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Weekend Preview: North Park Festival Of Arts, Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang and The Julian Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang plays The Void Friday, May 17, 2013.

Credit: Courtesy Photo

Above: Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang plays The Void Friday, May 17, 2013.


Barbarella, executive producer and host of Art Pulse TV and columnist at the San Diego Reader

Peter Holslin, Music Editor, San Diego CityBeat


This weekend's lineup of events includes a little bit of everything, including an arts festival, an event highlighting local chocolate and jewelry, an evening of Bubu music and a film festival.

The North Park Festival of Arts is back again on Saturday for its 17th rendition, with a new addition but also plenty of what its become known for: art, music, crafts and beer. This year's addition is a series of whiskey tastings at one of the newer bars in the North Park bar scene, Seven Grand. There will also be six stages with live music, a craft beer block, vendor booths, food trucks and stands, a craft area and, of course, plenty of art.

Over in Old Town there's an event that celebrates two of the finer things in life: chocolate and jewelry. Chocolate + Jewelry: A Purely Decadent Event is happening both days this weekend at the Bazaar del Mundo. Local chocolatiers, including Eclipse Chocolate, The Elegant Truffle and Chuao Chocolatier, will be on hand offering complimentary tastings and there will be an array of jewelry to choose from. Other festivities include a book signing with author Mara Price, whose bilingual children's book, “Grandma’s Chocolate/El Chocolate De Abuelita," has won numerous awards, and live music by Latin American folk band TINKU.

This Friday, head to The Void in City Heights to check out a lively performance by Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang. A refugee from Sierra Leone, Janka Nabay came to the U.S. amidst turmoil in his own country, and brought his brand of "Bubu" music with him. Bubu music is a fast-paced, frenzied form of African dance music and Nabay is one of the first musicians to bring it to the U.S. After landing on the East Coast, Nabay managed to piece together a band of accomplished indie musicians in Brooklyn, all while he worked at various fast food joints. Their debut album, En Yay Sah, is a critical success, and their live shows have been known to get the entire room dancing.

If you're looking for a bit of an adventure this weekend, head up to Julian for the second annual Julian Wild & Scenic Film Festival. For taking place in a small town, the festival is chock full of films, including 9 sessions with a total of 44 films. The fest kicks off on Friday night with an opening reception where you can meet the filmmakers and socialize with wine tastings and hors d'oeuvre. The rest of the weekend should be a blur of screenings, including Threatened, a film about the California sea otter by Bill Wisneski. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Volcan Mountain Foundation, and there will be guided hikes of the mountain on both Saturday and Sunday morning.

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