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BROOKLYN-SOUTH AFRICA CULTURAL EXCHANGE LAUNCHED Brooklyn, New York---The Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium (CBJC) delegation, fresh from its trip to Republic of South Africa, is pleased to announce a reciprocal visit to Brooklyn, New York by a South Africa delegation of high level government officials, entertainers, and cultural luminaries. The delegation will visit various New York City institutions, landmarks and individuals from July 26 through August 7, 2006. The underlying purpose of the exchange is to promote South Africa's Jazz Africa Heritage (JAH) Festival that will take place February 15 ~ February 25, 2007. The festival is being hosted by two (2) South Africa provinces--North West and Gauteng.

The Jazz Africa Heritage Festival is an international African arts, culture, and heritage movement to celebrate the achievements of Africans in the Diaspora and Africans on the continent. It is informed by the fundemental principles of Black History Month. The festival will open at the Cradle of Humankind-Maropeng, Gauteng Province, a U. N. World Heritage Site. The activities will include artistic performances, economic development, and cultural symposia led by top experts in the field.
"When I was first contacted about this project, I and members of CBJC were cautiously interested", said Jitu Weusi, Chairperson, CBJC. "But our recent trip to South Africa which included visits with the youth parliament, the Queen Mother of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, visits with tribal kings, and contact with the student performers at the Mmabana Cultural Center provided flesh to the inital skeletal outline and made us true believers in the undertaking. These series of activities culminated with our participation in the commemoration ceremonies of the June 16th Soweto uprising. Now we not only understand JAH's mission but we are committing our time, resources, and spirit to make this important concept a reality."

During their visit the South Africa delegation will meet with leaders from business, faith-based community, elected officials, and cultural organizations. Highlights of their trip will include:

Visits to prominent African American churches
African Burial Ground Memorial
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture
Weeksville Heritage Center
Their activities will culminate with JAH Day to be held at Medgar Evers College on August 4th. It will include performances by the CBJC All-Stars and a troupe of entertainers from South Africa.

A complete schedule for the visit will be released on or about July 17, 2006.

For more information or photos, please contact CBJC's communication director,
Contact: Bob Myers, CBJC - 718.467.1527 /
Bongani Sibeko, Groove Consultants - 011 2711 482 3156 (South Africa)

Sponsors: The 7th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival 2006 and CBJC activities are made possible by: Lead Sponsors - NYC Council Member Albert Vann, NYS Assembly Member Annette Robinson, The Brooklyn Delegation to the New York City Council and CBJC member organizations. This CBJC program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the State of New York Natural Heritage Trust Department, BAC/JPMorgan Chase Regrant Fund, Yamaha Corporation of America and Anheuser-Busch. This CBJC event is supported in part by private funds from Long Life Information and Referral Network, The Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center.




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