Journey to Africa and Jamaica – Afro-Bingy Night at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard


Massana Afro-Jazz –
Abou Sylla and Ibrahim Aminou
Africa @ Roots Riddim
Roland Kemokai

Where: Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, 1106 East 11th Street Austin, TX 78702

When: Friday, May 29th, 20157-10 p.m.
Cover Charge: $5 admission
Contact: Harold McMillan, (512) 538-5657

This Friday, May 29th, DiverseArts Culture Works will host Journey to Africa and Jamaica, an evening of musical performances to honor Africa as the foundation of roots and culture and the social history or reggae music. The night will feature many of Austin’s favorite African and reggae music peformers, including Abou Sylla, Ibrahim Aminou of Zoumountchi, and Roland B. Kemokai. Join us for a night of dancing and camaraderie as we welcome Afro-Bingy Night to Kenny Dorham’s Backyard’s summer performance lineup.

There will be a cover charge of $5 at the door. Food will be available for sale at the venue’s food trailers: Nice-N-Ful Vegetarian Soul Food, Wasota African Cuisine, Arte & Sano Colombian Food. Please feel free to bring your own chairs, food and drinks, but please no glass.

About the Musicians:

Abou Sylla –  Abou Sylla was born into a family of musicians in Conakry, Guinea in West Africa. Abou’s musical career began at the age of five when his uncle gave him a djembe. When he was a child, Abou moved from Conakry to a village where he began his study of the balafon. He lived, studied and performed with his balafon teacher until he was nineteen, at which time he moved back to Conakry to perform with his family, as well as other musicians.After returning to Conakry, Abou was invited to join Les Ballets Africains, the prestigious national dance company of Guinea. For six years he performed with them, playing not one, but five instruments – the balafon, djembe, krin, doundoun and bote. Abou has performed in Africa, Holland and throughout the United States.  He currently resides in Austin, Texas.

Ibrahim Aminou – Ibrahim, who is originally from Niger in West Africa, plays percussion, guitar and traditional African instruments including Kora (African harp) and Gyil (African xylophone). He leads a local African band “Zoumountchi” which performs every Saturday at the Sahara Lounge “Africa Night” and also plays in the “Golden Dawn Arkestra”, “African Fola Groove” and “First Flight”. He also teaches West African Drum and dance classes at the Carver Museum and UT Informal Classes and various schools. He also builds and sells instruments and provides music for weddings, children’s parties  and other events.

Roland Kemokai –  Roland B. Kemokai a.k.a. Mista Muzic, is an Austin-based, Liberian singer/songwriter, composer, pianist, guitarist bassist, professional vocal coach, and the energetic lead singer for Austin’s roots reggae band, Roland & the Roots Riddim. In addition to being an engaging front-man, a powerful singer, and a multi-instrumentalist, he is also a published author and an in-demand speaker. A virtuosic pianist, guitarist, bassist, composer, vocal instructor, published author, and inspirational speaker, Roland uses his music to share his belief in the power of forgiveness, positive thinking, and the potential for greatness within us all. His electrifying stage presence coupled with his inspiring message and sweet melodic voice allows him to naturally connect with his audiences.

We look forward to seeing you this Friday for Journey to Africa and Jamaica – Afro-Bingy Night! For more information on the event and all other upcoming events with DiverseArts Culture Works, please visit the DiverseArts website, our Facebook page or email us at

See you soon!

The DiverseArts Team

East End Fourth Friday! May 2015

Featuring:  7:30 pm – Under-18 Artist, ATAP Trio
                    8:30 pm – Woody Russell
9:30 pm – Jose Ruiz and the Sweet Tones

When:         Friday, May 22, 2015
Kids activities begin at 6:30 p.m.
Music Starts at 7:30 p.m.

Where:       Kenny Dorham’s Backyard
1106 East 11th Street
Austin, TX 78702

Cover:       Adults – $5 Suggested Donation
Kids (12 and under) enter Free

Food available from: 
Nice-N-Ful Vegetarian Soul Food, Wasota African Cuisine, Arte & Sano Colombian Food and Free Live Oak Beer (21+).

Contact: DiverseArts Culture Works,, (512) 538-5657


Join us Friday to kick off the end of May and the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend with this month’s East End Fourth Fridays!. DiverseArts Culture Works, in collaboration with the East End IBIZ District, will host another round of the original community-wide block party series this Friday, May 22nd at 6:30 p.m. Come on down as we open up Kenny Dorham’s Backyard for patrons to enjoy the newly revitalized lawn and community gardens, flavorful food trailers, family friendly activities and live musical performances starting at 7:30 p.m.  

The evening’s performances will begin with under 18 artists, ATAP Trio, followed by Woody Russell and Jose Ruiz and the Sweet Tones.

BYOBeverages (No glass containers please) | Blankets and lawn chairs welcomed.

