The 24th African Festival of the Arts | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

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The 24th African Festival of the Arts

Washington Park hosts four days of music from Africa and the African diaspora, including Otis Clay, Oliver Mtukudzi, Brandy, and the Chosen Few DJs.


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The African Festival of the Arts celebrates its 24th year this long weekend in Washington Park, hosting nonstop R&B, soul, gospel, blues, house, African music, and more, plus at least a dozen pavilions with food, beer, wine, historical artifacts, films, quilting, and other vendors and activities for kids and families. The Dee Parmer Woodtor Stage presents the big headliners, and its lineup includes house-music pioneers the Chosen Few DJs and Zenith Dance on Friday; Zimbabwean singer Oliver Mtukudzi and a set from R&B divas Syleena Johnson (Syl's daughter) and Monifah on Saturday; soul legend Otis Clay and Linda Tillery & the Heritage Gospel Choir on Sunday; and R&B superstar Brandy on Monday. All four days, DJ Kodjo spins African music to kick off the main-stage entertainment. The World Music Stage also runs all four days, with a lineup that includes acts from Chicago and beyond, among them Doktu Rhute (an alter ego of blues guitarist Roy Hytower) on Friday, Ghanaian master drummer Okyerama Asante and local Nigerian group Umu Igbo Alliance on Saturday, and Mexican band Patricio Hidalgo y Afrojarocho on Sunday. Music on the Dee Parmer Woodtor Stage begins at 5 PM on Friday, 4 PM on Saturday, and 3:30 PM on Sunday and Monday; on the World Music Stage it starts at 6:30 PM on Friday, 6:15 PM on Saturday, 4:15 PM on Sunday, and 4:30 PM on Monday. More info at

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