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    1. #1
      Raha's Avatar
      Raha is offline Be EASY.

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      Houston International Festival: Spotlighting Out of Africa


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!


      IFEST ANNOUNCES MUSIC LINEUP FOR 2008 EVENT IN DOWNTOWN HOUSTON SPOTLIGHTING “OUT OF AFRICA”


      HEADLINERS INCLUDE BUDDY GUY, THE NEVILLE BROTHERS, THE WAILERS, HUGH MASEKELA, THE NATIONAL DANCE THEATER OF ETHIOPIA, HABIB KOITE, THE GARIFUNA COLLECTIVE, EMELINE MICHEL, SHEMEKA COPELAND, BETTYE LAVETTE, THE LOWRIDER BAND, GRUPO FANTASMA, SAMARABALOUF, CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE, SONNY LANDRETH, TROMBONE SHORTY, CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS, RED STICK RAMBLERS, SOUL REBELS, STEP RIDEAU, TERRANCE SIMIEN AND MANY MORE!!!

      HOUSTON – The 2008 Houston International Festival, honoring “Out of Africa: The Three Journeys,” is proud to announce the music lineup showcasing a host of top artists from around the globe. The 37th annual Festival returns to downtown Houston April 19-20 & 26-27, featuring continuous music, dance and cultural performances on ten stages.

      Headlining the Bud Light World Music Stage are Chicago blues guitar hero Buddy Guy, April 19; Jamaican reggae legends, the Wailers, performing the classic hits of Bob Marley, April 20; New Orleans funk masters, the Neville Brothers, making their iFest debut April 26; and South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, leading a Pan-African finale April 27. African, Afro-Caribbean and African-American bands will perform side by side throughout the day, demonstrating the cultural continuity from Africa to the Americas and back again. International acts include Habib Koite (Mali); Emeline Michel (Haiti); Major Riley (Trinidad); Joaquin Diaz (Dominican Republic); and The Garifuna Collective (Belize) performing a tribute to the late world music hero Andy Palacio. They will be joined by blues belter Shemeka Copeland; soul revivalist and GRAMMY award nominated Bettye LaVette; salsa/cumbia kings Grupo Fantasma; and the ultrafunky Lowrider Band, featuring the original members of War, plus Houston’s own D.R.U.M. Some of Texas’ finest DJ sound systems will keep the party going between sets.

      WaMu Center Stage, built over the Reflection Pond in front of Houston’s City Hall, will
      showcase the North American debut of the National Dance Theatre of Ethiopia both Festival weekends. This colorfully clad, 16-member troupe will perform a stunning variety of traditional and modern choreographed routines. Their incredible performances will be accompanied by a live band playing Ethiopian-style music that has developed at the crossroads of East Africa, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

      The Cotton Club, a recreation of Harlem’s fabled Prohibition Era nightclub, will draw a crowd with the theatrically showcased sounds of 1920s and 1930s traditional jazz and blues. Some of Houston’s most respected African-American singers and musicians will honor the legends of black music, including Nelson Mills III (Cab Calloway), Gloria Edwards (Dinah Washington), Diunna Greenleaf (Bessie Smith), Barrie Lee Hall (Duke Ellington), Carolyn Blanchard (Lena Horne) and Leo Polk (Louis Armstrong).

      The Louisiana Stage now in its third year will again feature a distinctive Gulf Coast gumbo of blues, zydeco, Cajun and New Orleans brass bands, along with side helpings of gospel, swing, country and rock. On April 19, the French gypsy trio, Samarambalouf, will co-host a Cajun/swing jam session with Lafayette’s amazing Red Stick Ramblers and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a young trio playing authentic African-American string band music in the 1920s style. April 20 boasts a killer lineup of blues harmonica hero Charlie Musselwhite; blues-rock guitar ace Sonny Landreth; New Orleans’ 2007 musician of the year Trombone Shorty; and GRAMMY-award winner zydeco accordionist Terrance Simien. The second weekend offers more zydeco with local faves Brian Jack (4/26) and Step Rideau (4/27); New Orleans’ hip-hop brass band the Soul Rebels (4/26); Houston blues queen Trudy Lynn (4/27); and gospel burners the Jones Family Singers (4/27). Texas’ Hollisters (4/26) and Louisiana’s Bluerunners (4/26) bring a rock edge to Gulf Coast idioms country and zydeco, while Soulfruit (4/27) brings a hip-hop flavor to contemporary gospel music.

