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The West African Highlife Band leads Oakland in a Kwanzaa celebration

on December 15, 2011

On Wednesday at lunchtime, Oakland’s downtown workers poured out of their offices and into the City Center Plaza to grab a bite and take in the sounds of the holiday concert series. This week, the theme was Kwanzaa, the celebration of African heritage and culture that is held each year between December 26 and January 1.

The West African Highlife Band, decked out in stunningly bright traditional garb, brought an unmistakable warmth to the chilly afternoon with their infectious beats, beautiful instrumentals and powerful vocals. Bandleader Ken Okulolo explained that the band’s name references music that “brings you higher than you were before you heard it,” and praised the crowd for its boisterous dancing throughout the set.

Click through the slideshow to see photos from the celebration.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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