Biz Markie, full lineup of music, dance at Bimbé on Saturday

May. 15, 2014 @ 09:24 AM

Durham’s annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival, once held downtown, is in a new location this year. The 45th annual festival that celebrates African and African-American culture will be held Saturday at Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Drive, near the Durham County Stadium. The event is free and will be held held rain or shine.
The headlining performer this year is longtime hip-hop DJ and rapper Biz Markie. Previous Bimbé headliners have included Markie collaborators like DJ Kool. The festival is held from noon to 8 p.m. with performances and activities all day. Taking the stage at 6:45 p.m. will be Nice & Smooth, Da Brat and Biz Markie.
Nice & Smooth are Greg Nice and Smooth B, who first appeared on an album by Big Daddy Kane, another national hip-hop artist who has previously performed at Bimbé. Nice & Smooth’s debut album came out in 1989. Da Brat first received national attention in 1992 when she won a rap contest sponsored by “Yo! MTV Raps.” Her 1994 debut album “Funkdafied” went platinum.
Biz Markie has a trove of rap songs and collaborations, with 1989’s “Just a Friend” a classic. He is also an actor, with television appearances over the years on shows including “Crank Yankers,” “In Living Color” an upcoming role in “Sharknado 2.” He’s the beatboxer on kids show “Yo Gabba Gabba” and with its tour. Last year he talked to media about losing weight after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He won VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club” but had put weight back on. According to, Biz Markie will perform at a Bimbé after party Saturday night, too.
Bimbé kicks off at 12:05 p.m. Saturday with a salute to the elders and a performance by Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble. Food vendors will be on site all day along with arts and crafts vendors. There will be a children’s area, too. Bring a lawn chair, but no alcohol or coolers are permitted.
The performance schedule, after the AADE, continues at 12:45 p.m. with Special Olympics Cheerleaders followed at 12:55 p.m. by gospel music from the Spiritual Messengers. Jasme will perform neo soul music at 1:30 p.m., the dance group All in One at 2:40 p.m. Next up at 2:45 p.m. is The Craig Powe Band; at 3:55 p.m. DREAM Team modeling and dance; at 4 p.m. reggae by Lion Tracks; and Cheryl’s Inside Out Dance Group at 5:10 p.m.; rhythm and blues by J. Renee at 5:15 p.m. and Cheryl’s Inside Out Dance Group again at 6:25 p.m. The 20 minutes leading up to Da Brat, Nice & Smooth and Biz Markie will be a DJ medley by Brian Dawson and Chase Dawson. Brian Dawson of K97.5 is the host for the festival performances.
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