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World Music Festival brings jazz and Ghanian drums to Silver Spring

  • Published in Music

Trumpet Silhouette in Kente patternSILVER SPRING — Jazz bands shared the stage with African percussionists and Japanese dance troupes, while artisans displayed work that traveled across the Atlantic, at the World Music Festival Sunday in Silver Spring.

The festival highlighted the diverse culture of the D.C. area, with musical performances, food, and artisans. One vendor, Jean-Jacques from GlobalBatik.com, specialized in African art and clothing imported from the West African country of Togo. His wares are handmade by ten different artists in Togo with local fabrics and dyes, according to Jacques.

A popular product in GlobalBatik’s catalog is Batik shirts, according to Jacques. Many of his shirts feature bright, vibrant colors and West African themes and symbols.

“You can fit any kind of story that is related to Africa. In this case, I used an Adrinka symbol, which are visual symbols that usually represent words of wisdom,” said Jacques. “Or this T-shirt here, I put a map of the continent with all the lines representing the main rivers.”

Modern symbols, such as imagery from the Marvel movie “Black Panther,” had a presence among Jacques’s shirts as well. The designs being placed on non-traditional items, such as tank tops, further showed the mix of old and new that Jacques cultivated.

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Multicultural music at Strathmore

  • Published in Music

Tararam copyTaharam group opens the Washington Jewish Music Festival. COURTESY PHOTO  When cultural organizations interact, they enrich the community.

AFI Silver Theatre, AMP Powered by Strathmore, the Music Center at Strathmore, and Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center – all Montgomery County arts groups – are serving as sites for the 11-day-long Washington Jewish Music Festival.

The Festival, the flagship of the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington D.C.’s year-round music program, starts formally on Nov. 2 with a group called Taharam, considered “Israel’s Stomp.” It continues through Nov. 12 with the silent film version of “Humoresque” and a performance by Nomadica, which performs music of Arabs, Roma, and Jews.

“The 19th Washington Jewish Music Festival’s lineup is a very exciting alchemy – it brings together some of the most prestigious, original and boundary-pushing artists from around the world working in the Jewish space, and encourages them to experiment in the nation’s capital,” said Festival Director Ilya Tovbis. “Additionally, we’re doubling down on highlighting and elevating the work and artistry of local D.C. musicians whose output spans hip-hop, klezmer, bossa nova, and cantorial repertoires.”

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Rockville embraces culture, diversity at MLK celebration

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – The modern-day dream was the theme as performances and presentations honored slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday at a 45th annual celebration.

The event, held at Richard Montgomery, included dance, musical performances, poetry by students and an adult community member, awards and a keynote speech.

The tribute began with a procession consisting of West African choreography performed by dancers from Katherine Smith Contemporary Dance Ensemble, which is based in Prince George’s County. The dancers went up the aisles toward the stage in vibrant costumes. A drum group called Soul in Motion led the procession and accompanied the dancers on African drums.

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Letters to the Editor – November 24, 2016

Exercising Civil Rights 

To the editor;
I don't normally read the Sentinel, but today I picked a copy up at the Rockville Senior Center.
I was surprised at some of the vile and inaccurate comments from some readers. I have lived in Rockville since 1959 and watched seven children graduate from Richard Montgomery H.S.

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