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East End Arts Presents Under African Skies Documentary Film Screening & Q&A with International Celebrity Bass Player Bakithi Kumalo (posted January 28, 2017)

East End Arts Presents Under African Skies Documentary Film Screening & Q&A with International Celebrity Bass Player Bakithi Kumalo (posted January 28, 2017)

News Release

Press contact: Stephanie Israel
Images available upon request

East End Arts Presents
Under African Skies Documentary Film Screening
& Q&A with International Celebrity Bass Player Bakithi Kumalo
Saturday, February 4, 4:00 PM at Peconic Landing, Greenport

(RIVERHEAD, NY, January 18, 2017) –– East End Arts is pleased to present a screening of the documentary film Under African Skies on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 4:00 PM, in collaboration with Peconic Landing, at the Peconic Landing Community Center Auditorium, 1500 Brecknock Rd, Greenport NY. Under African Skies chronicles Paul Simon's return to South Africa to explore the journey of his Grammy Award-winning Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime. After the screening there will be Q&A with bassist Bakithi Kumalo, who is featured in the documentary and on Paul Simon's Graceland album. This free event is open to the public. Advance registration appreciated. To register, visit

Bakithi Kumalo is a South African bassist, composer and vocalist who has worked with a wide variety of diverse artists including Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte, Cyndi Lauper, and Paul Simon. He has been active as well as a solo artist, with four albums to his credit – 1998’s San’Bonan, 2000’s In Front of My Eyes, 2008’s Transmigration, and 2011’s Change – as well as three award-winning children’s albums recorded with his wife, vocalist Robbi Kumalo. Kumalo’s bass-playing history began in Soweto where he grew up surrounded by music. “I picked up the bass early and realized I could follow the groove of a tune with it. I could play the bass lines from a cappella music, and I learned how to develop lines based on the left-hand work of accordion players in the township bands.”

This event is part of East End Arts current artist-in-residence program with international celebrity musician Bakithi Kumalo, longtime bass player for Paul Simon. During his residency, taking place from Tuesday, January 3, 2017 through Saturday, February 11, 2017, Bakithi Kumalo will be offering a workshop for professional musicians on January 25, this film screening event on February 4, and he will serve as the mentor for East End Arts Music Masters Mentorship program from January through early February, where talented high school students will learn from this renowned professional musician. The public is invited to attend the Music Masters finale concert which will feature talented student musicians from across Long Island led by Bakithi Kumalo, which will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, located at 76 Main St, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978. Tickets are $10 per person in advance and at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets for the Music Masters concert with Bakithi Kumalo, visit

For more information about Bakithi Kumalo residency at East End Arts, please visit

East End Arts Executive Director Patricia Snyder comments: "I consider the East End of Long Island to be fortunate to welcome Bakithi Kumalo for a residency in 2017. I am a huge fan of Bakithi’s since meeting him during the inception of Winterfest Live on the Vine music festival ten years ago. Bakithi offers us a new dimension to international understanding through music."

East End Arts Education Director Diane Giardi comments about this very special residency program: "It is a great opportunity to have international musician Bakithi Kumalo as our artist-in-residence. We are pleased he is willing to offer a variety of workshops to the community during his stay here. Student musicians participating in the Music Masters Mentorship program will gain a great deal of confidence along with skills as they work with Bakithi. A bonding with their peers from various schools is another great aspect of this experience. And this year Bakithi Kumalo as our program mentor! Amazing!"

More about East End Arts Artist-in-Residence Program
East End Arts’ Artist-in-Residence program, started in 2008, is designed to bring established and emerging artists of all disciplines to the East End to showcase their work, and provides opportunities for the community to learn from the artist through exhibitions, lectures, and workshops. The Artist-in-Residence program provides studio space and housing during the residency at the historic Corwin Carriage House on the East End Arts grounds in Riverhead, NY.

More about the Music Masters Mentorship Program
The Music Masters Mentorship Program was created with the goal of providing local students with one-on-one learning opportunities with masters in the music field, and to encourage student pursuit of post-graduate education. By creating this exciting and enriching program for the students, East End Arts is the catalyst for an expanded sense of opportunity and possibility throughout the academic year. The mentorship program is mentored by a master performer and composer in rock music, jazz, world music or classical music, who works with a small group of talented high school students. Participating students are selected based on auditions. The pilot program, which took place during the spring of 2011, was mentored by Corky Laing, drummer and songwriter from Mountain, and West, Bruce & Laing; the second program, held during Spring 2012 was mentored by singer/songwriter Lauren Kinhan of New York Voices and JaLaLa; the Fall 2013 program was a string ensemble led by professional cellist and conductor Nico Olarte-Hayes; the Fall 2014 was a jazz ensemble led by professional guitarist Steve Salerno; and the most recent program, held in Fall 2015 was a vocal ensemble led by professional vocalist Anastasia René with piano accompanist Mark Mancini. For more information, visit

For more information about Bakithi Kumalo's residency, contact East End Arts Education Director Diane Giardi at 631-369-2171 or
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East End Arts, established in 1972, is an award-winning 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts organization, and operates a School of the Arts, an Art Gallery, and presents a variety of events and programs to promote the arts year-round. Proceeds from all events, sales, classes, donations, and memberships benefit the mission and commitment to building and enriching our community through the arts by way of education, support, advocacy, and inspiration.