10:00 AM10:00

48th Annual Juneteenth Celebration - 2018

28947720_1852246114836849_6968887240891577658_o_juneteenth 2018.jpg

From Africa's Heart We Rose, Survive We Did, Continue we MUST - poem inspired by Kristina Kay



Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln's authority over the rebellious states was in question   For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

General Order Number 3

One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."

The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation. While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former 'masters' - attesting to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom. Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom. North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove the some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Settling into these new areas as free men and women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America. Recounting the memories of that great day in June of 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory. The celebration of June 19th was coined "Juneteenth" and grew with more participation from descendants. The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date.

Juneteenth Festivities and Food

A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. Rodeos, fishing, barbecuing and baseball are just a few of the typical Juneteenth activities you may witness today. Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self improvement. Thus, often guest speakers are brought in and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past. Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations. 

Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with Juneteenth celebrations such as strawberry soda-pop. More traditional and just as popular was the barbecuing, through which Juneteenth participants could share in the spirit and aromas that their ancestors - the newly emancipated African Americans, would have experienced during their ceremonies. Hence, the barbecue pit is often established as the center of attention at Juneteenth celebrations.

Food was abundant because everyone prepared a special dish. Meats such as lamb, pork and beef which not available everyday were brought on this special occasion. A true Juneteenth celebrations left visitors well satisfied and with enough conversation to last until the next.

Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs and is often still taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this tradition's roots. During slavery there were laws on the books in many areas that prohibited or limited the dressing of the enslaved. During the initial days of the emancipation celebrations, there are accounts of former slaves tossing their ragged garments into the creeks and rivers to adorn clothing taken from the plantations belonging to their former 'masters'.

Juneteenth and Society

In the early years, little interest existed outside the African American community in participation in the celebrations. In some cases, there was outwardly exhibited resistance by barring the use of public property for the festivities. Most of the festivities found themselves out in rural areas around rivers and creeks that could provide for additional activities such as fishing, horseback riding and barbecues. Often the church grounds was the site for such activities. Eventually, as African Americans became land owners, land was donated and dedicated for these festivities. One of the earliest documented land purchases in the name of Juneteenth was organized by Rev. Jack Yates. This fund-raising effort yielded $1000 and the purchase of Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas. In Mexia, the local Juneteenth organization purchased Booker T. Washington Park, which had become the Juneteenth celebration site in 1898. There are accounts of Juneteenth activities being interrupted and halted by white landowners demanding that their laborers return to work. However, it seems most allowed their workers the day off and some even made donations of food and money. For decades these annual celebrations flourished, growing continuously with each passing year. In Booker T. Washington Park, as many as 20,000 African Americans once flowed through during the course of a week, making the celebration one of the state’s largest.

Juneteenth Celebrations Decline

Economic and cultural forces provided for a decline in Juneteenth activities and participants beginning in the early 1900’s. Classroom and textbook education in lieu of traditional home and family-taught practices stifled the interest of the youth due to less emphasis and detail on the activities of former slaves. Classroom text books proclaimed Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 as the date signaling the ending of slavery - and little or nothing on the impact of General Granger’s arrival on June 19th.

The Depression forced many people off the farms and into the cities to find work. In these urban environments, employers were less eager to grant leaves to celebrate this date. Thus, unless June 19th fell on a weekend or holiday, there were very few participants available. July 4th was the already established Independence holiday and a rise in patriotism steered more toward this celebration.


The Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s yielded both positive and negative results for the Juneteenth celebrations. While it pulled many of the African American youth away and into the struggle for racial equality, many linked these struggles to the historical struggles of their ancestors. This was evidenced by student demonstrators involved in the Atlanta civil rights campaign in the early 1960’s, whom wore Juneteenth freedom buttons. Again in 1968, Juneteenth received another strong resurgence through Poor Peoples March to Washington D.C.. Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s call for people of all races, creeds, economic levels and professions to come to Washington to show support for the poor. Many of these attendees returned home and initiated Juneteenth celebrations in areas previously absent of such activity. In fact, two of the largest Juneteenth celebrations founded after this March are now held in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

Texas Blazes the Trail

On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition.  Edwards has since actively sought to spread the observance of Juneteenth all across America.