      The Chron.com Houston Stage, a popular new addition to last year’s music schedule, will again feature top local bands representing a spectrum of Houston music, from blues, R&B and jazz, to reggae, rock and country. April 19 focuses on the blues, with Little Joe Washington, Earl Gilliam, Sonny Boy Terry and the Zydeco Dots. On April 20, longtime local hero Kyle Turner headlines a smooth and funky jazz “Saxophone Summit” with Mike Reed, Kelly Dean and Cameron Scott. April 26 is alt-country day, with folk-rockers Sugar Bayou followed by local chip-kickers Miss Leslie, Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys, Johnny Falstaff and the Hollisters. April 27 boasts an eclectic lineup with the Free Radicals (avant-jazz), the Trenchtown Texans (ska and reggae), Spain Colored Orange (indie-rock) and Plump (jam-band rock).

      This year’s Latin Stage boasts an exciting and fresh mix of rock en español, Latin hip-hop and salsa, alongside more traditional conjuntos, mariachi and ballet folklorico. Local faves Felipe Galvan y los Skarnales will headline April 19 along with the Flamin’ Hellcats, Triple and Mariachi Los Coyotes. Pastilla, from Los Angeles, rocks the stage April 20 with Cuervo and Yoko Mono. On April 26, in cooperation with Rockvivo, iFest is pleased to present Mexico City’s Somabit, plus Joaquin Diaz, Los Pistoleros and Espantaparajos. Houston’s rising Latin hip-hop star Karina Nistal and her Rebel Crew headline April 27, with salseros Grupo Batacha and Mary’s Band.
      The H-E-B Cultural Stage and the Gullah Stage, both located in the Out of Africa Zone’s educational Living Museum area, represent the cultural heart of this year’s “Out of Africa” theme. From daily drum circles and dance lessons, to griot storytelling, gospel choirs and theatrical vignettes, these stages honor the ongoing ancestral connection between Houston’s African-American and African-Caribbean communities and their African heritage.

      The Target International Kids Stage in the Target Kids Zone will again present a daily variety of local dance troupes showcasing Houston’s abundance of cultural diversity – from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas – as well as talented young local gospel, R&B and hip-hop performers demonstrating their singing and rapping skills. And for further evidence of Houston’s importance as an international center, the Sister Cities Stage will feature programming by the local Sister Cities Associations.

      In addition to the stage and tent performances, the Festival will also present street performances in its entertainment zones, cultural dance performances, as well as an Ethiopian fashion show.

      The Festival will take place April 19-20 & 26-27. Saturdays 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. The Festival will also host free Friday lunchtime concerts April 18 & 25, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

      Tickets go on sale March 10 at Houston area H-E-B stores and online at www.ifest.org.
      Early Bird Discount Tickets: $8.50 until April 16. Advance discount tickets will be $12.50 April 16 until April 27 and $15 at the gate; New this year, Target Kids Free (kids 12 and under are FREE).

      All proceeds benefit Festival arts and education programs. The Festival suggests easy access parking in all downtown Theater District lots for $6.

      For more information on the 2008 Houston International Festival, call 713.654.8808 or access the Festival’s official website at www.ifest.org.

      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!): http://www.reverbnation.com/pyrrhicvictory

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

    2. #2
      Raha's Avatar
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      Complete Music Schedule


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      FRIDAY, APRIL 18
      WAMU CENTER STAGE
      12:00 D.R.U.M.
      12:15 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      12:30 D.R.U.M.


