Desmond   RichardsonHailed by the New York Times as one of the great modern dancers of his time, Desmond Richardson is a multi-talented artist who has mastered a wide range of dance forms including classical, modern, and contemporary. Richardson’s immense talent was first recognized as a student at New York High School for the Performing Arts during which time he received a merit scholarship from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center (1983-1986) and the International Academie des Tanz in Koln, Germany (1984-1985). He is also a recipient of a Presidential Scholar Award for the Arts (1986).

Sananda Francesco Maitreya, (Artist Name: Sananda Maitreya) was born from the smouldering ashes of a former artists heart who had undergone severe trauma, lost his will and prayed devotedly to his creator to restore him to a new life.

After much meditation, in 1995, at the age of 33, earth years, his prayers were answered and he was given a new consciousness. The name given to this consciousness was Sananda which means 'one who walks with light', Maitreya which means 'among the sons of God'. He presents his music as POST MILLENNIUM ROCK because he feels that it is more inclusive and representative of the vision his spirit inspires him to share.

Oumou at 42 is the new Miriam Makeba -- Damola Awoyokun

For me, the lyrics are more important than the melody. I write almost all my own words. I also perform the classics of Malian tradition.  I draw a lot of inspiration from what happens in society.  As soon as I see or feel something, I write it down. I say what I want, and what I think, because I am a free woman. I believe that my music has had an impact on the life of African women. It’s true that when I sing it’s joyful but in amongst that joy I always take the opportunity to slip in messages that educate my nation. -- Oumou Sangaré

Bams, Recording ArtistA versatile musician that sings and raps, Bams is a Cameroonian recording artist based in France. A truly unique and gifted artist who blends rock, jazz, afro punk, and afro latin beats in her music. As a figurehead of a female hip-hop, Bams knows no boundary. A fantastic performer who is as passionate as beautiful, as elegant as musical, as lyrical and creatively free, Bams music continues to generate energetic excitement with a modern social and cultural message that stems from her Cameroonian heritage. Her creativity deliciously flirts with provocation with great charms and wits. Having been described as the most interesting and original female rapper in France, Bams is also a socially rooted artist and activist. With her work on the Respect magazine, she continues to explore new boundaries and reach new high.

“Bams is not a musician, it is musical. She tells her stories in symphonic voice. Bams is 35 and she writes. Songs. Texts. More choreography roles in theater it invests. In fact, if Bams is hip-hop: she tells her life, her daily life.” -- Gregory Protche

Sister Fa, Recording Artist and Activist

Sister Fa is the outstanding queen in the competitive male dominated world of Senegalese hip hop. She has been around for almost 10 years with her powerful flow, bewitching melodies and conscious female powered lyrics.

Sister Fa entered this world in the early 80s in Dakar, the vibrating capital of Senegal.

She took her first steps in music back in 2000 by getting acquainted with the local rap scene and recording her debut demo-tape. Nourished on the energy and creativity of West Africa's Hip Hop metropolis, she injected these into her own music with inimitable artistic expression. Her urbane vitality has its roots in the Casamance in Senegal's south. Rich musical and cultural traditions from her family's native country have significantly influenced her artistic output, lending it a uniquely personal note.

Sarah Ndagire, Recording ArtistSarah Ndagire is a performing artist born and raised in Uganda, the pearl and heart of Africa. Sarah is actively participating in the field of “African music, dance and culture.” She has her own story to tell about her experiences.

Sarah says her music style is mainly a fusion of traditional music, instruments and beats interspersed with modern styles, instruments, beats and arrangements. The traditional instruments akogo, endingidi, engalabi and embutu always feature in her songs. It can be described as a truly Ugandan sound. With “pearl ensemble”, she performs traditional music and dances of Uganda.

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