds who each faced hardships; krump was their escape. Northbuck's long-term goals are to spread the movement nationwide along with its message of positive, violence-free living.

Feb. 13, 4-5:30 p.m.

Toronto’s best young dance crews battle for bragging rights and a cash prize of $500.


MICHEZO (“games” in Swahili)
Feb. 6 & 7, 1-5 p.m.
Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison
hosts an interactive celebration of the art and genius of traditional African childhood games.

Feb. 6-7 & 13-14, 1-6 p.m.

Let your imagination run wild in a room full of Lego® blocks!

Feb. 13 & 14, 1-6 p.m.
Super Heroes Unite
is an art project created by two Canadian artists, Mark Williams and Joe Bonsu. It involves the creation of super heroes from around the world, placing each super hero in a different country and emphasizing the importance of unity through diversity in their artwork.

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.



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