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African-American Folk Tales and Songs Take Center Stage at Jamestown Settlement Weekend of February 14 and 15

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., February 2, 2015 – “African-American Musical Imprint Weekend,” February 14 and 15 at Jamestown Settlement, will showcase performances by “The Storyteller” Dylan Pritchett, the Northern Neck Chantey Singers and Legacy of Weyanoke.

The music and storytelling weekend is a highlight of “From Africa to Virginia” month at the state-operated living-history museum, with gallery exhibits and daily interpretive programs highlighting the culture of the first recorded Africans in Virginia and the experience of people of African descent in colonial America.

Dylan Pritchett, “The Storyteller, will present tales of Africa and African-American heritage at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. both days. A professional storyteller since 1990 and member of the National Association of Black Storytellers, Pritchett has taken his folktales to schools across the country and, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, performs and leads workshops for teachers on using storytelling in the classroom. In addition to recording several albums of folktales, he has re-created the voices of historical characters for museum exhibits and served as a performer and consultant for historical documentaries.

The Northern Neck Chantey Singers will perform, at noon and 2 p.m. on both days, examples of work songs that coordinated the efforts of African-American watermen of eastern Virginia as they hauled in nets filled with their catch. The group of retired watermen, all residents of Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula, has been featured on the National Public Radio program “All Things Considered” and CBS News.

Legacy of Weyanoke, at 3 p.m. on both days, will take the audience on a musical journey that pays tribute to African ancestors and their history. Founded in 1990 as an a cappella vocal ensemble performing songs and stories of African diaspora, the Caribbean and the American South, Legacy of Weyanoke’s mission is to research, preserve, perform and educate the public about folk-based music and literature with its origins in African heritage. The group is comprised of professionally trained musicians with varied performing experiences in the U.S. and abroad.

Admission to the performances is included with Jamestown Settlement general admission of $16.75 for adults, $7.75 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. A combination ticket with the Yorktown Victory Center, where interpretive programming in February also has a “From Africa to Virginia” theme, is $21.00 for adults, $10.50 for ages 6 through 12. Residents of James City and York counties and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive complimentary admission to both museums with proof of residency.

Jamestown Settlement is located at Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway near Williamsburg. For more information about the museum and “From Africa to Virginia” theme month, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit hif.ciniva.net.

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