African World Festival is a celebration of African heritage and culture held on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan at Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, WI. Since its inception in 1982, the festivals mission has been to promote and share the culture and heritage of all people of African descent with the global community.
Known as “The Meeting Place” African World Festival is not only an entertaining event but an educational experience. Come and explore the cultural village, sample a variety of ethnic foods, shop around the Marketplace, let the kids play in the Children’s Village and enjoy lots of great entertainment.
African World Festival can also serve as the backdrop for your next family reunion, church, corporate or group outing.
This year’s line up for entertainment includes: Maysa who will perform at 3:30 pm. Maysa is a true original. Blessed with a remarkably beautiful and instantly recognizable voice, the vocalist possesses the ability to know just where to take a song and what to do to unearth the heart of it and drive it home. Maysa is a singer who is at home in any musical context whether it be jazz, soul, funk or R&B.
Pieces of a Dream scheduled to perform at 5:00 pm. Pieces of a Dream were founded in 1975 in Philadelphia when the principal members were all teenagers. Originally somewhat jazzoriented, Pieces of a Dream has mostly emphasized R & B although they usually include a few jazz numbers in their performances.
Roy Ayers performs at 6:30 pm. Once one of the most visible and winning jazz vibraphonists of the 1960s, then an R&B bandleader in the 1970s and ‘80s, Roy Ayers’ reputation s now that of one of the prophets of acid jazz, a man decades ahead of his time. A tune like 1972’s “Move to Groove” by the Roy Ayers Ubiquity has a crackling backbeat that serves as the prototype for the shuffling hip-hop groove that became, shall we say, ubiquitous on acid jazz records; and his relaxed 1976 song “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” has been frequently sampled.
Najee at 8:00 pm. A native New Yorker, Najee began his iconic career playing clarinet, saxophone and flute in his hometown Jamaica, Queens New York. While in high school his tutelage included not only Jimmy Heath but Frank Foster, and Dr. Billy Taylor at the Jazzmobile in Harlem. Honing his skills as a flutist he additionally studied with Harold Jones at the Manhattan School of Music. Along with his brother Fareed, he continued his musical scope at the “New England Conservatory of Music” in Boston with a concentrated study in performance and composition.
Charlie Wilson closes the night beginning at 10:00 pm. As the lead singer of brotherly trio The Gap Band, the pioneering group whose late 70’s early 80’s funk still serves as a guiding light for producers and singers, it has been a long road for Charlie Wilson. From the dusty roads of Tulsa, Oklahoma to the neon lights of Cali to being homeless in the city of angels, the brother has seen it all. “I went from riches to rags,” Charlie laughs. “But now it’s time for me to take it back to the stage with ‘Charlie, Last Name Wilson’.”
The highlight of the Gospel Entertainment will be Hezekiah Walker and The Love Fellowship Choir at 8:00pm. Whether he’s known as a soul saver, the “Pastor of Hip Hop,” a talented musician, or a man who does not quite fit the mold for preachers or gospel artists, Walker has no intentions of changing the way he does things. “I’d like to see my ministry expand to a broader market and appeal to a more secularized audience,”
The daylong event will also feature a full day Back to School event complete with complimentary school supplies that will begin at 12:30 pm and end at 2:00 pm. For more information. Advance registration is required for this portion of the day call (414) 291-7959. Tickets purchased at the gate are $15.00, children under six are free.