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      SATURDAY, APRIL 19
      WAMU CENTER STAGE
      1:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      3:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      5:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      7:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia


      BUD LIGHT WORLD MUSIC STAGE
      12:00 Soular Grooves Sound System feat. DJ Sun (Suriname)
      12:30 Bomba Chica
      2:30 D.R.U.M.
      4:30 Grupo Fantasma
      6:30 Bettye LaVette
      8:30 Buddy Guy


      LOUISIANA STAGE
      1:30 Louisiana Purchase Bluegrass Band
      3:30 Carolina Chocolate Drops
      5:30 Red Stick Ramblers
      7:30 Samarabalouf (France)
      9:00 Swing Jam with Samarabalouf and Red Stick Ramblers

      ROOM STORE LATIN STAGE
      12:00 DJs Latin Tron and Colectivo Machin
      2:00 Mariachi Los Coyotes
      4:00 Triple
      6:00 Flamin' Hellcats
      8:15 Felipe Galvan y los Skarnales

      CHRON.COM HOUSTON STAGE
      1:00 Zydeco Dots
      2:30 Sonny Boy Terry
      4:00 Earl Gilliam
      5:30 Little Joe Washington
      7:30 D.R.U.M.

      COTTON CLUB STAGE PRESENTED BY GROLSCH
      2:00 Nelson Mills' Tribute to Cab Calloway
      4:00 Gloria Edwards' Tribute to Dinah Washington
      6:00 Nelson Mills' Tribute to Cab Calloway
      8:00 Gloria Edwards' Tribute to Dinah Washington

      H-E-B CULTURAL STAGE
      12:00 Invocation/Drum Call with Kweku
      1:00 HEB Cooking Connection Presents Cuisines Out of Africa
      2:00 Fashions of Ethiopia
      3:00 The Ensemble Theater's "Bre'r Rabbit"
      4:00 Ayo Codrington - Classical soprano
      5:00 HEB Cooking Connection Presents Cuisines Out of Africa
      6:00 Tribute to Sam Cooke with Tony Henry
      7:00 Ku-Cheza Ngoma Hip-Hop Dance Group
      8:00 Irunmole Dance and Drum Theater
      9:00 The Shrine of the Black Madonna Gospel Choir

      GULLAH STAGE
      12:00 Imaniah-- Steel Pan Drumming
      1:00 Voodoo Brass Band -- Parade
      1:30 Queen Quet -- Gullah griot
      2:00 Kijana-- The Griot
      3:00 Living History Theater: "Little Slave for Sale"
      4:00 Irunmole African Drum and Dance Lessons
      5:00 Grupo de N'Golo -- Capoeira Angola
      6:00 Carolina Chocolate Drops -- African-American String Band Music
      7:00 Queen Quet -- Gullah Griot
      8:00 Living History Theater -- "Little Slave for Sale"
      9:00 Drum Circle with Baba KunAma and friends

      TARGET INTERNATIONAL KIDS STAGE
      12:00 Target Dance Contest
      1:00 Ensemble Theater's "Bre'r Rabbit"
      2:00 Korean Folk Dancers
      3:00 Anjali Indian
      4:00 Target Dance Contest
      5:00 Grupo Folklorico Tabasco
      6:00 Drum Talk with Kweku and friends
      7:00 Ayo - R&B vocals
      8:00 Hip Hop Poetry w/Funk Bank
      9:00 I-Fresh Hip Hop Fest with Bobby Fine and Zin

      SISTER CITIES STAGE
      12:00 Teen How Taoist Temple Opera Band
      1:00 US Chen Tai Chi Federation
      2:00 Sabor Mexico Theatrical Dance Company
      3:00 Huapango-Blanca Pulido
      4:30 Mixteco Ballet Folkorico
      5:30 Houston Shaolin Kung Fu School
      6:30 Venezuela en Danzas
      7:30 Soulsa Caliente




      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      SUNDAY, APRIL 20
      WAMU CENTER STAGE
      12:30 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      2:30 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      4:30 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      6:30 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia

      BUD LIGHT WORLD MUSIC STAGE
      12:00 Soular Grooves Sound System feat. DJ Kool Emdee (Jamaica)
      12:30 Harrison Kumi (Ghana)
      2:00 Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience
      4:00 Emeline Michel (Haiti)
      6:15 The Wailers (Jamaica)

      LOUISIANA STAGE
      12:30 Bayou Roux
      2:30 Trombone Shorty
      4:30 Sonny Landreth
      6:30 Charlie Musselwhite

