Ebony Escapes! into summer
LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN Special to the AmNews | 5/27/2011, 2:35 p.m.
(301) 780-9300, www.capitaljazz.com/fest
Taste of Times Square (New York, N.Y.)
Held in world-renowned Times Square on the Broadway Plazas between 42nd and 47th streets, the Taste of Times Square is one of New York City's most popular annual outdoor food festivals. Each year, this event encompasses signature dishes from Times Square's best restaurants, live entertainment, street performances and a great deal more. Admission is free and each "taste" ticket is only a buck, with most dishes ranging from $1 to $5.
(212) 768-1560, www.timessquarenyc.org
Chicago Blues Festival (Chicago, Ill.)
A celebration of the history and the heritage of the blues, this festival is one of Chicago's favorite annual events and the world's largest free blues festival. Memphis Gold, Ben Wiley Payton, Shemekia Copeland, Sanctified Grumblers, Eric Guitar Davis and the Troublemakers, Lonnie Brooks with guests Michael "Iron Man" Burks, Rick Estrin and Ann Rabson, and Rob Blaine's Big Otis Blues are just a few of the bevy of performers that will delight the crowds this year.
National Black Book Festival (Houston, Texas)
Held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the National Black Book Festival is the place to enjoy dozens of authors with thousands of fellow reading enthusiasts, all under one roof. Hosted by Cushcity.com, the world's largest African-American online retailer, this year's event will include appearances by numerous genres of authors covering everything from urban fiction to Christian, self-help, mystery/thrillers, non-fiction, romance, poetry, beauty and health, biographies and everything in between. Publishers, book clubs, libraries, workshops, seminars, a spoken word poetry slam, book signings and more are also part of the fun.
(800) 340-5454, (281) 444-4265, www.nationalblackbookfestival.com
26th annual Monterey Blues Festival (Monterey, Calif.)
Sometimes referred to as "blues heaven on earth," the Monterey Blues Festival is widely recognized as one of the premier blues festivals in the country, featuring world-renowned blues artists as well as young aspiring entertainers at the beautiful Monterey Fairgrounds. This year's performers include the Dazz Band, Mavis Staples, Jeffrey Osborne, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Millie Jackson, Bobby Rush, the Barkays, Peabo Bryson, Freddie Jackson and Ruthie Foster, just to name a few. (831) 394-2652, www.montereyblues.com
Rock and Soul Festival (Cleveland, Ohio)
A celebration of African-American music, the annual Rock and Soul Festival is a Cleveland music fan favorite. Set to coincide with Black Music Month, the festival is chock full of live entertainment from national and local artists celebrating the soulful Black sound. One of this year's featured events is a tribute to Michael Jackson by Angie Stone and other artists.
(216) 781-ROCK, www.rockhall.com
Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at email@example.com.