Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Toledo African American Festival & Concert celebrates music and culture

On August 6, a concert of famous and local artists will bring the African American Festival to a close along the riverside. The event will feature a lineup of musicians on the main stage, in addition to community resources and food vendors across the location. The event to honor African American health, history, and education will be held at Promenade Park from 2-10 pm, with the concert located at the Promenade Park Stage and doors opening at 1 pm.

The Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union is hosting the festival as part of their 26th anniversary, and the concert will be the last part of a two-weekend event. The festival officially commenced on July 15 with a prayer breakfast, followed by the African American Parade on the 16th. The concert and festival will bring the events to a successful close by sharing music for those of all ages to enjoy. 

Who’s Performing
Six musicians and groups will perform throughout the day, and spectators are welcomed to stay for as many acts as they’d like. The day will be filled with R&B, soul, funk, gospel and comedy acts. Featured performers include The Whispers, Zapp, Lyfe Jennings, Troop, Sunshine Anderson, and Keith Bender. These famous names will be joined by local artists Intuition, Jay Rush Jennings, The Good The Bad And The Blues, and Chris Byrd and True Victory, who will join to give a tribute to Rance Allen. The concert’s collection of local and famous classic names make it a must-see attraction. 

Zapp poses with concert-goers at the 2019 African American Festival. Photo courtesy of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union Facebook page.

The Whispers are one of the big names that will be coming to town, known best for their two number one singles, “Rock Steady” and “And The Beat Goes On” throughout their career in the 70s and 80s. Another chart-topping band, Troop, will join the lineup to perform some of their many number-one and top-ten singles. 

Zapp, another early-80s R&B band, will be performing funky electronic songs. Zapp originated in Ohio like fellow performer Lyfe Jennings. Jennings is a Toledo native and is multi-talented as a record producer, instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. 

Sunshine Anderson will perform at the festival as the only woman in the lineup, and is promised to shine in her performance of her R&B and soul songs from ongoing career. Keith Bender, the comedian of the event, will round out the day with a refreshing set to add some laughs to the mix. Spanning eight hours and featuring ten performers, the concert is expected to draw quite a crowd and provide an unforgettable experience. 

How to Get Tickets
Event tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster or Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union ahead of the event. General admission is $30, VIP tickets are $65, and day-of tickets will be an additional $5. VIP tickets give visitors a close-up view of the Performers right next to the stage, a perfect viewing location. To read more about this event, visit the event website.

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