On Saturday, August 15, the 25th Annual Down Home Family Reunion will happen, 4:00 – 11:00 p.m., at Abner Clay Park, Belvidere and West Leigh Streets, downtown Richmond, VA in Historic Jackson Ward.
Jah Baba, aka Oladipo Abiala, is a singer and instrumentalist who is Beninese and Nigerian. His initial influences were his grandmother and his father. He says, ” I have been playing music since my childhood. I grew up in music. Since my grandmother herself has composed songs and sang many times. She is also the really author of several of my songs that I produced. In addition my dad had also been a singer, percussionist and choirmaster for years. So I grew up in music….” This musical heritage insured an attachment to the cultural and ancestral roots he has expressed professionally for over twenty years. Jah Baba’s music is a blend of traditional music, jazz and other contemporary forms. In the footsteps of his parents, Jah Baba draws iinspiration from the cultural values of his country.
He plays the drum orchestras — bata and gangan (talking drum) — and he guides his audiences to experience the spirit and mystery of the Oro and Guèlèdè (Gelede) practices indigenous to his native region from which he draws his inspiration.
“My music is deeply rooted in African rhythms and as I am in Benin,” he says, “there are Benin rhythms and, my works are focused on these rhythms.”
Jah Baba will encourage dancing. He says, ” You should know that a concert can only be in live, I’m in the live, all I do is live. Because I think music is an expression of what we feel… the music is made to communicate with the listener, we must remain in the same spirit that so it must be in live…. I promise to offer them a musical festival, a true African feast. Whatever your region, you will be comfortable, you’ll consume and you will be satisfied. You should not forget that music also heals many diseases.”
The VIP Gold Circle
The VIP Gold Circle returns this year. Festival attendees may obtain special seating at the stage throughout the day, complimentary food and beverages and a private meet and greet with the 25th Annual Down Home Family Reunion’s headliner, The Delfonics. Tickets are $30.00 and available at below or by calling or visiting Elegba Folklore Society’s Cultural Center, 101 E. Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia, 804.644.3900