On Saturday September 24th, 2016 Afro Beta will be aligning with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture to celebrate the grand opening of the museum through their “Lift Every Voice” Campaign. This historic evening will bring together cultural organizations from across the world in the name of celebrating the diverse and myriad contributions of peoples within the African diaspora.
Since 2009, Afro Beta has served as the city of Richmond's open cultural gathering unifying community, tradition, and dance under One Global Groove. The Afro Beta “Unified Voices Edition” is a satellite celebration in RVA that will parallel the performances of groups such as The Roots and Public Enemy on the same day at the grand opening events at the NMAAHC in Washington DC. By bringing robust elements of local music, art, and culture together, this Afro Beta session in Manchester on Richmond's southside will feature some of the best of what RVA has to offer. This event also provides a worthy community engagement opportunity as it is a fundraiser for the U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project, a collection of local artists looking to bring historically relevant murals to Jackson Ward, and Free Jambalaya, an RVA-based non-profit theater troupe.
The U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project is a community art initiative that will bring together five artists to paint historically relevant murals in Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood. Often referred to as “the Harlem of the South,” Jackson Ward thrived as both an entertainment crossroads and financial mecca that also earned it the name “Black Wall Street”. Two of the artists involved with the project will
RAMSEY is an RVA-based multi-media artist that expresses himself through a wide variety of forms. For Unified Voices he will be bringing to life one of his canvas creations that reflect his dedication to the medium.
Michon Pittman has been working on murals in RVA for the past 5 years and will be completing an exciting new mural for her part of the U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project. For Afro Beta Live she will be creating a live digital painting via projection that showcases her unique skills as an artist of many mediums.
Digital projections, abstract visuals, and illumination support will be provided by Sky Life.
If you combined all of the elements of modern American music as it relates to the African diaspora, you would get RVA's Devonne Harris aka DJ Harrison. Whether presenting as a jazz drummer, funk keyboardist, or sample slayer he consistently represents a possible future of music that brings us back to the essence of the groove while moving the culture straight ahead. His live projects Butcher Brown and Kings are being recognized for opening up the boundaries of the new musical aesthetic, while his production work for artists such as Sam Reed and Tennyshu keep him firmly planted in the sample-based production culture.
Ohbliv is an RVA native that defines the seemingly contradictory aesthetic of being an "underground star" in the hip hop community. Where emcees have gone South in most people's eyes, Beat Conductors like Ohbliv keep the essence of hip hop culture alive one limited run release at a time.
Victor Haskins + Moving Sound Pictures bridges the gap between traditional jazz and future electronica. Haskins brings a unique blend of cosmic sounds to his solo project.
The first guest to ever DJ at Afro Beta was DJ Tru Blu, and we are happy to have him as part of this celebration to complete our cipher. From alpha to omega, Tru Blu represents with fresh house and soul sounds that define his vibes on the set.
Mikemetic has been moving masses up and down the East Coast since the mid 90s and will be dedicating an early DJ set to the influence of the African Diaspora on American music in the forms of jazz, hip hop, breakbeat, and soul.
The Afro Beta Massive will be bring their unique blend of modern tribal drumming to round out the soundscape for this event. As a true mash-up of the past and the future, Mikemetic and the ABS represent the musical manifestation of modern afrofuturism.
Reggie Carter is one of the Founding Fathers of RVA's electronic DJ scene and has been making moves in Philly since leaving the Cap City over a decade ago. As one of the originators of the weekly Broken Beat Lounge sessions, Reggie continues to push soundscapes forward with fresh sounds of house and downtempo.
DJ Sayeed is one of RVA's true Ambassadors for Hip Hop. He is the host of The Bum Rush Show on University of Richmond radio on Fridays from 9-11pm and continues to represent the true elements of classic hip hop culture.
Food and Drink
Black Heath Meadery will be providing their original libation blends. Mead, which originated in Africa over 20,000 years ago, is the world's oldest fermented drink.
The Nile has been an original supporter of Afro Beta and continues to support the movement by providing deliciously accessible menu items for a genuine taste of Ethiopia.
Rhythm has always been at the heart of the diverse musical sounds of the Diaspora, and Afro Beta has always been about inviting and responding to the Call of the Drum. All are welcome at Afro Beta, and our Live sessions often feature members of Drums No Guns, the Latin Ballet of Virginia,Claves Unidos, and many other organizations that believe in the power of rhythm in shaping personal expression through movement.
The Afro Beta "Unified Voices Edition" will provide the Capital City with a way to meaningfully engage RVA's arts and culture community. It is also an opportunity to "Lift Every Voice" in unison with organizations across the world that are celebrating the opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Come be a part of this historic gathering!!!
$10 Advance Tickets / $15 At The Door
All Ages (kids 12 and under free)
Free parking is available in the lot at 4th and Hull Sts.