awflogoThe Government of the Republic of South Africa, in collaboration with the African World Heritage Fund and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, are pleased to announce an International Conference on “Living with World Heritage in Africa”, which will take place from the 26th to the 29th September 2012 in South Africa. The Conference is being organized on the occasion of the worldwide celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention under the theme “World Heritage and Sustainable Development: the role of local communities”. The Conference will bring together high level decision makers from African Governments, heritage institutions, local communities and development sectors.

Potential delegates are invited to submit any or a combination of the following options for the International Conference: academic papers, videos/films or poster exhibitions no later than 16 July 2012. The conference will discuss experiences and  possibilities related to the world heritage and sustainable development in Africa. For more information, visit




'A Dream Across the Ocean' is a musical that celebrates the faith and determination of the West Indian Pentecostal community who were part of the Windrush generation that came to Britain during the 1940’s 50’s and 60's. It will get its world premiere at The Ashcroft Theatre, in Parlk Lane, Croydon, London on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 August, 2012.

Directed by Ray Shell, A DREAM ACROSS THE OCEAN, tells the story of Winston Morgan, who leaves the Caribbean in the 1960's and travels to London in search of a better life for his family. It follows his struggles as he endeavours to settle in the mother country: his lonely early years without Annie, the love of his life. It also tells of his enduring friendship with Patrick Mulligan, an Irishman who shares the rooming house that accepts them both when no one else would, and how his faith and determination helps him to create a new life in a cold, strange land.

A DREAM ACROSS THE OCEAN features a live band and music that was endemic to the era in which it is set: from British gospel to ska: following the gamut through reggae, calypso and soul music. Cast and more creatives to be announced.

athumbs_african-american-festival-2011-mark-dennis-74-1What do you get when cultural diversity, rich history, great food and tantalizing entertainment collide? Put all of these things together to paint a wonderful picture of Baltimore. What better time to visit than for 2012 African American Festival taking place July 7and 8th. The festival is a celebration of African American life, music and culture. An unforgettable adventure in African American history and cultural diversity awaits you in Baltimore. 

Presented by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and produced by greiBO Entertainment with the support of a local festival steering committee, Baltimore's festival of African American music and culture has been a regional tradition for more than 30 years. Baltimore will be the host to as many as 500k visitors enjoying world-class entertainment, celebrity challenges, the Baltimore SuperStar, the African American Film Festival and dynamic exhibits of arts, education and heritage. 

The African American Festival which will also feature Radio One's Stone Soul Picnic is Baltimore's signature event for the summer. You can visit more than 150 vending booths and attractions as well as enjoy 3 stages of entertainment during the 2-day celebration. This family-oriented event, filled with celebrity artists and entertainers, children’s activities, arts, history, educational seminars, will take place near Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank stadium in the city of Baltimore.

When visiting the upbeat mid-Atlantic city, you may as well do the black heritage trail tour. A good place to start is in the historic district of Fell's Point, one of Baltimore's oldest neighborhoods that was founded in the 1600s. The economy here thrived on shipbuilding and fine-tuned shipbuilding technology which helped to win the War for Independence and to fight the war of 1812. It is still home to many people of different ethnicities who helped to settle Fell's Point as well as Tibetans, African American's, and Hispanics.

The British Virgin Islands Music Festival returns this year as a three-day event featuring Grammy Award-winning artist and a diverse lineup of stars. The islands' tourist board is pleased to again support BVI Music Festival 2012, which will be held over Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-27) and will feature a wide range of musical stars. For the first time in several years, the much-anticipated festival will be moving back to the sandy white beaches of Cane Garden Bay, and bringing with it some exciting changes and an array of big-name performers. brit_virgin_islands_thumb_medium300_200

Grammy Award-Winning R&B singer Estelle will headline the show, along with reggae group Third World Band and the classic group Forever Motown. Local performers will round out the lineup of artists for the three days and nights of music, food, dancing, and entertainment. The festival will feature soca and calypso on Friday night, reggae and hip hop on Saturday, and R&B and soul on Sunday. Jazz and fungi music also will be highlighted on side stages, as well as an offering of kids’ activities, food, parties, and all-around good times in an ideal island setting.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to the 2012 Music Festival,” said Ms. Malcia Smith Hamilton, Acting Director of the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board. “Our pristine white-sand beaches and turquoise waters provide a perfect backdrop to this exciting annual event. We hope that music-lovers, families and travelers alike will join us in the BVI for Memorial Day weekend this year and experience all the BVI has to offer.” For the complete lineup of artists and more information, visit the event’s official website at For information on accommodations, surrounding activities, or getting to the BVI, visit the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board’s website at

