The Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens comes alive this summer when Braata Productions hosts the inaugural Bankra Caribbean Folk Festival on Sunday, June 7, 2015. The event, which promises to be a day of fun and entertainment for the entire family, begins at 12 noon.
Caribbean Folk culture is set to be showcased in fine style at this one-day festival, which is expected to attract a large and diverse audience who will be attending the festival primarily to experience the folk culture traditions from across the islands and sample the cuisine of the Caribbean. The Bankra Basket Caribbean Folk Festival will feature traditional authentic folk forms, and experiences from the different Anglophone Caribbean territories.
Braata Folk Singers of Jamaica leads an impressive lineup of cultural groups scheduled to perform throughout the afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. Something Positive Inc. and Adlib Steel Orchestra will provide a taste of the Trinidadian experience, La Troupe Zetwal and Smax Music of Haiti, Impressions Dance Theatre and Chitra Singh of Guyana while Quake USA of Grenada round out, the regional cultural explosion.
“As we embark on this inaugural Caribbean Folk Festival in Queens, we hope it will grow and expand in ensuing years to become a staple on the list of must do summer festivals,” said Andrew Clarke, founder of Braata Productions. “The Caribbean community has so much to offer and this Folk Festival provides a unique opportunity to showcase our rich and diverse cultural heritage with the residents of the borough and its environs. We look forward to the support of the Queens community and the wider New York tri state area to ensure the Festival’s success.”
The festival offers a full sensory experience of traditional music, dance, crafts, and food. There will be three major components to the festival: The Stalls / Island Baskets, The Cultural Performances, Effigy Walkway.
These three components will set the Bankra Basket Caribbean Folk Festival apart from other Festivals or other concerts featuring popular recording artistes. “This event is dedicated to Folk forms and Folk culture, it will stimulate nostalgia for those who grew up with it, provide learning opportunities for others who had no knowledge of it, and will help reestablish the importance, and relevance of Folk as a viable, vibrant contributor to the Caribbean brand,” noted Clarke.
In addition to the cultural performances, the festival will also feature: A marketplace with, drumming circle, folk games & dances as well as a cultural exhibit; A Children’s Village with face painting, bounce-about, a magician and a clown and A Food Pavilion.
The inaugural Bankra Caribbean Folk Festival promises to be a celebration of Caribbean folk arts, culture and heritage. The festival serves as a climax to Caribbean Week in New York. Admission: $20, Children under 12 free, students and seniors $10.