ICYMI: Afribembé Festival 2023 Recap

At the intersection of Black August and Hip Hip 50, The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), in partnership with the Friends of Art Park Alliance (FAPA) hosted its 5th Annual AFRIBEMBÉ FESTIVAL: Black to the Future! last weekend.

A celebration of music, culture, and Black liberation, the daylong festival of Pan-African artistry, expression, and intergenerational exchange, was held at the Harlem Art Park and on E 120th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues.

CCCADI’s 5th annual AFRIBEMBÉ FESTIVAL harnessed the power of its theme, Black to the Future, to elevate Afrofuturism from a global Diasporic lens with Africa at the center with more than 1000 community members in attendance. 


This AFRIBEMBÉ made a special call to remember that our ancestors consistently pushed toward creating a future that stretched beyond the reality of their present. 

AFRIBEMBÉ’s featured artists and DJ lineup utilized global Diasporic rhythms and sounds to move festivalgoers through statements of Black identity, agency, and freedom. Featured artists that graced the Bembé Stage included Grammy-nominated Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez (presented in partnership with National Jazz Museum in Harlem), Combo Chimbita, Chimurenga Renaissance, Imani Uzuri, Asase Yaa Youth Ensemble, Chief Awosánmí Sékou Alájéand DJ Bembona. Rasu Jilani served as the event’s MC.

Through artivism activities in the Family Village, the SoulFull Food Plaza, and the Ujamaa Marketplace, AFRIBEMBÉ’s intention was to inspire the community to envision and create a liberated future for the entire African Diaspora.

Bembé is an African word carried throughout the Diaspora with various meanings. From drumming to rhythm to party, we use the word Bembé as one of the terms that connect our Diaspora together in music, joy, and community.

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