11 BEACON, August 4 - August 10, 2016 newyorkbeacon.net
Fikisha Cumbo’s CACE International Inc. celebrates 30th anniversary Creative Artists Cultural Exchange International Inc. (CACE) was created in Marrakech, Morocco in July, 1986 by Dr. Kemfoia T. Padu and Fikisha Cumbo while attending the International Festival of Art, Music and Youth in Marrakech & Casablanca, as guests of Randy Weston, via the King of Morocco. Today, the globally recognized organization is celebrating three decades of bringing the crème de la crème of international artists and lifestyles to television with the creation of CACE Int’l-TV whose sole mission is to focus on our rich cultural history. The specific aim of the show, as Cultural Historians, is to bring knowledge, peace, love and understanding among peoples of the world by showcasing international creative endeavors.
Cumbo hosted the first television show in August of 1986 with guests Dr. K.T. Padu and iconic Jazz musician/historian/ African Ambassador Randy Weston. In April, 1987 the show began weekly broadcasts which were filmed and sponsored by Essex County College Television with the shows airing in the Oranges in New, Jersey and on Paragon and Manhattan Cables in NYC; with markets in Los Angeles, California, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Kentucky as well. The show’s weekly Wednesday show broadcasts on the worldwide web and in all of New York City from its home base @ BRIC in Brooklyn, New York.
In a celebratory statement, Cumbo thanked, with gratitude, and recognized the hundreds of creative artists; musicians; visual artists and creative entrepreneurs; all the record companies, public relations companies, art galleries, promotion personnel, music venues and individuals who have been instrumental in the successful production of the television show for 30 years and has led to many international ventures in other lands and other cable shows such as TV One, VH1 and the Biography Channel as well as documentaries, dissertation research, feature film inquiries and great venue site filming like the Whitney Museum and The Museum of African Art.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas with model looks and svelte figure, Cumbo completed undergraduate studies at Texas Southern University graduating magna cum laude in biology and chemistry. Upon graduation, she accepted a research assistant position in lipid biochemistry at the University of Southern California where she co-authored five publications for journals such as Science, Journal of Lipid Biochemistry and Neuropathology. Her vivid interest in the adventures of New York City, led her to her next adventure as a Lecturer in Biology position at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY.
Passionate about music, she was introduced to reggae in the summer of 1975 and immediately fell in love with this music in which she couldn’t tell “where the beat drop.” During this period of her independent study at Goddard College for a master’s degree on “The Sociology of Musicians of the African Diaspora,” she met Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Initially utilizing the formal sociological interview format she soon realized that it limited the artists’ full expression. Friendship with people prominent in the lives of Tosh and Marley, allowed her to interact on a regular basis with these two legends.
She is currently working on “The Musicians of the African Diaspora”, a book which includes over 90 interviews with such musicians as Eubie Blake, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Run DMC, Melba Liston, Taj Mahal, Maurice White, Pop Staples, Salif Keita, Lucky Dube, Jimmy Cliff, Buddy Guy, Dr. Billy Taylor, Dr. Donald Byrd , Robert Cray, Randy Weston, Billy Higgins, Roberta Flack, Billy Harper, Bobbi Humphrey, Gene McDaniels, Max Roach, Roy Ayers, Dr. Leonard Goines, Mario Bauza, Geri Allen, Abbey Lincoln, Pharoah Sanders, Dionne Warwick, Stanley Jordon, Betty Carter, Will Downing, Ben Harper, Rhonda Ross, Richie Havens, Arrow, Cassandra Wilson, Judy Mowatt, Burning Spear, Roberta Flack, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jon Hendricks, and T.S. Monk, among others. Many of them have appeared on her legendary television show. “It is a colossal work which is a cultural history of the musicians of the African Diaspora and will be available for the academic as well as the lay community,” stated Cumbo.
Presently, she is the Editor- In-Chief of PURE JAZZ Magazine and the Producer/ Director of the weekly CACE INT’L-TV SHOW in New York City, and on the world wide web (www.Bricartsmedia.org) with You Tube (www.youtube.com/ caceinternationaltv) channel viewers in over 220 countries (to date) of excerpts from the show with over 476,000 views of the show’s channel worldwide (increasing by more than 1000 each month). Cumbo is also working on a documentary on the Mallems of Morocco having traveled to Morocco four times: taking a press crew of journalists and photographers to work with artist Abdelatif Zine’s live paintings of Gnawan and jazz musicians; as photographer with the Randy Weston entourage; as tour guide with her CACE INT’L group trip; and as Producer and Director of a film crew sponsored by the Moroccan National Tourist Office.