The Loews Hotel was the location for a kick-off reception announcing the line-up for this year's Jazz Festival in Atlanta. Musician Russell Gunn and jazz vocalist Kathleen Bertrand were among those in attendance at the preview for the 35th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival. Atlanta's Mayor Kasim Reed gave a short feature presentation about the festival and this year's line-up. Other presenters included Camille Russell Love, director of the Office of Cultural Affairs, which produces and presents the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Another kick-off show with Johnny O’Neal will take place at Loews Atlanta Hotel on May 25th.Betrand_Michael_gunn

Roy Ayers, the Robert Glasper Experiment,  Kathleen Bertrand and the Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra are among the acts who will be a part of the 35th annual Atlanta Jazz Festival  to take place on May 26-28 in Piedmont Park. Other acts performing that week-end include Ojeda Penn, Grace Kelly and Cyrus Chestnut. Another kickoff show with Johnny O’Neal will take place at Loews Atlanta Hotel.

There will be 31 days of performances during the entire month of in May. Jazz performances will occur in parks, restaurants, clubs and venues around Atlanta. The main weekend event will occur memorial day week-end where traditional and contemporary jazz on two stages from 1 to 11 p.m. will showcase for three days.

During the festival a Go Green Jazz Eco Village will be held to educate concertgoers about air quality, water conservation, transportation and other environmental concerns. Also, Three winners Georgia Stat University's Festival Youth Jazz Band Competition will perform on April 28th as the opening act of the festival at 1 p.m. each of the three days in Piedmont Park.

For more information about the schedule, visit

Pictured: Musician Michael Gunn an jazz vocalist Kathleen Bertrand                                         Photo by Robb Cohen


ata_4The Africa Travel Association (ATA) hosted its fifth annual U.S.-Africa Tourism Seminar, the leading U.S.-Africa tourism event in the USA for the travel industry, in Washington D.C. on March 16. The day-long event focused on new strategies to increase arrivals, tourism revenues, and tourism partnerships between the U.S. and Africa marketplaces. In her remarks, ATA President, Honorable Fatou Mas Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism & Culture of The Gambia, called on all attending African diplomatic representatives to work with ATA to promote and advance Destination Africa. 

“ATA has connected us with key industry leaders and provided us with the tools to overcome the challenges Africa faces as a continental destination. It’s up to us now to take action and work together to increase tourism arrivals and revenue to our continent,” said Honorable Jobe-Njie. 

In the keynote address, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dr. Reuben E. Brigety, II, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State, spoke about the importance of investing in the growth of Africa’s economic development and in engaging the U.S. private sector in the process. “Strong, growing economies help stabilize democracies, promote peace, and improve social and health conditions,” Dr. Brigety said. “Many countries in Africa are transitioning into a new phase of economic opportunity that, if managed well, could solidly launch individual economies on a path towards prosperity and peace, and open up new areas for U.S. business.”

AfricaoutlineOn July 14th 2012, the African community across New England will come together to celebrate African arts and culture at the 3rd annual African festival of Boston. The 1-day festival will welcome more than 20,000 attendees. In past 2years, approximately 15,000 people attended to enjoy African culture at its finest. The festival will feature over 10 musical performances, cultural dances, African foods, vendors, children’s games, arts, crafts, a health fair, tourism fair, and a career fair. The theme for the festival is "Rebuilding the African Diaspora."  The festival is still in line with the message of Unite- Promote Legacy-Educate ’s theme.  The African Festival of Boston promotes community service opportunities by highlighting non-profit organizations doing good work in Africa such as the lead organizer Shalupe Foundation and supporting its cause with donations from the festivals proceeds. Once again on July14th the City Hall Plaza will attract a widespread ethnic and socio-economic mix.

Since it’s inauguration on July 17th 2010 the African Festival has created an unforgettable experience for the attendees. Ugandan Orphan’s Dance Group "DESTINY AFRICA"will be entertaining the children pavilion. Confirmed artist include Fally Ipupa, Nimbaya and Annie Soul. For more information, visit

AICHAD_confThe United States' top-ranked public health school launches international conference on black health in the Western Hemisphere. As a part of  “On the Road to Baltimore Campaign,” the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has now opened registration for the International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora – ICHAD 2012. The conference will be held July 4-8, 2012 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The theme of ICHAD 2012 is "The Great Scattering: Connecting the Dots between Slavery and Contemporary Health in the African Diaspora." 

