If you are looking for a free and fun way to celebrate “Juneteenth” this year, you might want to check out the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! “Juneteenth” UNITYFEST Concert. This event, co-presented by the Robert Randolph Foundation, will feature two amazing R&B singers: “Joe and Stokley”. The concert will take place on Saturday, June 17, at the Lena Horne Bandshell in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.
What is Juneteenth?
“Juneteenth” is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that the Civil War was over and that all enslaved people were free. This was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day.
What is BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!?
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! is the longest-running free performing arts festival in New York City. It started in 1979 as a way to revitalize Prospect Park and showcase local talent. Since then, it has grown into a summer-long festival that attracts thousands of visitors and features diverse artists from around the world. The festival includes concerts, dance performances, film screenings, and more.
Who are Joe and Stokley?
Joe is a seven-time Grammy nominee who has been making smooth and sultry R&B music for over two decades. He is known for his gospel-influenced vocals and his collaborations with artists like Mariah Carey, Kelly Rowland, and Gucci Mane. Some of his hits include “I Wanna Know”, “Don’t Wanna Be a Player”, “All That I Am”, and “Thank God I Found You”. He released his final album,#MyNameIsJoeThomas, in 2016.
Stokley is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and the former lead vocalist and drummer for Mint Condition. He has a distinctive voice that blends soul, funk, jazz, and rock. He has also worked with artists like Prince, Janet Jackson, Usher, and Wale. He launched his solo career in 2017 with his debut album, Introducing Stokley. His latest album, Sankofa , came out in 2021.
What else can you expect at the concert?
Besides enjoying the music of Joe and Stokley, you can also witness dramatized readings and vignettes performed by actors Aldis Hodge, Gbenga Akinnagbe, and Megalyn Echikunwoke. These will highlight the rich history and culture of Black Americans and their contributions to society. The concert will be hosted by Xavier “X” Jernigan.
The concert will start at 7 p.m., but doors will open at 6:30 p.m. You can RSVP online to let them know you are coming and enter for a chance to win two VIP tent passes. You can also bring your own chairs if you want to sit comfortably. There will be an ASL interpreter at the left side of the stage for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing communities.
Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate Juneteenth with some great music and storytelling at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Juneteenth UNITYFEST Concert.
Bio of Joe
Joe is one of the most successful R&B singers of his generation. Born Joseph Lewis Thomas in Georgia in 1973, he grew up singing in church choirs and playing various instruments. He moved to New Jersey in 1990 and began working as a songwriter and producer for local artists. He signed with Polygram Records in 1993 and released his debut album, Everything , which spawned his first hit single “I’m In Luv”. He later moved to Jive Records and achieved platinum status with his second album, All That I Am , which featured the smash “Don’t Wanna Be a Player”. He continued to release acclaimed albums throughout the 2000s and 2010s, such as My Name Is Joe , Better Days , Doubleback: Evolution of R&B , Bridges , and #MyNameIsJoeThomas . He has also collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, such as Mariah Carey, Kelly Rowland, Gucci Mane, Nas, 50 Cent, and R. Kelly. He has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards and has won several other honors, such as the Soul Train Music Award, the BET Award, and the NAACP Image Award. He retired from making new music in 2016, but still performs live for his loyal fans.
Bio of Stokley
Stokley is a versatile and talented singer-songwriter who can sing in multiple genres and play various instruments. Born Stokley Williams in Minnesota in 1967, he started singing and playing drums at a young age. He joined the band Mint Condition in 1984 and became their lead vocalist and drummer. Mint Condition rose to fame in the early 1990s with their debut album Meant to Be Mint , which featured the hit “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)”. They went on to release six more albums, such as From the Mint Factory , Definition of a Band , E-Life , and Music @ the Speed of Life . They also collaborated with artists like Prince, Janet Jackson, Usher, and Wale. Stokley launched his solo career in 2017 with his debut album, Introducing Stokley , which showcased his range and style. He followed up with his second album, Sankofa , in 2021, which featured guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Kierra Sheard, The Bonfyre, and Raheem DeVaughn. He has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and has won several other accolades, such as the Soul Train Music Award, the ASCAP Award, and the Billboard Music Award. He continues to impress audiences with his voice and skills.