Award winning and top selling contemporary Nigerian-style African-pop duo Bracket, will highlight the exciting stage line up at the 5th Annual ACANA African Festival on Sunday, August 5th, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. This free festival taking place on the RiverStage on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing is part of the PECO Multicultural series
Stage performances will represent the African countries of Liberia, Congo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and many others. Set to perform along with the musical sensation Bracket will be the sensational LIB Queen from Monrovia, Liberia, Rafiya, a Congolese artist, and Jay Q from Sierra Leone. Other performers throughout the day include: Black Diamond, Peter Cole, Chillton Jah James, Rotimi & De Afrophonik Crew, and Sista Rose. Dance is also an important highlight of the ACANA African Festival. Taking the stage will be the world famous Universal Dance & Drum Ensemble.
In previous years, ACANA Cultural Festival had brought on stage such big name artists like Maxi Priest of Jamaica, Trinidad’s queen of soca music Joan Tigress Rowley, as well as Liberia’s Gebah Swaray of the Safari Band. This year’s event featuring Bracket is certain to repeat the success of the previous festivals. Along with presenting sponsor, PECO, the festival is also sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts through the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Brown Family Shop Rite, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health, Children Crisis Treatment Center, Arik Airlines, Western Union, Cozen O’Connor, Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on African & Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, The Welcoming Center, Chester Ave. Business Association, Funtimes Magazine, Liberian United Women In Progress, Afriqtalk, World Audience Promotions, PNC Bank, and IT Solutions.
Bracket is one of the top selling contemporary Nigerian-style African-pop musicians. Bracket’s music is a composition of traditional Nigerian rhythms with contemporary pop and hip-hop influences.
Originally from Nigeria, West Africa, Bracket is made up of Nwachukwu Ozioko, also known by his stage name “Vast” and Ali Obumneme otherwise known by his stage name “Smash.” The duo met at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, while enrolled as students.
After deciding to join forces as a group, they began performing around the school and eventually began to compete in local competitions. In 2002, the duo enrolled in a newly formed talent search program Star Quest (Nigeria), their first of many competitions in their career.
Bracket exploded on the charts after releasing the international hit single “Yori Yori” off of the album ‘Least Expected’ released in 2010. Yori Yori, means sweetness in Igbo, one of the major languages of Nigeria. Bracket has had a string of hits since, “OK,” “Bend your waist” and its most recent international hit “Muah Muah” and “Girl” featuring Wizkid. Bracket has clearly proven itself to be a musical powerhouse both in Nigeria, the United States and the world. Bracket has been on tour now in the United States over the past three months.
The event host, the African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc. (ACANA), is a non-profit Organization that promotes social and community involvement, arts and culture, and economic development in Southwest Philadelphia. ACANA has traditionally served as a social service agency providing after school programs, refugee case management services, arts and culture, community development, health care assessments, and operates a recording studio for struggling artists. They primarily focus their services on the more than 200,000 African and Caribbean immigrants in the city. The ultimate goal is to support the local African and Caribbean immigrant communities’ arts and culture and show grateful appreciation for them by providing significant financial support for the African Cultural Alliance of North America, ACANA events.
The annual cultural festival is one of the many activities ACANA is spearheading in its 13 years of service to the African and Caribbean immigrant communities. Since its founding in 1999 with the mission to bridge the gap between the African immigrant and the African American community, the agency has provided assistance to refugees from Africa and the Caribbean who seek asylum and other immigrant benefits. ACANA is now a Bureau of Immigration Appeal, a fully accredited agency; helping immigrants with legal immigration services. The agency services has expanded since its accreditation as a full fledge USCIS immigration service agency. Understanding cultural sensitive approach to immigration case management and court representations has elevated this agency to a class of its own. ACANA is the second African founded service organization in the United States providing such services, the other being the Ethiopian Community Development Corporation of Alexandria, Virginia.
ACANA has also been credited with partnering with Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell to create the Coalition of African Communities (AFRICOM), Philadelphia’s Mayors Commission on African & Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, the Philadelphia African & Caribbean Health Fairs, and has an ongoing mentoring relationship with the Liberian United Women in Progress; the franchise owner of Miss Liberia USA. ACANA also partnered with the Children Crisis Treatment Center to create Project TAAMA; a mental health initiative that works with African immigrant youths and their families.
“This will be our biggest festival to date,” said ACANA CEO, Mr. Voffee Jabateh. “We have been fortunate that people from throughout the region continue to support us in our mission to assist African and Caribbean immigrants while bridging the gap between the African and African American community.”
Admission is FREE for all PECO Multicultural Series events and KYW Newsradio and NBC 10 are proud media partners for this series. In the past, the celebration was a one-day event, but in observance of its fifth year, the festival will be expanded to three days.
The ACANA African Festival Weekend begins Friday, August 3 at 11 a.m. with a press conference at City Hall (Caucus Room# 401), followed by a black-tie honorary banquet at the prestigious African American Museum in Philadelphia. The festivities continue Saturday with a pre-party at ACANA Hall. The celebration ends with the annual festival at Penn’s Landing.
About African Cultural Alliance of North America
ACANA was founded in 1999 in order to serve the African communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ACANA was originally started by Voffee Jabateh, MSW, as a cultural organization to support African artists/musicians in their efforts to establish themselves within the United States with the goal of preserving African culture. However, due to overwhelming requests for additional help by the ever-expanding population of African refugees, asylees and immigrants, ACANA was incorporated in 1999 as a nonprofit social service agency.
PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia region's most active corporate citizens, contributing about $5 million in grant support annually to leading educational, environmental, arts and culture and community development organizations. The company’s employees volunteer thousands of hours of time and talent each year as board members, volunteers, fundraisers, coaches and mentors.
The company has a strong tradition of community leadership and puts its energy into programs that have a meaningful, measurable impact on the Philadelphia region.
To learn more about PECO’s contributions and programs, visit www.peco.com/community.
Public Programming at Penn's Landing would not be possible without the continued support of corporate partners such as PECO, Verizon, Pennsylvania Lottery, Coca-Cola Refreshments-Philadelphia, and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, all of whom are committed to serving the Greater Philadelphia community.
The 2012 Summer Program of Free Events at Penn’s Landing is funded and produced by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC). All events produced by DRWC are FREE to the public on the RiverStage at the Great Plaza, the heart of Penn's Landing, Philadelphia’s premier Delaware River waterfront entertainment destination.
DRWC is a nonprofit corporation created in January 2009 exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop, and manage the central Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia. DRWC is transforming the waterfront into a vibrant destination location for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia.
For more information and event details, please call (215) 922-2FUN or visit: www.delawareriverevents.com. This website is a virtual resource for the waterfront which can help visitors plan to easily park, play, and stay all day at Penn's Landing.