Juneteenth In Modern Times

Today, Juneteenth is enjoying a phenomenal growth rate within communities and organizations throughout the country. Institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Henry Ford Museum and others have begun sponsoring Juneteenth-centered activities. In recent years, a number of local and national Juneteenth organizations have arisen to take their place along side older organizations - all with the mission to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.

Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing.

The future of Juneteenth looks bright as the number of cities and states creating Juneteenth committees continues to increase. Respect and appreciation for all of our differences grow out of exposure and working together. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This indeed, brightens our future - and that is the Spirit of Juneteenth.

Reference: http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

View Event →

7:00 PM19:00

2018 SW Soul Circuit Spring Concert

2018 Facebook Banner - Concert Poster - SW Soul Circuit v2.jpg

Southwest Soul Circuit (SWSC) keeps it’s new year of concerts going with the 2018 Spring Concert.

This show is scheduled for April 20, 2018 at Pima Community College Center for the Arts starting at 7PM. This year, SWSC is bringing back Theresa Tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. as the featured artist along with Kevin & Tanishia Hamilton. This 90 minute show will also feature Desert Soul Street Band and performances from experienced singers and musicians of Studio-Kevin Hamilton, a private music school based in Tucson, Arizona. This is a ticketed event, with sponsorship provided by MEB Management Services and Ken’s Hardwood BBQ. There will be artwork available in the lobby by Jared Clark, with 15% of the proceeds going towards funding for local youth to participate in Garden Youth Development Project programming.


View Event →
Shekinah Live! Soul en Blanc
6:00 PM18:00

Shekinah Live! Soul en Blanc

Shekinah launches her career with an intimate live concert, debuting her first music single, 'The Wave'. This concert will be recorded for live television and will take place on March 24, 2018 starting at 6PM with a reception at Garden Level Studios located at 4580 E. Grant Road. This general admission event is called "Soul en Blanc", with all attendees required to wear all white. Tickets to this event are $25 and include a 90 minute concert, hors d'oeuvres, confections and a sunset toast. This show will have opening acts; including Kevin & Tanishia Hamilton.

6:00 PM - Pre-Show Reception

6:38 PM - Sunset Toast

7:00 PM - Show


For tickets, click below.

View Event →
Earl Lucas Reception - SW Soul Circuit Presents...
4:30 PM16:30

Earl Lucas Reception - SW Soul Circuit Presents...

Earl Lucas - Graphic #2.jpg

Earl Lucas is the Chief Exterior Designer at Lincoln Motor Company and is responsible for the 2018 Lincoln Navigator which won the Detroit Auto Show's 2018 Truck of Year. In this reception, Lucas will share his story of how he uses sketch art in corporate design. Lucas, a Texas native who graduated from the College for Creative Studies with a degree in industrial design, has worked on the 2000 Lincoln Navigator, the 2007 Lincoln MKX, the 2013 Lincoln MKS, the Lincoln Navigator Concept and the 2018 Lincoln Navigator that will debut in 2017. Earl Lucas is no stranger to luxury: He once designed aircraft interiors for the Sultan of Brunei that dazzled with strategically placed silver and gold.

There will be refreshments provided.

This is a free event in Tucson Arizona at Garden Level Studios. You must reserve your seat or you will not be allowed to participate. For a free ticket, visit: http://buytickets.at/southwestsoulcircuit/150476

Earl Lucas - Graphic #1.jpg
View Event →
to Jul 1

Summer Academic Foundation for Enrichment (S.A.F.E.) Program

The Southern AZ Black College Community Support Group is offering it's SAFE Program for grades 3 through 12. Classes will take place at Pima Community College Wst Campus from May 27 to July 1 from 9:00AM to 1:00PM on Saturdays.  Lunch will be served.

For more information contact Marie Cephers at 520-869-5885.

