(Originally published at OnePaper.com)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Fort Lauderdale’s Annual Pan African Jam took over the City’s culturally diverse Sistrunk area on Saturday, May 3rd as headliner Jon Lucien performed at the Rev. Samuel Delevoe Park in conjunction with the Pan African Bookfest and Cultural Conference.
This daylong celebration of literacy, music and diversity was held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with readings and book signings by civil rights activist Dick Gregory and award-winning poet Sonia Sanchez.
Headlining the Pan African Jam, the internationally acclaimed, sultry soulful recording artist Jon Lucien charmed audiences with his baritone voice and sentimental ballads.
Lucien, who started his musical career in the mid-1960s, is a romantic balladeer whose songs meet the standards of sensuous R&B, pop and smooth jazz with a flair of Caribbean and Brazilian rhythms.
Known for hits like the soul-stirring “Lady Love,” seductive “Creole Lady,” and hypnotic “Rashida,” Lucien tranquilized listeners as he performed his collection of love songs. A native of St. Thomas, he is a multi-talented musician who uses the guitar and many of his ballads to communicate romance with intelligence as well as sensitivity.
Lucien’s performance was hosted at Rev. Samuel Delevoe Park. Opening for Lucien was Florida native, Jus’ Cynthia. She performed songs from her CD, LOVE GLOW, produced by Jon Lucien.
The Pan African Jam and Pan African Bookfest and Cultural Conference was held at the historic Rev. Samuel Delevoe Park and the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, located at 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard (N.W. 6th Street) in Fort Lauderdale.
Following an opening ceremony of African libation, drumming and official recognitions, the Bookfest featured national and local publishers, authors, children’s activities, book discussions, ethnic art, cultural entertainment and ethnic foods. On the Kuumba Stage at Delevoe Park, African traditional dance, spoken word with Heru and other cultural performances were presented. At the Culture Cafe, participants enjoyed four thematic panel presentations on love and romance genres, memoirs, issues
impacting the Pan African community, and urban inspiration (spirituality and religious) genres. The collection of events were free to the public.
Children’s activities included a Junkanoo parade coordinated by Pat Roberts of ACAPAI (African Caribbean American Performing Arts, Inc.), storytelling, face painting and performances by youth from the community.
All of these activities were featured at the Culture Cafe.
Additional performances included the Moko Jumbie Stilt Dancers, Maja Girl from the Nile and her Tribal Belly Dance Troupe. As a special added highlight of the event, a spiritual union of two people was performed by a Yoruba priestess.
The Pan African Jam was sponsored in part by the City of Fort Lauderdale Parks and Recreation Department, Broward County Libraries and Parks and Recreation Divisions, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Broward Cultural Affairs Council.
For information on upcoming events, please call the Pan African Jam Hotline at (954) 828-4759.