8th annual Sankofa Jazz Festival has Take 6 taking the stage
Take 6 headlines the 8th annual Sankofa Festival Jazz Festival. (Photo courtesy of SRG)
“For decades Liberty City has received negative labels that had and still sometimes have people ask, ‘What good comes out of the hood?’ My response to that question is to always look at the positive stories of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) and the surrounding community,” says Isis C. Roberts.
Roberts, who has worked at the AHCAC for the past 26 years in a variety of roles, has helped to create lineups for the annual Sankofa Jazz Festival since its launch in 2015.
The 8th Annual Sankofa Jazz Festival, featuring Take 6, is an outdoor festival at the AHCAC on Saturday, April 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Liberty City.
Roberts began her professional life as a voice coach at their after-school Arts Academy. She first held the position of music department manager, then artistic director of Voices of Heritage, and currently she has the title of arts education manager. She says she truly has a love and dedication for the arts. Her position as a production manager has her putting together the stellar appearances of international jazz performers including Nicholas Payton, Jamieson Ross, Christian Sands, Miami’s own Melton Mustafa, Jessie Jones, and Nicole Henry for the past eight years.
Miami Violist Kizie, a young composer with a variety of musical styles on string instruments who mixes modern songs and vintage hip-hop, “is a force to be reckoned with,” says Roberts after seeing Kizie perform in January.
A musician herself, Robert says that she is “getting goosebumps” just thinking about seeing the headliners of the festival, Take 6. “Not only is Take 6 a jazz vocal group, but they are also a gospel vocal group. Therefore, we are getting the best of both worlds,” she says. “I’m also looking forward to hearing their incredible vocal harmonies, the musicality of their album ‘Join the Band,’ and other favorites like ‘Spread Love.’ ”
There are many things that the community can look forward to, according to Roberts, and wishes the festival to be a place for people to come together and experience talent and culture through jazz music.
“We want everyone to get ready to have a great time. Enjoy some great food, support the local vendors, sing along, and even dance. Be free to allow the music to speak to your inner soul and release the joy within,” says Roberts.
There’s another reason to return to the AHCAC. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, Macedonian artist and filmmaker Kiro Urdin will be at the center to host an artist talk and reception for his exhibition, “Ancestor.” The exhibit runs through May 31. Tickets to the exhibition are free, but it is requested anyone wanting to attend reserve a spot.
WHAT: 8th Annual Sankofa Jazz Festival
WHERE: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22 Ave., Miami
WHEN: 6 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, April 15.
COST: $25, $45 and $60 at eventbrite.com.
INFORMATION: 305-638-6771 or ahcacmiami.org
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