Cumbo traveled to Jamaica with the Pete Tosh Estate to interview his mother and film the ground breaking of the Peter Tosh Memorial Park. As a much sought after photographer, she was the tour photographer for Kool & The Gang on their Reunion Island tour. She accompanied her production crew to London, England to film and interview Faye Treadwell &The Drifters. In addition, she was photographer for the Jimi Hendrix Reunion Bands in Seattle, Washington in 1995, working for Jimi’s best friends, The Twins: Tunde Ra & TaharQa Aleem.
As a celebrated photo journalist, Cumbo has a body of work that includes over 300 photographs of musicians and entertainers on the RETNA/ PHOTOSHOT website (www. photoshot.com). Go to B3110 in the search box to view these photos. Her other acclaims includes: Winner of a Houston Public Library essay contest; published articles on musicians in international magazines; newspaper columnist on music for over two years; cover photography on albums by Steve Turre (with photographer, Malik Cumbo) and Peter Tosh; photography exhibitions in New York and @ Stevie Wonder’s Radio Gallery in Los Angeles.
Currently living in Brooklyn, New York – Where B’klyn At -- Cumbo hosts and producers an art and culture television show, writes books and enjoys the culture and vitality of the city. She is a spoken word artist on the “Black Renaissance” classic album by Harry Whitaker, and has appeared (October, 2013) on A&E Internet Biography Channel as interviewee for their Bob Marley Bio. She also appeared on TV One’s “Celebrity Crime Files--Peter Tosh” (2012). At present time she is a published photographer (back cover & inside photos of Peter Tosh on the albums Equal Rights & Honorary Citizen); and in the newly worldwide released (May, 2013) book: “The Life of Peter Tosh, Steppin’ Razor” by John Masouri on Omnibus Press. Cumbo continues to be a guest personality on New Zealand’s international radio show -- “The Reggae Kulture Show.”
She is listed in Who’s Who International; Who’s Who in Entertainment; and the Who’s Who Dictionary. She was honored to be interviewed as an important artist in Brooklyn by the Brooklyn Arts Council for their archives. Her interview with Bob Marley and photographs of him appear in the book, “Bob Marley: King of Reggae,” published in 1984 by CACE. She also authored and photographed all of the contents in the sold out 2003 published book: “Bob Marley & Peter Tosh, Get Up! StandUp! Diary of a Reggaeophile,” with a foreword written by Roberta Flack. This book is published by Cace International Inc. and recognized as a collector’s item. It sells on amazon. com for $200.
CACE INT’L-TV Show was honored in 2014 by BRIC Free Speech Television that will feature her shows in their archives, as representing the best shows on the cable channel, which has been nominated for a 2016 New York Network Emmy Award. Her Zora Neale Hurston television show was nominated for a CEBA Award. CACE INT’L-TV video footage of Mor Thiam, father of pop star Akon, was a part of the VH1 “Behind The Music” show on Akon. She continues to exhibit her photography in art shows: on Gordon Parks, presented by the African Voices Magazine; on Bob Marley at galleries; at the MoCADA Museum in Brooklyn’s Ft. Greene area among other galleries. Additionally, she has lectured at Vassar & the Harvard School of Divinity.
(Photos of Fikisha Cumbo interviewing artists on CACE INT’L-TV courtesy Fikisha Cumbo Catalogue) Wednesday’s Woman Compiled by Audrey J. Bernard Woman's Editor Fikisha Cumbo Roy Ayers, NYC, circa 1987 Max Roach, NYC, circa 1987 Sarah Dash, Essex County, circa 1989 Buddy Miles, SOB, circa 2002 Kool & The Gang, Westbury, circa 1999 Full Force, NYC, circa 1999 Erika Alexander, B-NY, circa Jimmy Cliff, L-Eng., circa 1999 2004 Abdellatif Zine, Morocco, circa 2000
Fikisha Cumbo photo by Mel Wright
MAX ROACH ON CACE INT'L TV
KOOL & THE GANG ON CACE INT'L TV
BUDDY MILES ON CACE INT'L TV
FULL FORCE ON CACE INT'L TV
ERIKA ALEXANDER ON CACE INT'L TV
ABDELLATIF ZINE WITH FIKISHA IN MOROCCO
JIMMY Cliff & Fikisha Cumbo in London, England
ROY AYERS ON CACE INT'L TV
SARAH DASH ON CACE INT'L TV
JAYNE CORTEZ & Fikisha Cumbo on the CACE INT'L TV set