The sounds, flavors and fashions of the African diaspora will transform Washington Park into a lively African village during the 28th annual African Festival of the Arts. The fest offers visitors the chance to travel through African culture with art, film, food, fashion and music that represents a diversity of traditions and history. Divided into pavilions and villages including Nubia for fine art, Timbuktu for fashion and Bank of the Nile for the food court, the African Festival of the Arts is an explosion of sensory experiences.
Arrive early to grab a spot near the Dee Parmer Woodtor main stage and check out these dynamic acts at the 2017 African Festival of the Arts.
WizKid, Taylor Bennett // Friday, September 1
WizKid,the Nigerian sensation currently blowing up airwaves with his hit "Come Closer," featuring Drake, will headline the opening night with a show that mixes his signature afropop rhythms with Caribbean verses. The hottest pop star in Nigeria, WizKid is noted for his charisma and fresh fashion sense. Chicago's own Taylor Bennett opens, promising an uplifting dose of Chicago style hip hop with a nod to his big brother Chance.
Wayne Wonder, Indika // Saturday, September 1
Reggae's golden boy of lover's rock has been crooning for over 20 years and Wayne Wonder will bring his Jamaican melodies to Chicago, for a live dancehall excursion. Known for hits like "Saddest Day," "Excess Amount" and a melodious cover of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car," Wayne Wonder is a classic reggae singer. Local reggae band Indika, a live reggae club mainstay for decades, opens with what is guaranteed to be a tight set.
Wyclef Jean, Ugochi // Sunday, September 2
Hip hop star Wyclef is famous for blending genres and sensibilities, from his days of mixing classic R&B and hip hop as a member of the Fugees, to his solo career dueting with pop stars like Shakira for 'Hips Don't Lie." The Haitian artist is gearing up for the release of The Carnival III, a nod to his 1997 debut album, The Carnival, in September. Chicago's own "African Buttafly" Ugochi opens with her rousing combination of afrobeat, reggae, jazz and hip hop.
Plan Your Trip
African Festival of The Arts
- September 1-4, 10am-10pm
- Washington Park, 5100 S. Cottage Grove
- Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the gate, $5 kids 1-12