Historically located at Bronson Park and recent years, occupying Arcadia Festival Site in downtown Kalamazoo, the 29th annual Black Arts Festival will operate out of LaCrone Park, located in the heart of Kalamazoo. This years theme, Ignite the Community has themes for programs throughout the week.
See list of scheduled events:
Tuesday July 14th
Wednesday July 15th
Thursday July 16th
Friday July 17th
Saturday July 18th
Saturday July 18th
Sunday July 19th
Midwest Music Makers
R& B Singer Puff Johnson Loses Battle With Cervical Cancer
Puff Johnson, whose real name was Ewanya Johnson, reportedly died on June 24, 2013 after long battle with cervical cancer.
Johnson emerged on the music scene with the singles Forever More and Over & Over, which appeared on the soundtrack of the film The First Wives Club.
Miracle, her only album was released in 1996. In 1997 Johnson toured Europe as an opening act for Michael Jackson.
Johnson lived in South Africa in 2009 before her stay was cut short when she was arrested and deported to the US in 2010 for not having proper documentation.
Johnson was 40-years-old.
R&B Legend Clarence Burke, Jr. of the Five Stairsteps Passes Away
Clarence Burke, Jr., a founding member of the legendary family group The Five Stairsteps and later the creator (with his brothers) of the disco-funk group The Invisible Man’s Band, has reportedly died at age 62. Causes of Burke’s death have not been released.
Burke had success with both groups, hitting number one in 1970 with “O-o-h Child” as part of the Stairsteps, and later with “All Night Thing” and the Invisible Man’s Band (a song that Burke wrote and produced). The Invisible Man’s Band popularity declined in the 80s, but Burke remained active and continued writing and performing. He was working on an album at the time of his passing.
More information to come as it becomes available.
May 28, 2013, No other details are available , but hisHis manager, Joe Marno confirmed Burke’s death
Long Over Due R&B Museum Headed To Detroit, MI
R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum founder, entrepreneur and comedy basketball Clown Prince of the Harlem Clowns, LaMont “ShowBoat” Robinson from Cleveland, Ohio and his staff of advisors had narrowed the selection down to two cities (Cleveland and Detroit) to develop theOfficial R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum.
The R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum recently announced its partnership with Detroit based entertainment company, the Detroit Touring Company, founded by mogul entertainment promoter Quentin Perry.
The R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum will feature to the world the essence of rhythm & blues music and its components. The R&B Music Hall Inaugural Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan at the legendary Detroit Opera House. Tickets will go on sale June 1, 2013 at the Detroit Opera House box office, (313) 237-7464.
2013 induction includes Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, James Brown, The Temptations, The O’Jays, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Marvelettes, Enchantment, The Ohio Players, Little Jimmy Scott, Gerald Levert, Aretha Franklin, and The Dramatics, to name a few of the inductees.
Soul Sensation Tweet Returning to the UK to Headline at The Jazz Café
Tweet caused a major stir in 2002 when she released her debut single ‘Oops (Oh My)’ under the guidance of her mentor and record label boss Missy Elliott.
The single was a massive hit across many night clubs in London and generated international stardom.
Tweet who’s real name is Charlene Keys represented her city of New York by releasing a soulful album ‘Southern Hummingbird’ that was packed with quality songs such as ‘Smoking Cigarettes’, ‘Motel’, and the massive London R&B clubs anthem ‘Boogie 2nite’.
Since then she’s taken a break and focus on motherhood and her spirituality. Now she is ready to rejuvenate her career and having signed a new record deal with DuBose Entertainment she is preparing to release a new album titled ‘Simply Tweet’ and perform to her loyal fanbase worldwide with support from DJs across nightclubs in London.
Tickets for her Jazz Café appearance are priced £25 in advance so book now or miss out on a night of great live music.
Former Temptations Singer, Richard Street Passes Away
Richard Allen Street R&B singer, member of the legendary Motown vocal group The Temptations for more than 20 years passed away February 27, from pulmonary embolism. Street was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan,
His wife, Cindy Street said Street died early Wednesday at St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Las Vegas.
Street was married to The Velvelettes‘ lead singer Carolyn “Cal” Gill from 1969 to 1983. They have one son, Richard, Jr. Street.
Otis “Damon” Harris of The Temptations passed away on February 26, 2013.
R&B Singer Keith Sweat Signs New Book For Wounded Soliders
R&B legend Keith Sweat, widely known for his 1987 classic album “Make It Last Forever,” made a trip to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Benning Tuesday to hang out with more than 50 wounded and injured soldiers.
Sweat has a new book out, “Make It Last Forever, The Dos and Don’ts.” Each soldier received a free signed copy of the book. The book signing was a chance to show appreciation to the wounded and injured soldiers.
R&B Singer Cecil Womack Passes Away At 65
Cecil Dale Womack R&B singer, songwriter and record producer passed away on February 1 in Africa. Cecil started singing with his brother Bobby Womack and their other siblings, Harry, Friendly and Curtis. Sam Cooke recognized their talent and changed the group’s name to the Valentinos.
Cecil produced and wrote songs for Teddy Pendergrass, Patti LaBelle and Motown’s Mary Wells, his first wife.
When Cecil married Linda(daughter of late Sam Cooke), the two performed together as Womack & Womack and made six albums together. The first single from their Love Wars album, “T.K.O.,” reached the Billboard R&B chart and their next single, “Love Wars” reached No. 14 on the U.K. singles chart in early 1984. The third single from the album, “Baby I’m Scared of You,” was successful in the U.S., reaching No. 25 on the R&B charts.
Cecil and Linda moved to Africa in recent years so he could explore his heritage. In later years he took the name Zekuumba Zekkariyas.
Marsha Ambrosius Sophomore Album For Early 2013
Releasing her first solo album Late Nights & Early Mornings in March 2011, former member of Floetry,Marsha Ambrosius fans have something to look forward to as the English singer songwriter delivers vibes from her sophomore album, with mix tape EP “Hors D’Oeures” Prelude: Friends And Lovers. Cold War is the first single off of the mix tape leading to leading to the release of Lovers And Friends in early 2013
R&B Singer Billy Scott Of The Prophets Dies In Charlotte At Age 70
CHARLOTTE, N.C(Majyck Radio)— R&B singer Billy Scott died from pancreatic and liver cancer Saturday at his home in Charlotte, NC. at age 70. Born in Huntington, West Virgina, Scott, whose birth name is actually Peter Pendleton started his musical career while enlisted in the Army. After discharge from the Army in 1964, he changed his name and with his wife Barbara in 1966 began recording as The Prophets. Their first gold record “I Got The Fever” was released in 1968 and other hits include “California” and “Seaside Love” as the Georgia Prophets.
In the 70’s the Prophets switched up their style slightly and began recording a number of hits in the beach music genre. Scott,was inducted to the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
Boyz II Men Still Making Music
(Majyck Radio)-Boyz II Men are currently in Australia as part of their world tour. They are celebrating 20 years in the business and with an album of the same name and the tour will return to the states in February.