Sunday, June 28, 2015

Anchro-Pop Closes Out Diversity Celebration In Anchorage Today

Henna painting at the Somali table.

The Hmong table had embroidered history lessons, as well as a book on the role of Laos and the Hmong in the Vietnam War. 

The Norwegian table.

The politicians who worked with the community to set the festival up.  Elvi Gray-Jackson (black dress), Assembly member Anchorage, Geran Tarr, state representative from this district, and Ethan Berkowitz, mayor elect.  The pastor was presiding over a vigil in memory of the Charleston church shooting victims.  The recent Supreme Court decisions had also been lauded.

Yu'pik (I think) dancers. 

And this young man got his face painted with what looks like an old Yu'pik mask design

And the title of this post?  Well, it's what I thought of as I listened to Gambian born Anchorage singer, Ousman Jarju (OJ), and the Rebel Clef.   It's Afro-pop with an Anchorage flavor. He transformed a mall parking lot on a gray day into the place to be.

The Rebel Clef  FB page lists the band members.

"Johnnie wright III-Keyboardist /Music director Elivis Crenshaw- Base player Kiah Ward- Drums Ousman Jarju- lead singer Benjamin Blunt- Percussionist Freddie Stokes- saxophone player Angel Wright- Manager ."
 I've posted before about Anchorage having the most diverse census tracts and high school in the nation.  Chad Farrel, the sociologist who's written about this, explains this part of Anchorage, unlike more racially segregated cities, Anchorage has districts with whites as well as a full flavor of ethnic origins.  A follow-up post covers Professor Farrel's presentation at the Alaska Press Club 2014.  I've only highlighted a few that were out this afternoon.  

So, it seems to me, this music is something we can start calling Anchro-pop.  Enjoy the video - I decided to leave the footage as I got it, giving you a sense of being there, and getting it up today. 

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