The Downtown Hyattsville Arts Festival is next Saturday, can you feel the electricity in the air? It’s not just thunder! We know you’ll all love the live music we have planned, here’s a little more about each of the artists:
Born in Kita, Mali, into the family Diabate with a Jeli (Griot) tradition dating back over 800 years, Cheick Hamala Diabate is recognized as one of the most famous nÆgoni Jelis in both the Malian and international communities. The son of two Jeli families û Diabate and Tounkara û Mr. Diabate was trained from birth in the traditional manner of one born into a Jeli family. Trained in oral history, song and music, Mr. Diabate quickly became a master of several traditional Jeli instruments of historical importance. But he became renowned for his skill in playing the nÆgoni, a stringed lute and ancestor of the banjo, which he learned from his maternal grandfather, the great D ba Tounkara. He later learned to play the guitar from his uncle, Djelimadi Tounkara.In addition to the training received from within his Jeli family, Mr. Diabate attended both French and Islamic schools. At age 12, he was invited to study at the National Institute of the Arts in Bamako, MaliÆs capital. After completing his studies, he began an international touring careeR&Based in Bamako. He toured throughout West Africa, Europe, Asia, and Canada. He has since performed with well-known artists such as Yayi Kouyate, Ami Koita, Kandia Kouyate, Madi Tounkara, and Salif Keita. In 1995 Mr. Diabate came to the United States to pursue a career as an independentemperformer, lecturer, and instructor of traditional Jeli instruments with particular phasis on the nÆgoni. Since his arrival, he has since performed and presented at numerous venues, including the Smithsonian Institution, George Washington University, Brooklyn College, and New York State University. He has also worked with the KanKouran West African Dance Company, Maimouna Keita Dance Company, and the WÆose Cultural Institute.
Sara Jones is the first place winner of the Billie Holiday Vocal Competition and semi-finalist in the American Traditions Competition, jazz vocalist Sara Jones has toured 49 states and performed in numerous concert halls across the country.
Jones has performed as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and Ravinia Festival Orchestra, under the batons of Emil de Cou and Erich Kunzel. An additional highlight includes a solo performance on the Esplanade with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra. In the Baltimore/Washington area, Jones was a featured vocalist with the Jazz Ambassadors and has graced the stages of the Hippodrome Theater, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Strathmore Mansion, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Jones, who began her musical career as a pianist, received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and her Master of Music in Piano Accompanying at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. After graduation, she chose to pursue a professional vocal career with the Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, where she served for six years. Now a civilian, Jones maintains an active performing schedule and has recently released her debut CD, Daydream A Little on Petite Musique Records. A collection of beloved jazz standards and bossa novas, it features Jones and major Brazilian Jazz Group, Trio Da Paz. Jones’ schedule can be found on her website, sarajones.com.
Also an active educator, Jones is a professor at Towson University where she teaches Jazz and Commercial Voice and directs the Towson Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
La Salvadoreina, aka Cindy Yomaira Zavala born and raised in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She grew up in the Little El Salvador that exists in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Both of her parents and family are from El Salvador. The love for her culture and the lack of representation inspired her to start writing music and create the SalvadoReinas fashion brand. La Salvadoreina will be performing at 2 pm.
Janine Wilson’s music will speak to fans of rock, alt country and all sounds that resonate within the fabric of American Music. She has been honored with 10 Washington Area Music Awards (Wammies), including song and album of the year for her third CD, Wakin’ Up. The Washington Post describes Janine as “poignant and seductive” and Richmond’s Style Weekly says, “…when Wilson digs her heels in and opens up her big voice, it’s best to pay close attention.”
Foots X Coles is a versatile production duo hailing from the Washington D.C., metropolitan area. The group is made up of Foots (drummer, songwriter, singer) and Coles (producer, singer, pianist). Their music is a refreshing take on alternative R&B – spacey soul music with futuristic sounds and vivid lyrics. The duo’s latest album, Azure, was released in early 2020.
Makeup Girl started as two piece indie rock band 10 years ago in Mount Rainier MD, 3 blocks from DC. It was actually just Brody (vox, guitar) and Caleb (drums) for a brick but then we decided that kinda sucked so we starting adding people. We had a lot of other members (Billy Brophy, Ryland Heagy, and Bryce Dubayah to name a few) and band names but settled on Makeup Girl 3 years ago when we released our first EP. So there’s actually a lot of history lol but we we’re all like 14 so it didn’t really go anywhere…But now we have a solid lineup with Johnny Leader on guitar and Avery Steck on bass, and we are ready to make music.