Black Heritage Month will be celebrated with a series of  events ranging from African dancing to an exploration of ragtime and blues at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center in February.

Friday, Feb 13 at 7:30 p.m.

The Coyaba African Dance Company of Washington D.C. will perform traditional and spiritual African dances using Jimbe “talking” drums.  This international dancing group is committed to providing cultural awareness about African and Afro/Cuban dance and rhythm in the community.  The word Coyaba is a West Indies Arawak word meaning “heaven.”  Members of the audience will also be invited to participate.

Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 p.m.

 “Spiritual Roots of Jazz and American Popular Music,”

Dr. Jay Marciano, a teacher at Montgomery College in Maryland will draw upon his background as a pianist, composer, and educator to examine spiritual links to music performed by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles.

Sunday, Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Bishop David and Sister Christine Oryang of Uganda will speak at the “Why I Believe” fireside. Soloist and bassist Michelle Anderson of Olney, Maryland, will perform.

Friday, Feb 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Noted collector of African artifacts Lawrence Thrash of Ft. Washington, Maryland, will discuss “Expressions of African Culture: Musical Instruments and Artifacts.”  Some of his items, like a festival mask from the Biblical tribe of Dan, date to antiquity.  Lyric tenor Jesse Holt will perform.

Saturday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m.

Hal Trapkin of Lanham, Maryland, will present “Hotminus! The History of Teenage Music.” He reviews 100 years of music from ragtime and blues to boogie-woogie, jazz, and rock‘n’roll.  Visitors can expect a grand finale that won’t leave anyone disappointed.

Sunday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m.

            Dr. Thomas C. Battle, director of the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University will present, “Honoring Excellence: Contributions of African-American Educators and Scientists.”  The Washington D.C. District Choir will perform.

Friday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m.

            This evening of gospel, soul, and contemporary music is provided by the St. James Community Choir under the direction of Solomon Sparrow.   Mr. Sparrow is a gifted composer whose tribute to the “U.S. Colored Troops” of the Civil War was presented at Arlington National Cemetery.

              The Visitors’ Center is located at 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, MD.

For more information, contact 301-587-0144.