Joan Collasso

Joan Collasso

Emmy award winning Joan Collaso at African Arts Festival

Emmy award winner and international vocalist, Joan Collaso, will grace this years 26 Annual  African Festival of the Arts Monday September 7 with her sophisticated sensual sexy vocals.

Her soulful colorful improvisations and earthy stylization is delivered in a smoldering sexy sound that permeates your spirit and caresses your inner being rewarding you with her festive positive energy thats capture your heart.  Her signature blends mixes the textures of Jazz, R&B, Blues and Gospel creates  her a distinct sound.

This years event is Y’ANIM,”  a Ghanaian term that means  “forward.” Clearly Y’anim in context here means the we  cannot look forward without first considering from where we have come. 

The African Festival of the Arts is that staring point for many, grounding them in the ancestral motherland transporting them to Africa–no passport required. Sisters and brothers from all over the world representing  the African Diaspora travel to attend this magnificent gathering  of all peoples in the world. The focus, however is that, which evolves out of the divinely rich and colorful textures of Black culture from around the world representing hundreds of countries, thousands of tribes, kith and kin. 

The festival opens its gates Friday  at 5 pm featuring a Chicago ‘Thang‘ that the entire world now seeks to follow–a trend of soulful expression in the tradition of the ol’school folk who love to dance. Steppin’ will be done under the stars  to the sounds of  DJs K’Jon and Sam Chatman.

The African Arts Festival continues to unite under one umbrella the many expressions of African creativity through so many venues and genres from dance, music, art, athleticism, sculpture, literature, visual art, wearable art, designs , fabric, oils, cuisine and so much more. This year held high is the spirit of our brother and creative genius Ni-Oti, master artist extraordinaire who passed last year leaving a major void in the art world. It is his original art work  of the Blue people that is this year’s poster art.  Born on American soil but out of the spirit of Africa where he was bestowed the title of Chief while living there honing and fine tuning his artisanship. 

Shoppers stroll through the African Arts Festival enjoying the view.

Shoppers stroll through the African Arts Festival enjoying the view.

As Africans we know that one’s spirit lives on through their work and as long as we speak their name.

Bless Baba Ni-Oti . . . may he live long through the gift of his beautiful work manifested in a myriad of ways. . . visual arts paintings, jewelry and persona. He is missed.

Saturday  features the ‘African Beats’  starting at 4 pm through 7:45 pm.   Music will be presented on the stage, Nola Ade, EcoDel Pacifico Afro-Colombia, Carl Brown and Muntu Dance Theater will close the evening.  Sunday’s  ‘Chicago Best’ Chicago’s Best 4 piece house band, Taylor Moore, Bruce Henry, New direction, M.A.D.D. Rhythms,  Tammy MCann, Ron Baker Jr., Terisa Griffin with herb strong enchanting voice will reel you in line hook and sinker turns it over to Dino Louden and Katherine Davis who will close  down the evening with the blues. Monday’s showdown  Soul Fest brings  Sax Preacher, Soundmine Merchants, Joan Collaso, S.P.I.R.I.T. S “SOA” and the big sound of Jeffery Osborne.

Friday evening starts at 5:30 pm and close out at 9:45 pm

Saturday starts at 4pm and closes  at 7:45 pm

Sunday and Mondays performance’s begin at 5:15 pm and end at 9:45 pm at the Dee Parmer Woodtor main Stage.

Come ready to be thrilled.

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