Garden Youth Development Project, Inc will participate in the program as instructors for the music segment. Looking forward to a fun summer.

View Event →
7:00 PM19:00

A Night With 'Q' Smith and Friends

So excited and honored to have been invited to sing at this incredible event!


soul sister, the exquisite Quiana Smith played Nina Simone in one of the incarnations of Soul Doctor.  NY Friends, please reserve your seats now.   This event should not be missed!!!

View Event →
7:00 PM19:00

Southwest Soul Circuit 2017 Spring Concert

  • Pima Community College Center for the Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

It's a celebration you don't want to miss.  

Join us for a musical celebration of Southwest Soul Circuit and the Garden Youth Development Project featuring Ada Redd Austin in concert.

The incomparable soul and jazz singer, Ada Redd Austin, is joined by Tanishia Hamilton, aka Tanesha, Kevin Hamilton, the Trinity Missionary Baptist Church Choir, SWSC's Sacred Soul Choir, Desert Soul Street Band, the youth of Garden Youth Development Project and the kids from Nosotros Academy.

Also, enjoy a "Homecoming" performance by Belinda Esquer Music. Belinda started lessons with Studio-Kevin Hamilton several years ago and is now a staple in the Tucson music scene. It's a Spring Showcase you don't want to miss.

Ticekts start at $12. VIP BOX SEAT tickets are $22 and include lite hors d'oeuvre and non-alcoholic beverages.

View Event →
7:00 PM19:00

Southwest Soul Circuit Presents: Tanesha LIVE!

Please come out and join the fun.

Southwest Soul Circuit Presents: Tanesha Live!

In Southwest Soul Circuit's first production of the year, Tanesha, aka Tanishia Hamilton and 'The Chocolate Diamond', will bring her 'Angelic Soul' music to the Rialto Theatre's newest venue, 191 Toole along with Kevin Hamilton and the Desert Soul Marching Band. Tanesha will cover Contemporary Hip Hop/Soul Classics and music from her new EP, 'Chocolate Diamond'. This 'Sweet Soul Singer' has performed on prominent stages nation wide and has shared the stage with recording artists from Ginuwine to Lyle Lovett, Kermit Ruffins and Roberta Flack.

Joining 'The Chocolate Diamond' is Kevin Hamilton, along with the Desert Soul Marching Band. 'Kev Soulman' is a verteran recording artist and an accoplished producer of festivals, concerts, television and studio records. This 'Eclectic Soul Singer' and keyboardist will bring a mix of Contemporary Soul music, along with music from his two albums. Kevin puts you in a mind of a Neo-Soul Donny Hathaway.

Establish in 2014, Desert Soul Marching Band is a community Funk/Soul street band formed in Tucson, Arizona. Under the direction of Kevin Hamilton, Desert Soul debuted at The Rialto Theatre/Tucson, Arizona as the opening act for Itchy-O Marching Band and as featured performers at the Fox Tucson Theatre. Also, Desrt Soul opened for The Roots during the @Verizon Superbowl Central Blockparty during AZ Super Bowl XLIX. To learn how you can join Desert Soul, visit www.SWSoulCircuit.com and click on the 'Desert Soul' tab in the navigation bar.

Doors open at 7PM. Concert at 8PM. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Tickets available online at: http://www.191toole.com/event/1418983-southwest-soul-circuit-tucson/

View Event →
8:00 AM08:00

African American Heritage Day

African American Youth Heritage Day
Is Our Annual Legacy Event!

During Black History Month, SABCCSG hosts this Youth Event in collaboration with

TUSD African American Student Services Department (AASSD).

Each year, we serve approximately 400 students

Southwest Soul Circuit participates by providing support in entertainment coordination, performances, and emceeing.

February 10, 2017

8:00AM - 2:30PM (Approximate times)


The Donna Liggins Community Center

2160 N 6th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

For More Information visit: http://sabccsg.org/programs/african-american-youth-heritage-day/



View Event →
12:00 PM12:00

Panel Discussion with Jack & Jill of America, Inc Tucson Chapter

Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Tucson Chapter is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2 – 19, dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.