      ROOM STORE LATIN STAGE
      12:00 DJs Latin Tron and Colectivo Machine
      12:30 Mariachi Los Coyotes
      2:00 Yoko Mono
      4:00 Pastilla
      6:15 Cuervo


      CHRON.COM HOUSTON STAGE
      1:30 Kelly Dean
      3:00 Mike Reed
      4:30 Kyle Turner
      6:00 Houston Sax Summit with Kyle Turner, Mike Reed, Kelly Dean and Cameron Scott

      COTTON CLUB STAGE PRESENTED BY GROLSCH
      1:30 Diunna Greenleaf's Tribute to Bessie Smith
      3:30 Diunna Greenleaf's Tribute to Bessie Smith
      5:30 Diunna Greenleaf's Tribute to Bessie Smith

      H-E-B CULTURAL STAGE
      12:00 Invocation/Drum Call with Kweku
      1:00 Cuisines Out of Africa
      2:00 Fashions of Ethiopia
      3:00 The Griot Society -- African Storytelling
      4:00 Funk Bank featuring hip-hop poet Jerome Washington
      5:00 Cuisines Out of Africa
      6:00 Irunmole Dance and Drum Theater
      7:00 The Shrine of the Black Madonna Gospel Choir

      GULLAH STAGE
      12:00 Imaniah -- Steel Pan Drumming
      1:00 Voodoo Brass Band -- Parade
      1:30 Queen Quet -- Gullah griot
      2:00 Kijana-- The Griot
      3:00 Living History Theater -- "Little Slave for Sale"
      4:00 Grupo de N'Golo -- Capoeira Angola
      5:00 Queen Quet -- Gullah Griot
      6:00 Living History Theater: "Little Slave for Sale"
      7:00 Drum Circle with Baba KunAma and friends

      TARGET INTERNATIONAL KIDS STAGE
      12:00 Target Dance Contest
      1:00 Impilio Cultural Dance Ensemble
      2:00 Cookie Joe's Dancin' School
      3:00 Natya Upasan Indian Dance Academy
      4:00 Cultural Yours -- Kenyan fashions and dance
      5:00 Grupo Folklorico Tabasco
      6:00 Drum Talk with Kweku and friends
      7:00 Terrance Simien's Creole for Kidz

      SISTER CITIES STAGE
      12:00 Teen How Taoist Temple Opera Band
      1:00 US Chen Tai Chi Federation
      2:00 La Esencia Flamenca Dance Company
      3:00 Huapango-Blanca Pulido
      4:30 Mixteco Ballet Folkorico
      5:30 Tribal Lillies
      6:30 Ambassadors International Ballet Folkorico
      7:30 Kuumba House Dance Theatre




      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



      FRIDAY, APRIL 25
      WAMU CENTER STAGE
      11:15 Zydeco Dots
      12:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      12:15 Zydeco Dots


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      SATURDAY, APRIL 26
      WAMU CENTER STAGE
      1:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      3:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      5:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      7:00 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia

      BUD LIGHT WORLD MUSIC STAGE
      12:00 Soular Grooves Sound System feat. DJ Josh Zulu (South Africa)
      12:30 Emman Legrand (Congo)
      2:00 Joaquin Diaz (Dominican Republic)
      4:00 The Lowrider Band (formerly WAR)
      6:00 Shemekia Copeland
      8:15 The Neville Brothers


      LOUISIANA STAGE
      1:30 The Hollisters
      3:30 The Bluerunners
      5:30 Soul Rebels Brass Band
      7:45 Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers

      ROOM STORE LATIN STAGE
      12:00 DJs Latin Tron and Colectivo Machin
      2:00 Espantapajaros
      4:00 Los Pistoleros de Texas
      6:00 Joaquin Diaz (Dominican Republic)
      8:15 Somabit (Mexico)

      CHRON.COM HOUSTON STAGE
      1:00 Sugar Bayou
      2:30 Miss Leslie and Her Jukejointers
      4:00 The Resin Valley Boys
      5:30 Johnny Falstaff
      7:30 The Hollisters

