AFRAM Festival Announces New Updates for 2021 and 2022
Future AFRAM Festivals Move to Juneteenth Weekend, AFRAM 2021 Lineup Announced
BALTIMORE, MD – Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP) announced today the talent lineup for the 2021 AFRAM Festival. This year’s festival will provide Baltimoreans a week-long hybrid experience beginning August 15, with the main festival taking place virtually on August 21 and 22. The Mayor also excitedly announced that Baltimore residents can look forward to future AFRAM Festivals taking place on the Juneteenth weekend beginning in 2022.
Vendor, volunteer and community talent applications also open on Friday, June 25 on aframbaltimore.com. This opportunity will allow local makers, business owners and artists a chance to showcase their goods, talents and services to attendees. The historic Druid Hill Park will once again act as the festivals’ hub, with both limited in-person and digital activities occurring in various landmark locations throughout the city.
This year’s national acts include:
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Darien Hinton, better known as Mooski is a rising rapper and singer from Alabama. He is best known for his song “Track Star”, which is a viral TikTok hit. His song has become one of the trending songs on TikTok with over 555.7 million views.
The self-proclaimed “Ambassador of Rap for the Capital,” Wale (pronounced “wah-lay”) was able to transcend his status as a local sensation and become a national rap contender using go-go-inspired hip-hop as the vehicle for his clever wordplay and music. Most of the major singles that ensued for him, however, were melodic slow jams spread across the tail-end of the 2000s and well into the late 2010s.
Busta Rhymes emerged as one of the most idiosyncratic personalities of rap’s golden era with his halting, ragga-inspired style and lyrics defined by incredible complexity, inventiveness, and humor. After rising to prominence with his group Leaders of the New School, Busta broke out solo in 1996 with a massive hit single, “Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check.” Throughout the ’90s and 2000s, he was a force to be reckoned with, topping the charts with his albums and even debuting at number one in 2006 with his seventh studio album, The Big Bang. In the years that followed, he worked as a producer while also pursuing roles in film and television, remaining sporadically active with his own music with releases like 2020’s Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God.
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Pastor Norful is an award-winning recording artist, world-renowned Pastor, educator, author and visionary who has reached the heights of success in both music and ministry. A music career that has spanned two decades, Norful now brings his music and ministry efforts towards global humanitarianism.
Already proven as a talented, sought-after songwriter and revered platinum-selling artist, Marsha Ambrosius is meeting the next challenge in her already impressive musical career by reinventing herself as a solo artist with her J Records debut disc LATE NIGHTS & EARLY MORNINGS. Hailing from Liverpool, England, fans first got a taste of Marsha’s talent as the singing half of the duo Floetry. Their 2000 debut Floetic produced signature singles like “Say Yes” and “Getting Late” as well as four Grammy nods. Following the 2005 release of their second studio album, Flo’Ology, the ladies veered creatively and personally. While the split was difficult, Marsha continued to build a name for herself as a songwriter and producer, creating “Butterflies” for the late Michael Jackson and other hits for artists such as Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx and Nas. She’s been nominated for a total of six Grammys and has been honored by BMI as their Songwriter of the Year.
One of the most dynamic and accomplished artists to debut during the early ’70s, singer and songwriter Chaka Khan secured her high standing as the front person of Rufus. A multiracial band that skillfully moved across soul, funk, rock, and jazz, they reached the mainstream with the slinking “Tell Me Something Good” (1974), a Top Five pop hit that won a Grammy, and throughout the decade continuously placed albums within the upper reaches of the pop and R&B charts. As Rufus remained active, Khan launched her solo career with “I’m Every Woman” (1978), an anthemic crossover disco smash that led to eight additional Top Ten R&B hits. Among those indelible works are “Ain’t Nobody” (with Rufus, 1983) and a cover of Prince’s “I Feel for You” (1984), high-tech productions that did not overshadow the inherent joy and power in Khan’s voice. Versatile throughout her five-decade career, Khan has recorded numerous jazz standards, heard in concentrated form on albums such as Echoes of an Era (1982) and Classikhan (2004). Her covers-oriented set Funk This (2007) resulted in two of her ten Grammy awards. After a lengthy recording break, she returned with Hello Happiness (2019), an effervescent EP that ranged from retro-contemporary disco to fluid reggae.
“It’s no secret that AFRAM is one of my favorite festivals, and I am so excited to take part this year,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “AFRAM is not just about our national performers but is a platform to lift up our local, homegrown talent from right here in our community. I commend Rec and Parks for creating this incredible experience despite the obstacles of COVID-19. I look forward to the festivities to come.”
“The world looks very different this year and so does AFRAM,” said BCRP’s executive director, Reginald Moore. “But even with its temporary, new look, we’ve worked hard to keep the vibe the same. We’ve taken the AFRAM elements we all know and love and spread them around the city. We look forward to engaging all residents with the sights, sounds and tastes of Baltimore’s Black community. Join us when we return to our traditional format next year on the new Juneteenth date.”
Details on how to view the AFRAM performances and the week of scheduled events will follow in a separate announcement. Guests are encouraged to follow AFRAM on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for real-time updates.
Visit aframbaltimore.com for more details. AFRAM festivities are always free and remain open to guests of all ages.
About the Baltimore AFRAM Festival
The Baltimore AFRAM Festival is presented by Mayor Brandon M. Scott and the City of Baltimore. The Festival officially started in 1976 as a part of Baltimore City’s Showcase of Nations. The multi-generational two-day live experience is slated to bring together the most dynamic voices in music, art and creativity.
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