Featured Artist:

Woody Russell: Critically acclaimed, award winning vocalist, guitarist and composer, Woody Russell, is a contemporary troubadour with one foot in the jazz and blues tradition and the other planted firmly in defiance of any genre categorization. He’s released a body of recorded work that spans from the folk-roots infused songwriter fare of his first album, …as simple as that (1996) to the more recent and highly praised blues/soul release of Up Against It (2010) and his latest recording, Delicious Days (2013); a new album infused with sophisticated arrangements and harmony more closely associated with jazz. As a lyricist, Woody digs deep in to intimate, personal narratives while equally at home addressing a broader social consciousness. And, not unlike a primary influence of his, Van Morrison, Russell navigates the melody and rhythm of his written word with a precision and expression akin to a jazz improviser. For more information on Woody Russell, please visit his website at

Jose Ruiz and the Sweet Tones: Jose Ruiz came to the harmonica late in life some 14 years ago, at the age of 41. Some might consider that to be a very late start indeed, but many others consider his musicianship an inspiration. Equal parts jazz and blues, an improviser, an educator and a student, he wears the name “Sweet Tone” for good reason. Recently ranked among the Top Ten best instrumentalists in Austin, Texas where he is based, Jose continues his meteoric rise through the ranks of the regional scene as an instrumentalist of a singular voice – a rare trait for any musician to achieve; that immediately identifiable musical personality. Now signed to Gold Man Records, he released a new single in 2013, No Left Turn, and is currently composing music for an upcoming EP. Jose is also host of a very successful monthly harmonica jam in Austin at El Leon’s, as well as a weekly gig with The East Side Blues Syndicate blues jam. Jose also leads his own band, fittingly named “The Sweet Tones”. A man motivated by the pursuit of his singular style and always looking ahead musically, Jose Ruiz may have come to his chosen instrument late in life, but he has more than made up for lost time and shows no signs of slacking off now. For more information on Jose Ruiz and the Sweet Tones, please visit his website,

The New School of Music Trio – ATAP Trio: Talented young musicians, Cameron Riggs (15) on piano, Patrick McNally (17) on drums and Truman Clark (14) on bass form the New School of Music’s ATAP Trio. Under the direction of bassist Evan Nicholson, their energy and love of Jazz shows in their performance. ATAP Trio is a classic jazz trio that is well beyond their years!
The New School of Music provides a non-competitive and challenging atmosphere where people of all ages and musical levels are able to study all styles of music.
For more information about the ATAP Trio, please visit the New School of Music Facebook page. For more information on the New School of Music, please visit the website,

East End Fourth Fridays! is a programming series produced by DiverseArts Culture Works to showcase the cultural legacy and identity of Austin’s East End – the Soul in the heart of the City. Held every 4th Friday of the month, East End Fourth Fridays! is designed to bring a relaxed, open-air art and culture block-party to the newly revitalized East Austin. 

IBIZ Districts(r) are a program of Austin Independent Business Alliance and are co-sponsored by the City of Austin Economic Development Department. 
Come join us this Friday as we move and groove to celebrate the return of East End Fourth Fridays! and the Kenny Dorham’s Backyard performance season. For continuous information and updates, please visit the East End Fourth Fridays! Facebook page or the DiverseArts website.

Jazz OUTside with Brazilian Space Program and WD-41

Jazz outside the box at the beautiful outdoor venue Kenny Dorham’s Backyard in East Austin.

Featuring:  WD 41 (Dave Laczko and Willie Oteri)
Brazilian Space Program
and open free jam to follow.

Doors Open:  7:00 PM

Show: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Days:   Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Where: Kenny Dorham’s Backyard
1106 East 11th Street
Austin Texas 78702

For More Information:    512.704.6445
    Harold McMillan

Cost: A $5 donation is suggested to help DiverseArts continue it’s work promoting local arts and artists.
Children have free admission.

B.Y.O.B (cans and plastic only). Soft drinks and snacks available for purchase. Food trailers on the grounds.

JAzz Outside
Brazilian Space Program
Hot and Cool Bitches Brew and beyond jazz sounds including many originals. Brazilian Space program have been gigging and recording in Austin for a few years now and are growing very fast in popularity. Tiago da Silva on guitar and effects, Charlie Russell on Fender Rhodes and piano bass, and Jared Marshall on drums, cymbals and percussion.
“Brazilian Space Program have managed to take everything I love about free form jamzz/jazz (double zz’s for both like ZZ TOP BRO!) and strip away the annoying parts, the tom foolery, the tongue and cheek cute sh*t, and bring you in right at the jump off point.” – Tim Baker – Skyfall reviews.

WD-41 – hosts of Jazz OUTside
Willie Oteri and Dave Laczko, at the forefront of the local Beyond Jazz scene for several years, have toured Italy and Germany regularly since their first 2009 release WD-41. A track from their second release, Temi Per Cinema hit number 2 in the Top 25 downloads of the last 30 days at All About Jazz.
“The artists transmit a dark and ethereal set of circumstances, while having some notable fun during the process. It’s a synthetic soundscape of aural colors that prods the mind’s eye—stranger than fiction, some might say.” -Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz.
For more information see:

We hope you will join us. B.Y.O.B (cans and plastic only). Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. A $5 donation is suggested to help DiverseArts continue it’s work promoting local arts and artists. Children have free admission.