      COTTON CLUB PRESENTED BY GROLSCH
      2:00 Barrie Lee Hall's Tribute to Duke Ellington
      4:00 Carolyn Blanchard's Tribute to Lena Horne
      6:00 Barrie Lee Hall's Tribute to Duke Ellington
      8:00 Carolyn Blanchard's Tribute to Lena Horne

      H-E-B CULTURAL STAGE
      12:00 A Jazz and Poetry Experience
      1:00 HEB Cooking Connection Presents Cuisines Out of Africa
      2:00 Fashions of Ethiopia
      3:00 Under the Griot Tree
      4:00 Ayo Codrington -- classical soprano
      5:00 HEB Cooking Connection Presents Cuisines Out of Africa
      6:00 Kuumba House African Dance Ensemble
      7:00 Drum Talk with Kweku and Friends
      8:00 Joe Lee McCoy -- acoustic soul
      9:00 Expletive Deleted -- gospel

      GULLAH STAGE
      12:00 Steel Vibrations -- Caribbean drumming
      1:00 Kweku and friends -- Parade
      1:30 Kuumba House Kids
      2:00 Queen Quet -- Gullah Griot
      3:00 Living History Theater -- "Little Slave for Sale"
      4:00 Koumanke'le -- African Drum and Dance Lessons
      5:00 Grupo de N'Golo -- Capoeira Angola
      6:00 Steel Vibrations -- Caribbean drumming
      7:00 Queen Quet -- Gullah griot
      8:00 Living History Theater: "Little Slave for Sale"
      9:00 Drum Circle with BabAlafia and friends

      TARGET INTERNATIONAL KIDS STAGE
      12:00 Target Dance Contest
      1:00 Nritya School of Dance
      2:00 Folkor y Ritmo de Panama
      3:00 Abhinaya Indian Dancers
      4:00 Target Dance Contest
      5:00 Houston Azerbaijanis Folk Dancers
      6:00 United Nations Association Choir
      7:00 TSU Dance Team
      8:00 Hip Hop Petry w/ Funk Bank
      9:00 I-Fresh Hip Hop Fset wtih Bobby Fine and Zin

      SISTER CITIES STAGE
      12:00 Silk Road Dance Company
      1:00 US Chen Tai Chi Federation
      2:00 Sabor Mexico Theatrical Dance Company
      3:00 Revels
      4:30 Zhi Qing Association
      5:30 New Talent Singing Group
      6:30 Silk Road Dance Company
      7:30 Soulsa Caliente



      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      SUNDAY, APRIL 27
      WAMU CENTER STAGE
      12:30 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      2:30 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      4:30 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia
      6:30 National Dance Theater of Ethiopia

      BUD LIGHT WORLD MUSIC STAGE
      12:00 Soular Grooves Sound System feat. DJ Simiyu (Kenya)
      1:00 Menwar (Mauritius)
      2:30 The Garifuna Collective (Belize)
      4:15 Habib Koite and Bamada (Mali)
      6:00 Taj Mahal
      7:30 Pan-African Finale with Taj Mahal and guests

      LOUSIANA STAGE
      12:30 Soulfruit
      2:30 Jones Family Singers
      4:30 Trudy Lynn and the Houston Blues Stars
      6:30 Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws

      ROOM STORE LATIN STAGE
      12:00 DJs Latin Tron and Colectivo Machine
      12:30 Ballet Folklorico Ambassadors
      2:00 Mary's Band
      4:00 Grupo Batacha
      6:15 Karina Nistal and the Rebel Crew

      CHRON.COM HOUSTON STAGE
      1:30 Free Radicals
      3:00 Trenchtown Texans
      4:30 Spain Colored Orange
      6:00 Plump

      COTTON CLUB STAGE PRESENTED BY GROLSCH
      1:30 Leo Polk's Tribute to Louis Armstrong
      3:30 Leo Polk's Tribute to Louis Armstrong
      5:30 Leo Polk's Tribute to Louis Armstrong

      H-E-B CULTURAL STAGE
      12:00 A Jazz and Poetry Experience
      1:00 Cuisines Out of Africa
      2:00 Fashions of Ethiopia
      3:00 Drum Talk with Kweku and Friends
      4:00 Ayo Codrington -- classical soprano
      5:00 Cuisines Out of Africa
      6:00 Second Generation Dance Company
      7:00 Jones Family Singers -- gospel

