Concert showcases culture

It is the repository for paintings, sculptures, articles, books, films and music from Africa, the Caribbean and other parts of the African Diaspora. It is a hidden gold mine located right here on campus.

The FAMU Center for Caribbean Culture is an educational outreach organization founded in 1993 by Jan DeCosmo, an associate professor of humanities.

“I started the center because there were so many students from the Caribbean and their culture on campus was non-existent,” DeCosmo said.

Located in Room 108 of the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts East building, most students do not know the center exists.

Debbie Gardner, 21, a junior criminal justice student, from Evanston, Ill said she has never heard of the CCC, but she said it is necessary to have on campus.

Gardner, whose parents are from Manchester, Jamaica, said the center can be a great asset to FAMU’s Caribbean students. “I’m glad we have a center on campus so the Caribbean students can be represented,” she said.

On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Lee Hall auditorium, the center will host its 16th African-Caribbean concert featuring special guest artist the New Birth Brass Band from New Orleans.

The band fuses hip-hop, Mardi Gras Indian chants, funk and modern jazz with old traditional sounds.

They have played with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Dizzy Gillespie and recently gained national acclaim with features on MTV.

The concert will also feature Dromatala, Caribbean and Haitian Club Dancers, F.A.C.E.’s United Steel Orchestra, Kufere Bandele Ikemba, Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theatre and the Rhythm Rushers (formerly the Tallahassee Bahamas Junkanoo Group).

DeCosmo hopes to see more students at the concert than she’s seen in the past.

“I’ve done 16 of these concerts and people still don’t know about it,” DeCosmo said. “Each semester the turn out is 300, but we would like to have a lot more.”

Mikiesha Castro, 20, a junior nursing student from Fort Lauderdale said the concert is well-put together. “I have been to the concert every semester since my freshman year at FAMU and I enjoy it every time.” she said

Admission prices are $5 for general audience, $4 for non-FAMU students and $2 for children. Free admission for all FAMU students with I.D.

Toya marshall can be reached at