Connecting Diaspora Through Jazz

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(The South African Mmabana Youth Dancers at the South African Consulate’s Reception)

The Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium (CBJC), led by Chairperson Jitu Weusi, who is recognized internationally for his civil rights and community activist work, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and other community partners, hosted a 40 member delegation of public and private sector leaders from Jazz African Heritage (JAH), an organization dedicated to restoring pride in African cultural heritage by bridging the gap between the African Continent and the international African Diaspora.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is leading a major economic and community development initiative in his country, which inspired the formation of JAH. The JAH members attended a series of business, educational, economic development, cultural and spiritual events planned by CBJC from Wednesday, July 26th through Monday, August 7th, 2006 in the Brooklyn and Greater New York area, as well as in Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Montreal. 

These events have been designed to help JAH achieve broad participation in JAH 2007. The JAH Festival will be launched in the U.S. tradition of Black History Month on February 15th through the 25th, 2007, and will be held in the Gauteng Province—includes the cities of Soweto, Johannesburg and Pretoria—and the North West Province, which is positioning itself as the “Heritage� Province. 

Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte and South Africa’s own Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu, this generation’s Miriam Makeba, have already committed to this project.

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