The Delfonics to headline African-American Festival

With hits such as “La-La (Means I Love You)”, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”, “Break Your Promise”, The Delfonics will bring their soulful sounds to Saturday’s African-American Festival at Legislative Hall in Dover. (Submitted photo)

With hits such as “La-La (Means I Love You)”, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”, “Break Your Promise”, The Delfonics will bring their soulful sounds to Saturday’s African-American Festival at Legislative Hall in Dover. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — The “Positively Dover” African American Festival hopes to bring back memories musically, as the pioneering Philadelphia soul singing group The Delfonics are scheduled to perform on Saturday.

The festival is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Legislative Mall.

Organized and sponsored by the Dover-based Inner City Cultural League and founded in 1991 by former Dover City Councilman Reuben Salters and former state Rep. Donald Blakey, the festival is dedicated to the ancestors of Delaware African-Americans.

Mr. Salters is excited about the legendary group’s performance at the rain-or-shine festival.

“The Delfonics are great for the older crowd,” Mr. Salters said. “I know they will be great. We invited them and they graciously agreed to be our featured artist.”

The Delfonics were one of the first groups to sing in the sleek, soulful style that became popularized as the “Philadelphia sound.”

Its most notable hits include “La-La (Means I Love You)”, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”, “I’m Sorry”, and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)”.

Mr. Salters said the group’s music will bring everyone together.

“They will bring the older and younger people out as well,” Mr. Salters said. “It gives the younger generation a chance to learn about the type of music that we had back in the day.”

“The substance and solidarity is what’s missing with today’s music and it gives them a chance to hear what that sounded like. Nobody’s screaming on their songs and it’s always a good time when you hear their music. “

The schedule this year includes the Comfort Zone Jazz Band, Trinidad and Tobago Steel Band, the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band, the Christian Travelers, the Sankofa African Dance Company, Fastina Dixon’s Winds of Change Jazz Band and Dover’s own hip-hop group FlowCity, who will be performing for its fifth year.

The group consists of Dexter Brown (aka Nino Nosay), Danielle Johnson (Brown Suga) and Darien Williams (Yung Rocko).

They say they look forward to performing at the festival each year.

“It’s exciting performing at the African festival because it grows every year,” Mr. Williams said.

“It’s a great feeling to show off our talents and appreciation to our friends, family and even new people that don’t know us. We look at the African festival as a way to give back to our community. It’s always great music and vibes.”
Mr. Brown agreed.

“The excitement for me is like a rush,” Mr. Brown said.

“I’ve been performing at the festival since I was 8 with Sankofa and it’s like being home. I love performing for my hometown because it’s so much love and energy that we feel and feed off during our performance.”

Ms. Brown said their performance will be dedicated to everyone who has lost their lives to gun violence this year.

“The increasing numbers of homicides are alarming and we want to remind people with our performance that violence is not the answer,” Ms. Brown said.

“We just want people to get back to having a good time and working on creating a better environment for future generations.”

For more information, visit www.icclarts.org/AFRAMFestPos_Dover.html or call 736-0101.

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