2015 Black Art Festival :Ignite the Community

July 2015 Black Arts FestivalMajyck Radio-Kalamazoo, MI- In 1986, three community members, Gail Sydnor, Lois Jackson and James C. Palmore agreed that something sustainable was needed to maintain community engagement after the first Black Arts Festival held the same year in August.  For the years to come, the Black Arts Festival is a way to keep African American art and culture in the forefront year round. Their brainstorming actions resulting in the founding of the BACC (Black Arts & Cultural Center).

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.
There will be events everyday for everyone to enjoy and share July 13-19, 2015.

See list of scheduled events:

Monday July 13th
Theme: Inspiring Education (Through the Arts)
Location: Epic Center Theater and Atrium
South Kalamazoo Mall, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Details: Arts workshops, including poetry, dance, vocal performance, visual art and theater, instrument testing and demonstrations for the whole family. $5 suggested donation, FREE for BACC members.

Tuesday July 14th
Theme: Going Back in Time
Location: Douglass Community Association
1000 W Paterson St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Time: 11am-8pm
Details: The Black history of Kalamazoo, Michigan on display. All artifacts and antiques from local artist, Mr. Murphy Darden’s personal collection. $5/person, $2 for students & seniors, $10 for families of 3 or more, FREE for BACC members.

Wednesday July 15th
Theme: Next Generation Empowerment (Youth Health Day)
Location: Bible Baptist Church
1700 N Drake Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Time: 11am-2pm
Details: Youth Day with a focus on health will include community partners who focus on health and youth development, cooking demos, exercise demos, youth talent showcase, basketball tournaments, arts & crafts activities and more. FREE for youth!

Thursday July 16th
Theme: Increasing Economic Empowerment
Location: Epic Center Theater and Atrium
South Kalamazoo Mall, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Time: 5:30pm-9pm
Details: Film screening of “Resurrecting Black Wall Street” by Dr. Boyce Watkins followed by networking. Local businesses may purchase information tables for $25. Business cards will be drawn for a 90 second pitch to be made by a local business at the event. FREE to the community!

Friday July 17th
Theme: Transcending Talent (Arts Exhibition & Showcase)
Location: Epic Center Theater and Atrium
South Kalamazoo Mall, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Time: 6pm-7:45pm
Details: Live art, poetry and music followed by the debut of BACC’s Face Off Theatre Company and the premiere of “Been Loving You-An Exploration in Black Love Through August Wilson”. $10 admission fee, FREE for BACC members.

Saturday July 18th
Theme: Engaging & Empowering Weekend
Location: La Crone Park 535 W. Paterson St. Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Time: 11am-8pm
Details: Vendors, food, entertainment, activities, culture and fun for the whole family. FREE to the community!

Saturday July 18th
Summer Black Party
Theme: Engaging & Empowering Weekend
Location: Epic Center Theater and Atrium
South Kalamazoo Mall, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Time: 9pm-1am
Details: Live music by DJ Chuck and DJ Conscious, food, drinks, red carpet photos by Steele Candy Photography, Age 21+, $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $10 in advance for groups of 10.

Sunday July 19th
Theme: Engaging & Empowering Weekend
Location: La Crone Park 535 W. Paterson St. Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Time: 11am-8pm
Details: Vendors, food, entertainment, activities, culture and fun for the whole family. FREE to the community!

R& B Singer Puff Johnson Loses Battle With Cervical Cancer

Puff JohnsonPuff 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.

Website: http://www.londongroove.co.uk


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.

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