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Kwanzaa Celebration 2023

December 29, 2023 @ 6:00 pm

A cup, corn and other Kwanzaa symbols celebrate the holiday. Creative Commons courtesy photo from Penn State
Photo by Annemarie Mountz

Women of Color Giving Circle and Rites of Passage and Empowerment (R.O.P.E.) hold their annual celebration with Wanda Houston as a guest musician and vocalist. The ceremony involves guest speakers, musical performances, skits and much more.

The holiday of Kwanzaa “is a product of creative cultural synthesis,” according to creator and founder Dr. Maulana Karenga. “That is to say, it is the product of critical selection and judicious mixture on several levels. First, Kwanzaa is a synthesis of both Continental African and Diasporanl African cultural elements. This means that it is rooted in both the cultural values and practice of Africans on the Continent and in the U.S. with strict attention to cultural authenticity and values for a meaningful, principled and productive life.

“Secondly, the Continental African components of Kwanzaa are a synthesis of various cultural values and practices from different Continental African peoples. In a word, the values and practices of Kwanzaa are selected from peoples from all parts of Africa, south and north, west and east, in a true spirit of Pan_Africanism. …”

Berkshire vocalist Wanda Houston has won international recognition, performing on stages with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Patti Austin, Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, Rick Astley and Sam Harris. She has toured with Motown legends Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas and The Platters and performed in New York City from Broadway to film to RCA’s recording of William Finn’s Infinite Joy.

For many years, Houston sustained a bi-coastal career performing on stages with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Patti Austin, Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, Rick Astley and Sam Harris. A private scholarship in opera temporarily took her to USC where she prepared for the Met auditions. It was at this juncture she realized musical theater was her future.

Meanwhile, she toured with Motown legends Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas, and The Platters while performing with tribute band, The Marvelous Marvelettes. Later, she joined the cast of Michael Jackson’s production of Larry Harts “Sisterella!” and toured through Germany, Austria and Australia.

Today, as the lead vocalist for Heth, Bradley and Houston, the Wanda Houston Band and Big and Bigger, she also lends her talent to regional projects including the Convergence Progect, Mothership Trio, The Vermont Jazz Center Big Band and the NOLA inspired Rejuvenators.

More info »

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Event Details

Details

Date:
December 29, 2023
Time:
6:00 pm
Event Categories:
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