Today there are approximately 160 million black descendants of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade living throughout the Western Hemisphere. ICHAD 2012 is an international conference that will explore how this population is doing today. From Canada to Argentina, blacks throughout the region share a common history of slavery, marginalization, and resilience. However, this group has also evolved through divergent social and cultural experiences, with research showing striking commonalities and differences in the health and well-being of slave descendants. 

There is also a stark health divide between slave descendants and other groups. For example, compared to the infant mortality experience of general populations in the Western Hemisphere, black infants throughout the region are at least twice as likely to die before their first birthday. 

In the summer of 2012, researchers, policy makers, health advocates and other change agents from across the hemisphere will gather in Baltimore to explore the health status of black descendants of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and to identify multilevel actions, including international partnerships, for improving the health of this population. 

Presenters at the conference hail from over ten academic disciplines, including public health, sociology, medicine, economics, history, anthropology, nursing, and psychology. Presentations will focus on more than a dozen countries in the region, including Brazil, the United States, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Canada, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. 

ICHAD 2012 is organized by the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The conference is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. To register or obtain more information, visit or contact Cereta Spencer at 443.300.6094. The website is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

seychelles_ocean_thumb307_The Seychelles Tourism Board has officially signed as the host for the 7th Routes Africa event which will take place 8-10 July 2012 in the Seychelles capital Victoria. The Tourism Board will work in partnership with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority to deliver this key aviation industry event.

Routes Africa will bring together route development professionals from across Africa, the Middle East and beyond to discuss the latest developments within the region and establish potential for new air traffic routes to, from and within Africa. This annual event is the only network development forum for the entire African region and, this year, will build on the successes of previous events.

Katie Bland, Routes’ Future Hosts Director stated; “We are delighted to announce the Seychelles as the host of Routes Africa 2012. The Seychelles team’s passion, professionalism and commitment to air service development combined with the suite of excellent facilities available in the Seychelles and the stunning backdrop convinced us that they were the right choice for this year’s event. We anticipate more than 150 delegates to attend the event including up to 30 airline network planners. ”

The Seychelles Tourism Board and the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority have confirmed that they are proud to have been successful in bringing Routes Africa 2012 to Seychelles and to the Indian Ocean. “This confirms that within the idyllic backdrop, the mid ocean islands of the Seychelles there is more to offer than just a holiday destination. The team at the Tourism Board and the Civil Aviation Authority is fully committed and they are convinced that this highly important conference comes at an opportune time when Seychelles is repositioning itself as being accessible as never before and pushing to establishing new air access opportunities to the destination” said Elsia Grandcourt CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board

 Ten international carriers from a number of international hubs in Africa, Europe and the Middle East provide connections to Seychelles International Airport (SEZ). Continuous growth over the last few years, consistent with the increase in air services, has resulted in almost 250,000 passengers using the airport in 2011. The airport is also a hub for inter-island travel and provides quick and convenient domestic flights, operated by Air Seychelles, throughout the day to Praslin Island.

 Seychelles is currently celebrating 40 years since the first commercial aircraft landed, which also marks the beginning of aviation and tourism development in the Seychelles, and moving forward it plans to develop and grow to become a hub in the Indian Ocean. Hosting Routes Africa in 2012 provides the perfect opportunity to show the region what the Seychelles has to offer as they aim to grow traffic and tourism numbers to their shores.

 About Routes

Routes organizes world-renowned airline and airport networking events through its regional and global Route Development Forums. Each year, there is one global event and one regional event in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and CIS respectively.

 Routes was founded in 1995 as part of the Manchester UK‐based ASM Ltd., a consultancy specialising in the field of route development for airports. www.asm‐

 Routes and ASM were acquired by UBM Aviation Worldwide Ltd in August 2010. Routes is a UBM Aviation brand. UBM Aviation specialises in the supply of data and information products, market intelligence, news and events related to the global aviation industry. More information can be found at

 Previous Routes Africa events include; Casablanca, Morocco, 5-7 March 2006, hosted by ONDA; Cairo, Egypt, 27-29 March 2007, hosted by Egyptian Holdings Airport Company; Dakar, Senegal, 25-27 May 2008, hosted by Dakar International Airport; Marrakech, Morocco, 7-9 June 2009, hosted by ONDA; Ezulwini Valley, Swaziland, 30 May -1 June 2010 hosted by Sikhuphe International Airport; Bamako, Mali 3-5 July 2011 hosted by Aeroports du Mali.


