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Tommy Davidson, Marshall Keys, Lamont Carey, Thad Wilson, Malaya Rucker, Aaron Myers, Kavon Ward, Cedric “JusMe” Hand Et. Al Headline the Annual Benjamin Banneker Birthday Celebration with a Jazz & Poetry Fest at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Washington, DC, Oct. 22, 2012 – The Washington Interdependence Council, administrators of the Benjamin Banneker Memorial, now in its 16th year of endeavoring to upgrade the current site of L’Enfant Plaza/Banneker Overlook Park to a world class Living Memorial, is hosting its Annual Benjamin Banneker Birthday Celebration with its First Annual Jazz & Poetry Fest on the southwest waterfront to help promote the Banneker Memorial on Monday, Nov. 12. This star studded event begins with a VIP Reception and Pre-Show from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the Fest from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
The Benjamin Banneker Jazz & Poetry Fest is being celebrated as a Pre-Thanksgiving Birthday Celebration after the agency was forced to cancel the outdoor festival at its commemorative site in August due to rain. Designed as a community service event to advance an interest in the founding history of the nation’s capital, and Banneker’s role in that process, it will launch the festival as an annual event at the event. In the spring of 1791, Banneker joined his colleagues, Major Andrew Ellicott and Major Charles Pierre L’Enfant, as they carved out what would become the first created capital in modern history. Although Banneker continued his legacy as a trailblazer of scientific thought, going on to author almanacs and to create the formula for the financial instrument now known as the Reverse Mortgage, he’s most known as one of the Founding Fathers and inventor of America’s first clock made entirely of indigenous parts. The civic agency refers to this historic figure as A Man of Many Firsts.
The Benjamin Banneker Jazz & Poetry Fest will feature live jazz, poetry, dancing and storytelling by local artists. Born in Oella, MD on Nov. 9, 1731, the Washington Interdependence Council celebrates Banneker’s birthday each year to bring attention to his legacy as an iconic colonial American hero, and its campaign to upgrade the Banneker site to a world class historic preservation and cultural venue, replete with the Benjamin Banneker Institute of Math & Science Technology to train America’s youth, from age seven on through to college, as leaders in the STEM disciplines. The upgraded memorial is slated for completion circa 2017, in concert with the SW waterfront renovation, underway directly across the street.
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin [MD] has been invited to serve as Honorary Chair of the event and Movie Actor/Comedienne Tommy Davidson is serving as Celebrity MC. Other confirmed artists are Marshall Keys; Lamont Carey; Thad Wilson; Aaron Myers; Malaya Rucker; Bill Alfred Project, Kavon Ward; The Nubian Dancers etal. Tickets are on sale now at www.bannekermemorial.org. Admission is $25 pp for the Show only and $50 pp for the VIP Reception and Pre-Show. There will be a cash bar.