Jack and Jill is hosting its "Area Work Day". Along with various other activities, they are hosting a panel discussion for the teens with local African American Professionals and Business Owners.

Tanesha has been invited to participate in the panel discussion. 

For more information contact Regina Hart at regina@reginahart.com

View Event →
8:00 PM20:00

Gregory Porter LIVE at the Rialto Theatre

 Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter

Ever-dapper in his Kangol Summer Spitfire hat, suit jacket and wooden-wristband Nixon watch, Gregory Porter is discussing his new single. A rolling piano, organ and brass-powered soul-jazz number, it’s called Musical Genocide. It’s a provocative title – was that intentional?
“Well…” begins this Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/entertainer with a chuckle. “It’s a provocative title in the sense that unfortunately the word carries significance in our history – and still does. So I meant it to be provocative in that way. But as the first lines say: ‘I do not agree, this is not for me…’”
So while, yes, “on a larger level I’m talking about that,” Porter’s song has typically multiple layers. Musical Genocide isn’t the only song on his acclaimed third album Liquid Spirit that talks about the record industry. “If you manufacture everything; if you shy away from the organic artist who’s gone through something in his life to try figure out music; if you’re only going for the sexiest, newest thing… Well, that’ll be the death of blues, of soul… So that’s what I mean.”

View Event →
8:00 PM20:00

The Ice Kream Man Tour with GINUWINE and Karlos Farrar



D.C native Ginuwine has left a huge mark on R&B as a singer, songwriter, and dancer. He launched his career in 1996 with his first single, Pony, a Timbaland and Static Major production that would continue playing in clubs for almost a decade after its release. The rest of his career prove to be consistently explosive with his seventh album release Elgin (2011) soliciting a positive response from old school diehards. Ginuwine is a versatile artist, with a permanent place in R&B-lovers hearts.

View Event →
7:30 PM19:30

Acoustic Africa at the FOX

Born after worldwide critical and commercial success in 2006, 2011 and 2013, the fourth installment of Acoustic Africa’s exhilarating journey focuses on the richness of the African traditions of voice and song. In 2016, Acoustic Africa will feature beloved singers Habib Koite and Vusi Mahlasela.

A modern troubadour with extraordinary appeal, Habib Koité‘s musicianship, wit and wisdom translate across cultures. Hailing from the musically prolific West African nation of Mali, the guitarist and composer was named the biggest pop star of the region by Rolling Stone, delighting audiences the world over and selling more than 250,000 albums. Over the past decade, his artistry and magnetic personality have made him an international star, placing him firmly among the leading figures in contemporary world music.

Vusi Mahlasela, simply known as “The Voice” in his home country of South Africa, is celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and his poetic, optimistic lyrics. His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future. Raised in the Mamelodi Township, where he still resides, Vusi became a singer-songwriter and poet-activist at an early age. After his popular debut on BMG Africa, When You Come Back, Vusi was asked to perform at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994 and continues to spread Mandela’s message as an official ambassador to Mandela’s HIV/AIDS initiative, 46664.

View Event →
6:30 PM18:30

Steppin Out Live with Ben Vereen at the FOX


Steppin’ Out Live with Ben Vereen has been dazzling audiences around the world! The show highlights this Tony Award winning performer’s unique artistry, combining a tribute to Broadway and Frank Sinatra. Featuring hit songs such as “Defying Gravity,” “Stand By Me” and “My Way,” you’ll be on a contemporary yet timeless journey  filled with song and dance, stories of his life, a great deal of humor and always, multiple standing ovations.

The New York Times dubbed him “an a true song and dance man who never lets up. He wins you over with his sheer energy, good will and showbiz know-how.”

Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen. His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country’s artistic legacy. His first love and passion is always and will be the stage. “The theatre was my first training ground. It taught me discipline, dedication and appreciation of hard work and values that will stay with me a lifetime.” 

