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Carlos Benavidas

10 Acts to Look Out for at the African-American Festival

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is celebrating African-American Month with its 17th annual African-American Festival. As ever, there’s a wonderful array of entertainment, and naturally much of it is musical. Here are 10 acts to look out for.

1. Fantasia
At 10 a.m. on Saturday and 3:10 p.m. on Sunday, we get to be entertained and presumably join in with this African-American dance group. Not to be confused, one assumes, with the soul singer of the same name.

2. DJ Seven Seize
12:30 p.m. on Saturday. If you’re going to have a DJ at an event at an aquarium, you can’t do better than someone with a name like Seven Seize.

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3. Dembrebrah
12:55 p.m. on Saturday and 12:20 p.m. on Sunday. This West African dance group has been a fixture at local events for some time, and they really are a wonderful sight to behold. They describe themselves as “a collection of professional and semiprofessional artists and educators dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of authentic, traditional West African art, culture and history in all of its power, beauty, strength and grace.” That nails it.

4. Ambianz Muzic Experienz
1:40 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. An interactive drum circle, meaning you and the kids can join in.


5. Per Se
4 p.m. on Saturday. Super-multicultural Long Beach outfit that play a sweet mash of gospel, blues, funk and reggae.

6. Abdul-Salaam Muhammad
10 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. on Sunday for double flute performances in the morning.

7. Deep Red
11:45 a.m. on Sunday for interactive poetry, music and yoga. That’s a glorious combination.

8. Homeland Crew
3:10 p.m. on Saturday and 1:40 p.m. on Sunday for breakdancing and popping. Anyone fancy a battle? Probably best to keep it to yourself. These guys are intense.

9. The L.A. Mardi Gras Second Liners
2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 12:55 p.m. on Sunday. That means brass.

10. Music in the Moment
4 p.m. on Sunday. What better way to close out the festival than with a jazz ensemble? No better way.

The African-American Festival takes place on Saturday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Visit here for more information.

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