Christian Sands Trio to headline Sankofa Jazz Festival, April 30


7th Annual Festival at African Heritage Cultural Arts Center Celebrates Jazz and Recognizes the African Diaspora through the Work of Award-Winning Musicians and Artists

The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center presents the 7th Annual Sankofa Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 30 from 3:30-9 p.m. Christian Sands.

The Sankofa Jazz Festival highlights the diversity and vitality of arts from the African Diaspora and showcases local and emerging artists who embody the spirit of African heritage jazz artists. The accomplished Christian Sands Trio will showcase their vast repertoire, which draws on historical and contemporary sources, and will perform catchy covers and selections from Sands’ Be Water album.

Reflecting on her inspiration for the Grammy-nominated work, Sands noted, “It’s ubiquitous […] yet somehow intangible, capable of shape-shifting or assuming the shape of its surroundings. The Trio’s performances underscore Sands’ inspiration, as well as his dedication to being “more open, more free [and] more flexible.”

The Festival will also feature Melton Mustafa, Jr., “Mustafa on Sax”, a two-time Grammy-nominated saxophonist and educator, in addition to Aniye Strachan, Robert Bradley, Arnitris Williams, Luis Disla, John Dixon and Rodney de HOT 105. Baltimore.

“The Sankofa Jazz Festival celebrates the rich history of the African Diaspora,” said Marshall L. Davis, Executive Director of the Center. “This family-friendly event embodies African pride and culture, showcasing established and emerging talent to our audience. This is not just an opportunity for our community to reconnect, but to share an appreciation for music that draws from the traditions of jazz music.

The namesake of the Festival is the mythical bird “Sankofa” of the Akan tribe in Ghana. The Sankofa bird’s legs point forward and its head tilts back, symbolizing the vital role of the past in moving forward with determination.

“The Sankofa bird symbolizes the strength, hope and wisdom of the African people,” Marshall added. “It evokes our collective future, and the timelessness of the music is the perfect way to illustrate the power of many.”

The Festival will also include a gallery exhibit, local artwork for purchase, and food vendors. The gallery’s exhibit, titled “We The People,” pays tribute to the prolific late Miami muralist, Oscar Thomas, on the 25th anniversary of his passing. The exhibition features three decades of Thomas’ work, a collection of photographs of his murals and never-before-seen videos, plus a tribute showcase that showcases local and international talent inspired by Thomas’ legacy. The show will continue until June 5.

The Festival is recommended for all ages. Tickets will be sold through Eventbrite until 6 p.m. the same day or while seats last. General admission and reserved seating tickets are available for $25 to $45. VIP tickets are $75 and include reserved seats in the first four rows, reserved parking, and free food and drink.

For event inquiries, contact Meieli Sawyer at (305) 668-0070 or [email protected]. For more information, visit

About the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center

Part of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center was founded in 1975 to serve as a nesting place for emerging performing and visual arts talent in the heart of Liberty City. . By providing quality education, inspiration and encouragement to young people in the community, the Center has fulfilled its mission for more than 40 years and creates a way for young people to discover their artistic talents every day. Visit and follow @ahcacmiami and #AHCAC on social media.

About the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs

The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Council for Cultural Affairs develops cultural excellence, diversity, access, and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities fair for artists and cultural organizations, as well as for our residents and visitors who are their audiences. The Department receives funding through the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of Miami-Dade County, the Children’s Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida through the Department of State of Florida, the Florida Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Peacock Foundation, Inc., and the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at Miami Foundation. Other supports and services are provided by TicketWeb for the Culture Shock Miami program, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the South Florida Cultural Consortium and the Tourist Development Council. For more information, visit

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Willie J. Johnson