Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Music with a Message Kwanzaa Expo's Roster Runs the Gamut from Romantic Grooves to Powerful Rap

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Music with a Message Kwanzaa Expo's Roster Runs the Gamut from Romantic Grooves to Powerful Rap

Article excerpt

Kwanzaa, the holiday, is an em powering, unifying concept drawn from its literal Swahili meaning of "first fruits" a the first crops coming out of the ground.

This weekend's Kwanzaa Holiday Expo, meanwhile, is expected to do some empowering and unifying of its own before the holiday begins on Dec. 26.

The expo, the brainchild of Better Family Life, Inc., will draw a projected 30,000 black St. Louisians to bask in African-American-centered commerce, food, dance, spoken word, song and music. The music, of course, is the big draw for a number of people, and will feature everything from primal drumbeats to R&B to rap. "When Africans have gotten to gether for any type of celebration, whether it's birthdays, weddings, naming ceremonies or any important occasion, the music has always had a function for us," explained Johnson Lancaster, a volunteer for Progres sive Book Emporium, which will have a booth at the expo. Music in the African-American community "serves as punctuation for the occasion, burning that event into a people's historical memory." Highlighting this year's musical showcase are the Delfonics, Miles Jaye, Alexander O'Neal and local rapper M.P.E.R.O.R. "We chose these artists, both national and local, because we wanted a diverse group of people for a diversity of music," said Nina Pratt, who handles publicity and entertainment for the expo. "With the Delfonics, their appeal is to an older audience who came up when that multi-harmony singing was popular a that harmonious, street-corner doo-wop sound. So they've never really faded away. People like them." The Del fonics appear on the main stage at 9 p.m. Friday. Miles Jaye, a perennial crowd favorite, made a definitive mark in the mid to late `80's with his jazz-based, R&B sound. Jaye appears on the mainstage at 8:45 p.m. Saturday. "Miles is just a premier jazz musician with a background as a violinist," said Pratt. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.