By Shane Donglasan
Sur La Bay, a concert featuring the music of the African diaspora and its influences across the world, kicked off Black History Month celebrations at New College of Florida Feb. 2 at College Hall. Performers from central and south Florida represented the spectrum of musical genres within black music, from hip-hop to Afro-Cuban jazz.
“We wanted to bring a mix of genres like hip-hop and Afro-Cuban jazz to show that blackness is not one-dimensional,” said fourth-year Iyanu Corniel. “We wanted to speak to the fact that we all have different experiences as black folks coming from different cultures. We have students who are black and Asian, black and Latino, and who come from African countries. There’s things that connect us all. That’s what this concert is about and what this month is about, and we’re excited about it. ”
Taller de Bomba Balancé, an Afro-Puerto Rican traditional drumming and dance group, got the show started for members of the campus community and the public. A traditional dance and musical style, Bomba is rooted in Puerto Rico’s history of African slavery.
Sur La Bay also brought artist Enso-Stranger, an ensemble of hip-hop fusion with a message of self-love and empowering others through music, as well as Miami rapper SDotBraddy.
Closing the night was the Guisando Caliente Latin Jazz Quintet who showcased the sounds of Afro-Cuban influences.
– Shane Donglasan is the marketing writer/project coordinator at New College of Florida.