HARTFORD — Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc. presents its free, family friendly Music from the African Diaspora concertat the Theater for the Performing Arts at the Learning Corridor in Hartford.
The event will be on at 7 p.m. on July 30 at 359 Washington St. from 6 p.m.
Nzinga’s Daughters, whose members are from Plainville, Bristol and Hartford, headlines the annual show. Also performing are the world-renowned soul singer Betty Harris; Changes, from Plainville and East Haven; Crystal Blue Project, from Hartford; VOICES, LLC, from Hartford, East Hartford and Bloomfield; Nzinga’s Daughters R&B Band, from Farmington, East Hartford, Hartford, Plainville and Bristol; Orice Jenkins Band, from East Hartford; Toni Ligoin, from West Haven; and Laticia Lewis, from Plainfield, N.J.
David Mayes, of Plainville, and Harris, of Middletown, who each mentor young vocalists in the Queen Ann Nzinga Center programs, will each perform a solo. The free concert is geared to all ages, and children are welcome.
Teens from the program who have received vocal training will also be performing solos. They are: Sabrina Jones, of East Hartford; Dillyn Caruso,
of Plainville; Taylor Rose, of Portland; and Aaleya Hardy, of Bristol.
Prior to the start of the concert, long-time performers, including Harris and bass player Gail Williams, will talk with the audience about the history
of music, which has its roots in Africa. The artists will share what the audience can expect and what to listen for. The elder performers will lead a
question and answer session with the audience.
“If you like Prince, Natalie Cole, Mick Jagger, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Michael Jackson, you’ll enjoy this show,” says Dayna R. Snell, executive director of
the Queen Ann Nzinga Center. “All kinds of music have been influenced by music from the African Diaspora. The beats and the rhythms of the music you hear are a contribution from those of African descent.”
The show is designed to appeal to children and adults alike. For example, Nzinga’s Daughters will perform a calypso-style version of “Itsy Bitsy
Spider,” and Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day O.)”
The concert will include jazz, Latin, reggae, rock ’n roll and interactive songs, she said. This is not the kind of concert where the audience is a
passive observer; the show sparks audience participation.
“It is the synergy between the audience and the performers,” she said. “You come and you feel like you should join. The music brings you in. The stage, the artists, bring you in and pull you close. We transform barriers. So when you come to the music, you’re not black or white, you’re not young or old, you’re not rich or poor.”
For information, contact Queen Ann Nzinga Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-229-8389.