American Has Audience Eating from His Hand

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The creative versatility of humble American artist and performer, Seth Sharp, who is currently in the country. He first exploded on Tuesday evening in a musical concert on stage at the National Theatre of Namibia, and had the audience totally captured by a fantastic show of classic African-American soul and R&B to a sold-out crowd. At his request, the large audience spontaneously agreed to Seth Sharp singing classic numbers by Prince, James Brown, BeyoncÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚©, Marvin Gaye, and many others. “There was a really great vibe last night – More than I expected,” said Seth Sharp. “I have only spent a short time in Namibia, but the country is so beautiful and the people so friendly that I am going to go back and tell all my friends to come here on vacation.” Then on Thursday, the humble, soft-spoken African-American staged a theatre workshop with more than 30 drama students from the College of the Arts in the Boiler Theatre at the Katutura Community Arts Centrre, an experience the young people will certainly cherish for the rest of their lives. Sharp and his accomplished accompanist, Jon Elisson, also performed at the Warehouse Theatre last night, and they will join musical forces tonight at a special command performance at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence with the Old Location Jazz Ambassadors. Tomorrow Sharp will perform at the Narraville Hall in Walvis Bay at 18h30. His visit coincides with the U.S. Embassy’s Black History Month activities of February this year. The talented Sharp, who hails from Hartford, Connecticut, in the USA, is an actor, singer, writer, director and teaching artist. As a result of his mother’s influence as an actress and teacher, he was involved in performing and teaching from an early age. He was only three years old when he made his first appearance on stage. After completing school he attended Yale University where, at 20 years of age, he was among the youngest to graduate in his class. He had his own radio programme on a local radio station at age 13. At the time, he was the youngest disc jockey in Connecticut. At university, he founded his own theatre production company, where he produced and directed undergraduate plays and musicals. He further taught music and drama to students at the neighbourhood elementary school. Seth has performed around the United States and the world for President Clinton at the White House and Mother Theresa at the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. He also performed for the late Rosa Parks, his cousin by marriage. He recently starred in a 20-performance concert series at Carnegie Hall in New York, and was honored by the NAACP for his musical pursuits. Most recently, Seth has shuttled between New York and Reykjavik, Iceland, where he directed and starred in “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Black History Month has been celebrated in America each February since 1976. Originally established as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African-American author and scholar, this event has evolved over time into the current month-long celebration of history, civil rights, and the Black experience in America. Windhoek’s American Cultural Centre has already presented films, a panel discussion on the legacy of Martin Luther King, to commemorate Black History Month with the Seth Sharp events as the crown jewel of the programme. “Both Namibians and Americans communicate through and respond deeply to music. Seth’s music will showcase American values, especially those of the African-American artists,” said Ray Castillo, director of the American Cultural Centre.