Macy's Celebrates Black History Month with Special Events Honoring the Legacy of Famed Artist Romare Bearden. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Romare Bearden's birthday, select Macy's stores nationwide will highlight some of the artist's most improtant works via special exhibitions and eventslamp

Preview a satellite exhibit of Romare Bearden’s artwork.  View watercolors, prints, oil on paper and dramatic black and white Photostats that date from 1964 to 1984 when Romare Bearden was at the peak of his artistic power.  In addition to works on loan from the Foundation are new works by artists inspired and influenced by Bearden’s life and legacy.  

During the reception a new generation of jazz musicians will perform Bearden’s music which has been previously recorded by Branford Marsalis, Tito Puente and Billy Eckstine.    

Additional in-store celebrations will include children’s collage-making events, special readings of Bearden’s children’s book, “Li’l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story,” as well as cooking demonstrations from local chefs featuring Bearden’s favorite recipes and Caribbean dishes from the out-of-print cookbook, “Ma Chance’s French Caribbean Creole Cooking,” which he illustrated. 

For a complete listing of events in different cities, please visit For additional information regarding Romare Bearden please visit: 

nine_mile_music_festivalHosted by the Bob Marley Movement, the 19th Annual Nine Mile Music Festival takes place on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at 4020 Virginia Beach Drive (Key Biscayne), Miami, Florida. The line-up includes three of the Marley brothers—Stephen, Damian and Julian—and other well-known artists such as Burning Spear, Capleton, Cocoa Tea, Collie Buddz, Kehv, Kevens, and Tarrus Riley.

The popular event is a tribute to the anniversary of the birth of the great reggae artist Bob Marley. The event is not only a music festival but also “a humanitarian effort to feed the hungry.” Organizers of the event for the past 18 years have asked patrons to help keep the spirit and message of Marley alive by contributing to the food drive.

For more information, see


Shaggy, the Grammy award-winning artist will be one of several top Jamaican acts headlining the bill for the 16th annual 2012 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival set for January 26 to 28, 2012 at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium in Jamaica.

The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival was hailed by the musical superstar as one of the remaining bastions in support of not just reggae music but other musical genres and culture as a whole.  The Jamaican dancehall hit-maker recently spoke frankly to a New York audience about the importance of the 2012 festival in promoting reggae music while others around the world turn the volume down on the Jamaican art form. "In Europe there are only three remaining festivals," he lamented. "At one point there were 15. This is ...something we need to change for ourselves."

Shaggy's appearance at the 2012 festival will be part of a Thursday night tribute to Jamaica's golden anniversary of independence as organizers highlight Jamaica's rich musical sounds over the past 50 years.

Shaggy, affectionately known as "Mr. Bombastic", Richie Stephens and a slate of top Jamaican reggae musicians are expected to deliver some of their classic hits and newer material at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. "I call this the Shaggy festival," he joked, "and I'm really looking forward to once again being part of the event."

Noting the importance of the host destination the star remarked, "There is a cool factor that comes with brand Jamaica - we are a small country but we have an exceptional brand. And that brand comes with this enormous cool factor which we need to market to its fullest."

shaggyShaggy added events such as the Jazz and Blues Festival attract not only music-loving visitors, but also investors to the island. "In so doing, we create revenue and jobs." The international headliner also declared the creation of jobs brought another critical contribution: "when you eliminate poverty, you eliminate crime."

Walter Elmore, chairman of the event producers, Art of Music Productions Ltd., predicted next year's festival will be the biggest event Jamaica has ever seen. "We are extremely happy and proud of the fact that the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival kicks off a year-long series of major events in celebration of Jamaica's 50th Anniversary of Independence. "We are promising to deliver an event that will make both the Jazz Festival and the Independence celebrations unforgettable experiences," Elmore stated.

Multi-platinum, five-time Grammy award-winning, Celine Dion, headlines a top talent line-up which brings to the stage Nicole Henry, Jully Black, Earl Klugh, Heads of State, Cee-Lo Green, The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, Destra, and Jamaica's finest musical talent, including Shaggy, Richie Stephens, John Holt, Yellow Man, Half Pint, Tessanne Chin and Tami Chynn, Marcia Griffiths, Lloyd Parkes and We The People, George Nooks, Luciano, Mykal Rose, AJ Brown, Freddy McGregor, Pluto Shervington, Etana, Chris Martin, and Marcia Barrett (Boney M).

 For further information, visit


About Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival "The Art of Music"

Started in 1996 by Air Jamaica, in association with the Jamaica Tourist Board and several other business entities, Walter Elmore took over the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in 2004. It has grown over the years and is now a favourite on the calendar not only of Jamaicans but people from all over the world. Attracting more than 25,000 patrons annually, the event has now been expanded to include the resort regions of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.