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Soweto Street Beat and Mary Bush Smith Featured at 5th Annual Concert of African Music and Dance

Tallahassee is an interesting music town. While in many ways, this is still a backwater southern town, thanks primarily to our colleges and universities, we are lucky to get some incredible touring companies. In this article, TallyCast contributor Casey Laurienzo shares information on the 5th Annual Concert of African Music and Dance and two very special acts coming to town.

streetbeatThe fifth annual concert of African Music and Dance sees the return of two very prominent groups on the international music arena—the world renowned Soweto Street Beat from South Africa and Mary Bush Smith, a highly respected southern gospel singer. In addition, the concert will feature Chiles and Rickards High Schools. Wear your African finery to the concert because you will get a chance to show it off in a fashion show of African attire.

The mission of African Music and Dance, Inc. is to create awareness of African classical music and dance and their influence in Western culture. Over the past five years several groups and schools have performed at the annual concerts. The concerts have also drawn prominent figures as emcees, including State Representative Curtis Richardson, Quincy Mayor Sherry Taylor, and Leon County Judge Nina Ashenafi.

sowetto

The evening showcases the renowned South African Zulu warriors “Soweto Street Beat.” The must-see group has performed at the Olympics, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Lincoln Center, and Mardi Gras celebrations. These performers repeatedly stun audiences with their acrobatic moves, rhythmic and fanstastic drumming, and songs. The tribal warriors’ dress of skins, furs, leather, masks, shields, and spears heightens the drama of their performance. The Zulu warriors, dating back from Chaka, and a renowned fighting king (the African equivalent of Napoleon), brought victory to South Africa and climax to the concert.

The Legendary Mary Bush Smith

(The Legendary) Mary Bush Smith

The talented gospel queen Mary Bush Smith, with over 25 years of singing history, will also contribute “good old southern gospel songs.” Mary Bush Smith and her Tri-State choir are familiar names to lovers of this genre in the Southeast. The concert will also feature two local high schools-Chiles, well known in Tallahassee for their sweet singing of African songs, and Rickards, who is making their debut this year.

Dr. Tawainga Katsvairo, the concert director says those who wear African attire will get a chance to participate in a fashion show of African attire and share the stage for a dance with Soweto Street Beat. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for students, and children are free. The concert will be presented by Nina Ashenafi. Tickets are available at Music Masters on 1114 N Monroe Street and also at the door on the evening of the concert. For more information visit www.africanmusicanddance.org or contact Casey at 847 975 3245.

Soweto Street Beat and Mary Bush Smith Featured at 5th Annual Concert of African Music and Dance
Saturday, April 18, at 7:00 pm
Chiles High School, Tallahassee, Florida

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