Zest for Education of Youth Brings Rhythm Arts and Humanities
Zest for Education of Youth Brings Rhythm Arts and Humanities

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A Celebration of the Life of Baba Jimmy Cruiz


Thursday, August 12th from 4:00PM - 6:30PM

ZEYBRAH, the Orisa Community Development Corporation and the Bronx Theatre International have come together to pay homage to a great visionary, musician and healer, Baba Jimmy Cruiz. Jimmy Cruiz a virtuoso flutist, bandleader and composer, was at home on either bamboo or metal flutes. Of Puerto Rican roots, his music is strong on the Latin tradition, and augmented by Jimmy’s intensive studies of indigenous music from around the world. Jimmy was living in Co-op City (at the time of his passing) where he had been a resident for many years. He has played for 50 years or more, with many groups and artists, at theatres, festivals, museums, and practically all notable venues in NYC.

We have selected an outdoor venue, due to the current covid pandemic, which was also the cause of Baba Jimmy’s passing. We will begin our program Thursday August 12 at 4 pm. at Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater in Harlem. We ask people to reserve their free tickets on Eventbrite to help us manage our audience and keep track of each attendee, in case covid tracing is needed. Attendees will also be asked to sign in at the welcome table. The event will be livestreamed on YouTube (see flyer). Please note that the bathrooms are part of the swimming pool changing room area and Photo ID may be required to enter!

Some of the featured groups that will perform are: Members of Spirit Ensemble, the very popular group that Baba Jimmy helped to create. The program will commence with a libation, a theatrical bio of his life, and a tribute to the Orishas and the Yoruba culture of Nigeria. Also performing are Women of the Calabash, The Charles Moore Dance Company, Dana Mano and PAKA, Africa Eternal and other beloved friends of Baba Jimmy.


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ZEYBRAH is proud to announce the 28th Annual Oceans of Rhythm Festival. This year we will open Oceanfest with the call of the drums! Starting at 11:00 am at the Great Lawn Stage, with both international and local groups: resounding with spectacular African drumming, dance and music, as well as hip hop and hula hoopers! Our grand finale will be a female African stilt walker who will also lead a musical procession starting at the Great Lawn.

Yakar Roots and Rhythms African Drum and Dance Company from Senegal, West Africa, (via NYC) will perform and also invite the audience to join in to learn traditional African dance movements. They have performed at prestigious venues throughout NYC and the world (Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, United Nations, to name a few.) They each have a lifetime dedication to preserve the culture of their country and share it will the world. Our special guests who will join them are from Lakewood, NJ: AACE aka I Speak Djembe! founded in 1987 by Kames Haki, who has a lifetime commitment to training the youth and providing positive role models through African dance and drumming.

The Oceans of Rhythm Ensemble will feature guest artist Sekou Balomba, whose roots are in The Republic of Ivory Coast and The Gambia. Sekou has created his own style and sound, blending reggae rhythms with West African beats and melodies. He has released two CDs, "I Love My People" and "Sejou," as well as several music videos. He will perform his hit song "Mandela". Based in NYC where he performs frequently, Sekou also performs in Africa

Other local groups include: Grooves and Hiphop, featuring Timmy Douglas from Belmar and Vernon Stone from Long Branch, with their original style and homegrown funk. Also, the incredible hula hooper, Dominique Fruithoopgypsy will perform and bring extra hoops for those who want to join in.

ZEYBRAH is thrilled that Oceans of Rhythm is now a part of Oceanfest -- where people from all walks of life, and of all ages can celebrate together: the beauties of the community, the music and the ocean environment! There will be day long activities, music and vendors all along the boardwalk, culminating in a grand fireworks display at the beach.

ZEYBRAH is a nonprofit cultural organization that creates community arts projects and festivals, and trains artists. This year's Oceans of Rhythm Festival is supported by funds from the Long Branch Community Development Block Grant (Long Branch Office of Community and Economic Development, the Long Branch Department of Recreation), the Long Branch Chamber of Commerce, the Monmouth County Arts Council and generous friends of the festival. For further information contact the Long Branch Department of Recreation at 732-571-6545 or visit www.ZEYBRAH.org.

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Highlights from the 10th Annual Moment in Time Festival
’Mama Africa’ - A Tribute to Miriam Makeba

    DVD Featuring:
  • South African cast members of Broadway's The Lion King led by Bongi Duma
  • Duma Ndlovu, Guest Speaker, Playwright, Poet, Producer from South Africa
  • Yakar Roots and Rhythms African Drum and Dance Company from Senegal
  • Amma McKen, 2009 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage award recipient
  • Tunde Odunlade, Nigerian artist, musician, and lecturer
  • Artists include: Tony Sidras, Khesswa, Tsidi Manye, Mar Gueye, Alioune Faye, Ousmane Sall, Monseur Diop, Electra, Fashina Mira, and Jimmy Cruz
  • Bonus Track! Footage of Miriam Makeba performing in Havana, Cuba in 2005
SPECIAL OFFER: Purchase now and pay with credit card or PayPal and get FREE shipping - total cost just $10 - you SAVE $4.00 :

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Welcome to ZEYBRAH

ZEYBRAH is a not-for-profit, community based, cultural organization which creates quality programs for (a) cultural exchange between people of diverse cultures, and (b) experiential learning in the arts. ZEYBRAH draws its resources from cultures around the world, with emphasis on the cultural expressions of the peoples of Africa and the Caribbean. Our goal is to share with audiences the vitality and beauty of these cultural heritages in ways that are educational, entertaining and uplifting! We emphasize the inter-active components of our programs, and cater to all ages with programs specifically designed for the entire family.

There are two primary areas of programming:
(1) Art Expositions, which include art festivals, live performances of dance, music and drama, multi-media art exhibits, video and film screenings.
(2) Training and Education in the Arts, which include workshops in music, dance, drama and visual arts, lecture-demonstrations, panel discussions, educational trips, and communications-media training.

ZEYBRAH has been organizing quality folkloric events since 1984 with artists that are top in their fields. Through our well-researched and innovative presentations, folkloric expressions from places such as Cuba, Brazil, the Caribbean, U.S.A., Nigeria and Senegal come alive!

Pictures from 2017 event

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