HARTFORD - The Queen Ann Nzinga Center will host a free and family friendly concert with music from the African Diaspora on Friday, July 29, at the Theater for the Performing Arts at the Learning Corridor.
R&B band Nzinga’s Daughters, whose members represent East Hartford, Farmington, Plainville, Bristol and Hartford, will headline the event.
Also performing will be soul singer Betty Harris, Changes, Kenny Hamber, Orice Jenkins, Alvin Carter Jr. and VOICES, LLC. Lael Williams will be featured artist of the night.
The concert is geared to all ages, and will feature an array of genres including jazz, Latin, reggae and rock n’ roll. Children are welcomed especially to hear the Nzinga’s Daughters perform a calypso-style version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day O).”
“If you like Prince, Etta James, Mick Jagger, Corinne Baily Rae and Michael Jackson, you’ll enjoy this show,” says Dayna R. Snell, executive director of t he 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 contribution from those of African descent.”
Audience members should also be prepared to join in with many interactive songs.
“It’s 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.”
Teenage students from the Queen Ann Nzinga Center who have received vocal training will get to show off their talents by performing solos: Sabrina Jones of East Hartford; Dillyn Caruso and Tanairy Barton, both of Plainville; Aaleta Hardy of Bristol; and Willis Moore Jr. of New Britain.
Doors of the theater located at 359 Washington St. in Hartford will open at 6 p.m. for a silent auction of artwork and photography to benefit the Queen Ann Nzinga Center’s youth arts and enrichment program.
The concert is free and begins at 7 p.m.
“We do that to break down barriers. We’re in Hartford, in a central location, in a place where everybody is welcome,” Snell said. “We create a place for people to come together to sing, dance and experience the music. We are all transformed - the artists, the audience and the community.”
For information, contact Queen Ann Nzinga Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-229- 8389.
Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or email@example.com