Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium celebrated its 14th year of presenting the art form Jazz on Sunday, November 3, at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. The Jitu K. Weusi Founders Award was presented to the developers of Jazz Africa Heritage/JAH for their efforts in building this African diaspora economic and cultural bridge. The S. A. Lesedi Connection provided entertainment and all patrons enjoyed the culinary treat supplied by Brooklyn’s Madiba Restaurant. Some of the nearly 200 guests included, South Africa Consul General New York George Monyemangene, Mayor Yusef Suleman Bhamjee of uMgungundlovu a district municipality of the Republic of South Africa, Bongani Sibeko-founder of JAH, New York legislative leaders: Eric Adams, Annette Robinson, and Al Vann. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and NYC council member Letitia James gave proclamations.
Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium presented its newly named Jitu K. Weusi Founders Award to the South African architects of JAH/Jazz Africa Heritage. Receiving the award for 2013 are: North West Parks and Tourism Board-JAH producers, Charles Ndabeni-JAH architect, and Bongani Sibeko-creator of JAH. Some other distinguished individuals whom received this honor in the past include: Dr. Billy Taylor, founder Jazz Mobile; Roue-Doudou Boicel, impresario and owner of Montreal’s legendary Rising Sun Celebrity Jazz Club; Dr. Josephine English, entrepreneur and New York State’s first licensed black female OG/GYN; Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs, co-founder of DuSable Museum, America’s foremost museum of African American history.
Jitu K. Weusi, civil rights activist, educator, icon, and former chairperson Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium passed away on May 22, 2013. Weusi helped organized New York City’s reception for Nelson Mandela during The President’s USA tour in 1990, months after his release from Robben Island. Jitu brought culturalists, educators, legislative leaders, musicians, tourists, and CBJC members to the first JAH pilgrimage to the Republic of South Africa during Black History Month 2007.
Founded in 1999, the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium is an amalgam of patrons, entertainment venues, musicians, faith-based institutions, and community organizations. Over the past 14 years CBJC has presented an annual spring festival, established a Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame & Museum™, and produced yearly programs that feature local jazz talent. CBJC is a nonprofit corporation committed to preserving, promoting and supporting live music within the underserved communities of Brooklyn.