      GULLAH STAGE
      12:00 African drumming with Alafia and friends
      1:00 Brazilian Protest Samba School Parade
      1:30 Living History Theater -- "Jumpin' Juba"
      2:00 Queen Quet -- Gullah griot
      3:00 Living History Theater -- "Little Slave for Sale"
      4:00 Grupo de N'Golo -- Capoeira Angola
      5:00 Queen Quet -- Gullah griot
      6:00 Living History Theater: "Little Slave for Sale"
      7:00 Drum Circle with BabAlafia and friends

      TARGET INTERNATIONAL KIDS STAGE
      12:00 Target Dance Contest
      1:00 Ft. Bend School of Dance
      2:00 Manutahi-Texas Hawaiian Dance Troupe
      3:00 Capoeira Brazil
      4:00 Sirrom School of Belly Dance
      5:00 Ballet Folklorico International Ambassadors
      6:00 JAWED Young Gospel Showcase
      7:00 Soulfruit


      SISTER CITIES STAGE
      12:00 Silk Road Dance Company
      1:00 US Chen Tai Chi Federation
      2:00 Raices del Peru
      3:00 La Esencia Flamenca Dance Company
      4:30 Zhi Qing Association
      5:30 Tribal Lillies
      6:30 Kuumba House Dance Theatre

      Only 8 more days to get your tickets at $8.50 each! After the 16th tickets go up to $12.50, and at the gate they will be $15.



      I'll see you there!
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!): http://www.reverbnation.com/pyrrhicvictory

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

    3. #3
      Raha's Avatar
      Raha is offline Be EASY.

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      I had a blast yesterday!


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      The festival was so off the chain, it was almost disconnected! lol

      When I went into the gates, I went over to this stage called the "Cotton Club" where throughout both weekends they were doing tributes to all the great musicians and singers that were around at the time that the Cotton Club in NYC, such as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, and so on. The Brother that I saw on stage did a GREAT impression of Louis Armstrong, from his voice to his look to his notes on the trumpet (I have pics of that).

      After that, I walked around a bit more, just taking in the sights and the smells of the festival. I went to the Caribbean/African marketplace to check out the wares. I bought a Red, Black, and Green Africa keychain from the Houston chapter of the National Black United Front, a pair of flutes from a Brother that I had previously bought my djembe from a couple of years ago (he was a really cool Brother that encouraged everyone to play with ALL the instruments; the flutes were 2 for 5 dollars; I'll take pics on them later), and I bought a Jamaica ring (I saw this really beautiful necklace that had Bob Marley's picture on a pendant of Africa, but I did not have enough money).

      I continued my trek when I came across a DJ and a dude with a chainsaw standing near a block of ice. I knew this was going to be good. He warned the kids that they were going to get wet (from the ice carvings) and also to NOT eat the ice that fell to the ground. So the DJ got the dude started up by cranking some hip-hop tunes (old school and new school), and the guy started shaving that ice like crazy! He revved the chainsaw to the music a few times as well. He also stopped during the show to hand out popsicles to the kids (I really wanted one, lol). As he continued, I could kind of see what was taking shape. He was carving out angel's wings. When he finished, he split the sculpture so that the wings were facing outward, and he asked a little girl (about 8 or 9) to come sit on the stage so that it looked like she had angel wings (it's a cute picture).

      I then traveled to the Ethiopian/Jamaican/Gullah exhibits not too far from the chainsaw guy. I first went to the Ethiopian fashion show where there were these beautiful Ethiopian Sisters modeling some groovy fashions straight from Ethiopia. They were also getting down to the music, too. I then went over to a recreation of an Ethiopian church, but it was through there that I saw Queen Quet adjacent to the exhibit talking about the Gullah Geechee culture and letting us know to not forget our roots and to recognize them as a part of us. She was BEAUTIFUL. After that, I went to an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony where I had some REALLY strong coffee (no sugar). After that, I proceeded to walk towards the Bud light music stage where the Garifuna Collective were performing (they were from Belize). BEAUTIFUL music by beautiful people (they had two Sisters from Guatemala dancing beautifully to the music). I wish I had the chance to see Andy Palacio perform with them before his passing earlier this year. They were on my friends list the whole time. After they finished performing, I went to go get something to drink (I wasn't really thirsty, but it was moreso of a preventive measure so that I wouldn't get thirsty later).

