We were there: Kuumba, presented by TD Then & Now 2013

This past weekend, Harbourfront Centre hosted its 17th annual Kuumba Festival, presented by TD Then & Now.

Those that attended the festival enjoyed three days of Black History Month events showcasing local and international artists from the African and Caribbean diaspora and celebrated milestones, anniversaries and the outstanding contributions of black Canadians.

Festival highlights included an incredible showcase of jazz music at the 10th anniversary of the Trane Studio. Audiences were treated to rare performances by American jazz greats, Ernest Dawkins (Chicago) and Ursula Rucker (Philadelphia).

Jazz great Earnest Dawkins jamming on stage

Ursala Rucker presented her spoken word favourites

The weekend was programmed with audiences’ varying tastes in mind, so there was something for everyone to enjoy. Young to old, hip hop to gospel, Kuumba offered a wide musical spectrum.

Savannah Re as part of the Known (Unknow) music showcase

Kuumba Gospel Lounge

CBC Toronto anchors, Dwight Drummond and Anne-Marie Mediwake, hosted the ever-popular Soca on Ice event (part of DJ Skate Nights), as CBC is a proud supporter of the TD Then & Now series. Dwight and Anne-Marie happily did a meet-and-greet with festival-goers while Dr. Jay de Soca Prince spun soca and calypso tunes that turned Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel® Rink into a winter version of a carnival fête!

Dwight Drummond, Anne-Marie Mediwake and Dr.Jay

No festival is complete without some form of dance programming. Crowds were taken on a journey through African dance with Esie Mensah and her team of dancers. What an incredible show!

A captive audience

A Journey Through African Dance Performance

Another incredible dance performance

Little ones were also kept busy all weekend-long with family storytelling, Oware African games and the Kuumba marketplace!

Storytelling Workshop

Kids Playing Oware Games

If you missed this year’s Kuumba festival, be sure to check out other programming in and around Toronto as part of the TD Then and Now Black History Month series.