Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yanga Fest 2010! at the DuSable Museum

The DuSable Museum's Yanga Fest was a two day celebration featuring the opening of a new exhibit, The African Presence In Mexico From Yanga to the Present.
The two day festival was with filled art, music and dance! Activities included the DuSable Museum's 36 Annual Arts and Crafts Festival. Also featured were explosive dance and music presentations by Muntu Dance Theatre, Mexican Dance Ensemble, Dance Africa, Alyo Children's Theatre, Sones De Mexico and The Family Reunion Band that highlighted the power and beauty of Mexican and African-American culture.

Under the direction of the new president and CEO, Carol Adams, Phd, the DuSable Museum and the National Museum of Mexican Art, the exhibit which introduces the little known history of Africans in Mexico including the early African travelers, the Olmec heads, Yanga, and the interaction of Africanos, the Indigenous cultures (Native Americans) and the Spanish during the slave trade in Mexico. It is a powerful presentation of the shared history of African-Americans and Mexicans in the new exhibit.
The exhibit, which is organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art is described as "the most comprehensive project ever organized about African contributions to Mexican culture over the past 500 years." The exhibit is curated by Sagario Cruz of the University of Veracruz and the National Museum of Mexican Art's visual art director, Cesareo Moreno.

All photos by Aki Antonia c2010. All rights reserved.
To enlarge, click on the photo.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Yanga Fest! and The African Presence In Mexico Exhibit at the DuSable Museum

The Du Sable Museum

presents Yanga Fest !

Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29, 2010


The African Presence In Mexico exhibit

“The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present”*

A New Exhibition To Open At The DuSable Museum

Chicago, IL. (12 July 2010) —- The DuSable Museum of African American History is pleased to announce a new exhibition, “The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present,” presented by The National Museum of Mexican Art. This critically acclaimed exhibition will open on Friday, August 13, 2010 and continue through Sunday, November 14, 2010 at The DuSable which is located at 740 East 56th Place (57th Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue) in Chicago.

Curated by Sangrario Cruz of the University of Veracruz and the National Museum of Mexican Art’s Visual Arts Director Cesareo Moreno, this exhibition through paintings, photographs, lithographs and historical texts, highlights the impact that Africans had on Mexican culture and examines the complexity of race, culture, politics, and social stratification. No exhibition has showcased the history, artistic expressions and practices of Afro-Mexicans in such broad scope as this one, which includes a comprehensive range of artwork from 18th Century Colonial caste paintings to contemporary artistic expressions. The African Presence in Mexico is also a bilingual exhibition that includes text panels, tours and various educational and public programming in both English and Spanish. Organized and originally presented by the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, this traveling exhibition has made stops in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, D.C., and California, as well as Monterrey and Veracruz, Mexico. The exhibition features important historical figures, such as Yanga, an African leader and founder of the first free African township in the Americas (January 6, 1609), and illuminates the contributions of Africans to the artistic, culinary, musical and cultural traditions of Mexican culture from the past through the present day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

SMITHOLOGY! at the Jazz Showcase

The Tender Touch CD Release Party and Concert at the Jazz Showcase
Saxophonist, Al Smith and Pianist, Genieve Smith grace the cover of the album.
Pianist, Willie Pickens and Saxophonist, Al Smith perform at the SMITHOLOGY Concert at the Jazz Showcase-Chicago.
Pianist, Willie Pickens, Bassist Larry Gray, Saxophonist, Al Smith, percussionist, Warren Smith and drummer, Leon Joyce Jr. light up the stage at the Jazz Showcase... SMITHOLOGY concert.
Pianist, Mike Logan, Saxophonist, Al Smith, Percussionist, Warren Smith Bassist, Larry Gray and Drummer, Leon Joyce Jr.
Musicans, fans, friends and family packed the Jazz Showcase to enjoy the SMITHOLOGY Concert. Musician's Mecca Crump and pianist, John Talmadge were in the club!
Pianist-composer, Aki Antonia reflects on the musical legacy of the Smith's at the SMITHOLOGY Concert.
"I was told by father, pianist, Paul Smith, that the Jazz Showcase club owner, Joe Segal used to listen to Al's father, my uncle, pianist-composer, Lloyd Smith at sessions held Roosevelt University, Chicago Musical College back in the day. It was also where my Aunt Geneive attended musical college as a prodigy with Dean Ganz. RU-CMC is my alumus as well. "
"It is interesting to see and hear the generations of music and feel the circle of life in this concert." This concert reminded me of the many musical concerts and sessions held at my grandfather's home; at my father's home and in my own home with the Smith's."
Bassist, Larry Gray, Percussionist, Warren Smith, Saxophonist, Al Smith, Pianist, Genivive Smith, Vocalist, Joyce, "Peaches" Faison, Pianist, vocalist, and producer, Mike Logan, Drummer Leon Joyce Jr. (Not pictured, Pianist, Willie Pickens).