      I walked around some more, agian taking in the sights and sounds of the festival. I went to the Kids Zone, where they had Belly Dancers from a Belly Dancing school here in Houston performing (I would have liked to have seen SOME Indian, Pakistani, or Middle Eastern ladies up there; they were mostly white ladies up there. lol, I couldn't really get into it).

      I got a couple of Churros, and then left to go see a bit of Grupo Bachata at the Latin Stage. I sat and took a few pictures of them, then I got up and continued my journey.

      I saw the Hare Krishnas dancing and singing to the beat of the dhol in the streets. I also saw them pull people in to dance with them. I decided to hangback and watch this year. Last year I was in there, though. lol

      I went back to the Bud Light music stage to see Habib Koite perform (he and the band were from Mali). Beautiful music, just beautiful. The thing I saw with all of the musicians that I saw perform was that they weren't afraid to GROOVE while performing; dancing and playing is a difficult task, but they all did it with ease. After his performance, I decided to stay at the stage and relax until Taj Mahal came out to perform.

      When came out, I stood right back up and cheered for the Taj Mahal trio. Taj Mahal played the keyboard, the electric guitar, the acoustic guitar, AND the banjo! He apparently plays about 20 instruments. When they started playing, I was in the grooooooooove...that nice, down-home blues got to me...I was grooving the whole time. I was thinking to myself about all the people sitting down and thought, "they must like to chill to the blues, but I can't do that; I gots to MOVE!" On the last song, Taj got EVERYBODY up and singing "Hey! Hey! The Blues Are All Right!", so I was geeked about that. After they finished, they came back onstage and did an encore of one song. THEN the BIG FINALE HAPPENED: Taj Mahal, the Garifuna Collective, AND Habib Koite all performed together onstage for the first time! Taj Mahal said that there was no practice or preparation whatsoever beforehand, so it was all just freestyle playing. Everyone picked up their instruments and started jamming non-stop for about 20-30 minutes. It was SO AMAZING, and it really drove home the theme of the festival, showing the different connections that all of our Brothers and Sisters have to Africa, whether you are from the continent or from the Diaspora. I couldn't stop clapping.

      The band finished earlier than I expected (I told my mom to come pick me up at 9, and they finished around 8), so I waited for her outside at the Pappa's BBQ place on the corner. As I was walking to that place, a young Sister on a Segway (I thought they recalled those?) gave me two 25 dollar gift cards to onlinetickets.com. They are good for 25 dollars off two or more tickets. Kick-ass! As I waited on the corner, I saw the people pass me going towards the parking garage. A Brother was playing the clarinet near there (which reminded me of the old white guy playing the sax near the festival gates earlier). A white guy with a big-ass beard passed me and shook my hand. I had saw him during the Taj Mahal performance in the audience. "That was a great festival. I saw you bopping out there all day during the musical performances", he said. I said, "Ha-ha, yeah." And I was; music moves me, ya dig? Another white guy passed me and we talked a bit about the festival and how great it was. He told me that he didn't know that Habib Koite was going to be performing, but he has heard his music beforehand. He then said, "Have a good night!"

      It was surprisingly cold due to the wind and all of those tall buildings, and I was getting stuffy from that as well as the smokers from the crowd. I'm still suffering because of it right now. Lol, but it's all good. My mom picked me up, and we drove home. I played a bit of the flute for her until she told me to stop as we were driving back home.

      All in all, this was THE BEST Houston International Festival that I've EVER been to. Hands-down. No contest. I LOVED every bit of it. The one thing that I regret missing were the dancers from Ethiopia. I really wanted to see them, but I'm goign to see if I can find some info about them online. I'm itching to see what the festival will have for next year.

      Now I gotta check out all of the music from the artists that I saw and didn't see from the festival as well as see if I can find the different restaurants that catered the event.

      Holla black!

      P.E.A.C.E.
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!): http://www.reverbnation.com/pyrrhicvictory

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

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