Rocky Dawuni Reggae star headlines "Africa Rising" concert at Ford Theatres Oct. 15

"Africa Rising" is the conclusion of the annual Ford Summer Season at the Ford Theatres, a series of music, dance, theatre and film events scheduled from May through October.

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Rocky Dawuni

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US-based Ghanaian Root-Reggae star, Rocky Dawuni, with Afro Funké will celebrate the African Diaspora with "Africa Rising" concert at the Ford Theatres, LA on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

"Africa Rising" is the conclusion of the annual Ford Summer Season at the Ford Theatres, a series of music, dance, theatre and film events scheduled from May through October. The final event at the venue will feature music by Dawuni with Ethiopian-influenced ensemble Wondem, led by multi-instrumentalist Dexter Story; Congolese-Belgian singer Marie Daulne of Zap Mama; and DJs Jeremy Sole and Glenn Red.

Dawuni and company curated the event as a way of celebrating the influence and legacy of African music, culture and art, as well as the global African diaspora that has influenced much of the Western world, especially within Los Angeles, according to LA Weekly.

"It's really representative of how this city is in terms of African culture and the various cultures of the African diaspora," Dawuni told LA Weekly. "I feel that highlighting that and celebrating that literally contributes to creating that kind of community, cohesion and the sense of supporting each other."

That community is one he originally cultivated with his partners Cary Sullivan, Sole and Red at Afro Funké, a club night that began in 2003 as a means to share a fusion of global sounds including Afrobeat, Afro-Latin House, Reggae, Dub, Cumbia, Funk and more. Although Afro Funké came to an end as a regular night at Zanzibar in 2013, the promoters have kept its community together with various one-off events at the Levitt Pavilion, the Hammer Museum, and other venues. "Africa Rising" is the natural evolution of Afro Funké as its community expands.

"Afro Funké, first of all, was an incubation of the concept of a multicultural environment and a multicultural celebration," says Dawuni. "It was a recognition of who each other is and each other's role and using music and art as the means to express it, as well as creating an environment where everybody comes and no one needs to articulate what the concept is. This is an opportunity to bring that experience to a bigger platform, a bigger stage, but with the same objective, really: celebrating the African element in every culture."

Dawuni considers Afro Funké and "Africa Rising" as part of his activist work.

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