View Event →
7:30 PM19:30

Keb Mo' Live at the FOX Theater

Award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist and contemporary blues artist, Keb’ Mo’, hits the Fox stage with his unique brand of blues.

His 12th studio album, BLUESAmericana spent several weeks at No. 1 on the Soundscan Blues Album chart and garnered Keb’ Mo’ a Blues Music Award from the Blues Foundation, three 2015 Grammy nominations and multiple other achievements.

Over the past two decades, Keb’ Mo’ has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. B.B. King, Buddy Guy, the Dixie Chicks, Joe Cocker, Robert Palmer and Tom Jones have all recorded his songs. His guitar playing has inspired leading instrument makers Gibson Brands to issue the Keb’ Mo’ Signature Bluesmaster acoustic guitar and Martin Guitars to issue the HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Limited Edition Signature model.

He has collaborated with a host of artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown, Cassandra Wilson, Buddy Guy, Amy Grant, Solomon Burke, Little Milton and many others. Keb’ also wrote and performed the theme song for the smash sitcom, “Mike & Molly,” and was music composer for TV’s “Memphis Beat.” He has also been featured in TV and film, playing Robert Johnson in the 1998 documentary “Can’t You Hear The Wind Howl,” appeared three times on the television series, “Touched By an Angel,” and was the ghostly bluesman Possum in John Sayles’ 2007 movie, “Honeydripper.”

For More information at TICKETS - Visit HERE

View Event →
8:00 PM20:00


“‘All I Want Is You’ was the soundtrack of my relationships,” remarks the 27-year old singer Miguel, as he takes a methodical pause to deliberate his next thought. “‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ is the soundtrack of my life.”

It’s that off-centered and calculated precision that thrust Miguel into the mainstream in 2010 with the infectious first single “All I Want Is You,” from his major label debut album All I Want Is You (ByStorm/Jive Records). That song blended a stark hip-hop beat with Miguel’s creamy vocals to form a sound that was completely absent from the radio and established Miguel as one of the most unique and soulful voices in modern R&B. He continued to grow with "Sure Thing," which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Hip-Hop/R&B chart. With its bubble-pop drums and stunning vocal performance, it further showcased Miguel as an artist that has the angelic voice and songwriting chops to make luminaries proud while still possessing the mysterious, innate cool that modern listeners crave. He then quickly topped off his debut album with his third single "Quickie," which brilliantly flipped reggae into the sexiest sound on the radio and earned Miguel his second No. 1 hit.
But the man born Miguel Pimentel is not even close to being satisfied. His four-time Grammy® nominated sophomore album Kaleidoscope Dream (ByStorm/RCA Records)-- which came on the heels of Art Dealer Chic, his self-released series of free EPs from early 2012 that drove the internet crazy -- is bigger and more encapsulating, with a scope and sound that pushes past the boundaries of R&B and challenges its listeners.

Extensive touring drove the album’s conception, and now Miguel has brought the power of his live performances to record. “I wrote most of my first album nearly five years ago in my bedroom, so by the time the public got to see me perform it, I had evolved so much in that time… with every show I molded the songs into where I wanted my next album to go,” comments Miguel.  MORE...

View Event →
8:00 PM20:00

MARCHFOURTH! at the Rialto Theatre

MarchFourth! is a genre-breaking FORCE in the world of live entertainment—a sonic explosion delivered by 17 musicians and dancers who tour the country year-round, taking audiences from all walks of life on a joy-inducing, booty-shaking, soul-stirring journey that defies categorization. Word on the street: You have to see it to believe it!

Combining funk, rock, jazz, Afro-beat, Gypsy brass, and Big Band, with a visual kaleidoscope of stilt walkers, acrobats and Vaudeville-style performers, MarchFourth whips the crowd into a celebratory frenzy with high-energy compositions, colorful costumes, hilarious stage shenanigans, and infectious jubilation. This is not a band that simply puts on a show. MarchFourth delivers a multi-faceted, indelible experience that leaves audiences flabbergasted and breathless!

View Event →