The 26th annual Zora Neale HurstonTM Festival of Arts and Humanities (ZORA! Festival) promises an exciting nine-day celebration based on the theme “Rhythms of the Diaspora”, from January 24 to February 1 in Eatonville and other venues in the surrounding Orange County in Florida.
Festival patrons will enjoy the diverse mix of music, including Gospel, Caribbean music and Latin American rhythms throughout the entire Festival. Fans can travel back in time to dance to Swing Jazz and Bebop at Club ZORA!, the Festival’s costumed event set in a Night Club during the World War era. Aficionados of Straight-Ahead Jazz will relish the tribute to Eatonville’s Jazz Legend Bernie Lee, and those who love Smooth Jazz will not want to miss the live performance by international Saxophonist and Flautist Najee.
Mississippi Delta Blues will hold the stage at The Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. The spotlight will be shone on Memphis Soul during the video presentation of the 1972 Wattstax Music Festival at the Enzian Theater and Hip Hop will be given its due during “Roots to Rap: A Musical Revue”. The popular band Maze featuring Frankie Beverly will return to Eatonville to perform their style of R&B, soul and funk in the final weekend of the Festival.
ZORA! Festival is presented annually by The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc.(P.E.C.), a 501(c)3, historic preservation and cultural arts organization, first organized in 1987. The Festival celebrates the life and work of 20th century writer, folklorist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston; her hometown, Eatonville, the nation’s oldest incorporated African American municipality; and the cultural contributions people of African ancestry have made to the United States and the world. The mission of the Association to Preserve Eatonville Community (P.E.C.) is to enhance the resources of Eatonville, to educate the public about the town’s historic and cultural significance, and to use the community’s heritage and cultural vibrancy for its economic development.
ZORA! Festival is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Council. Major underwriting is also provided by Community Partners, including World Conference of Mayors; the University of Central Florida (UCF) Office of the President, Office of the Provost and the College of the Arts & Humanities; InGlur Inc.; TeKontrol Inc., Visit Orlando; Bright House Networks, VITAS; and Local 6. The Festival schedule and tickets are available at www.zorafestival.org.