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Arrested Development Headlines the 2nd Street Festival

Saturday’s headliner is Arrested Development and the festival closes with Desiree Roots.

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The 2nd Street Festival returns this fall, October 5-6, marking its 36th anniversary. The FREE annual festival celebrates the rich culture of Downtown Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood and is produced by Venture Richmond Events.

Each year thousands visit the historic neighborhood to reminisce about the days when 2nd Street was the heart and soul of Richmond’s African American community and was known as “the Harlem of the South.” Today, Jackson Ward continues to be a thriving community.

The 2nd Street Festival is an annual celebration that features three stages of live music and entertainment along with a Kidz Zone, popular food vendors, a marketplace and Artists Row to shop, and the Richmond Metropolitan Antique Car Club.

This year’s festival features headliner Arrested Development on Saturday, October 5, Desiree Roots on Sunday, October 6 and many other talented artists showcased over the two-day event.

Saturday’s Headliner, Arrested Development

The multi-platinum, Grammy Award Winning Group, Arrested Development delivers an onstage energy that everyone wants to be a part of! Having received numerous accolades, including the first ever Hip-Hop artist to receive the “best new artist” Grammy, (a distinction it still maintains today in that category), the group was best known as pioneers of conscious rap. Arrested Development received a Grammy award for “best rap single” for their anthemic prayer-like hit song, Tennessee, a song that has gone on to be named as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in the Top 100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s by VH1.

With the success of the single Mr. Wendal, Arrested Development brought the issue of homelessness to the forefront. The group donated half of the royalty earnings from Mr. Wendal to the National Coalition of the Homeless. They were also asked to write a song for Spike Lee’s movie about minister and human rights activist, Malcom X. The movie, “X,” went on to become one of Spike Lee’s most highly acclaimed works. The Arrested Development song, Revolution, would forever be associated with the movie.
Rolling Stone magazine named Arrested Development Band of The Year in 1992, while VH-1 named them one of the greatest Hip-Hop artists of all time! Their sophomore release Zingalamaduni was a critics’ favorite garnering another Grammy nomination and selling half a million copies.

In September 2019, the band was given an award at the Black Music Honors Awards and in 2000, Arrested Development reemerged with a new lineup and a new album. For the last thirty years, Arrested Development has performed sold-out concerts in every part of the world.

Sunday’s Closing Performance, Desiree Roots

Desiree Roots is revered for her powerful yet controlled, lush voice with its 3 ½ octave range. Her ability to sing nearly every genre including Jazz, Gospel, classical and opera has made her one of the area’s most sought-after vocalists. In 2004, Desiree was awarded the Theresa Pollack Prize for Excellence in the Arts. She has performed throughout the East Coast with orchestras, regional jazz bands and as leader of her own ensembles.

Desiree Roots was the opening act for internationally renowned artists including Boney James, Brian McKnight, Gerald Albright and B. B. King. As an actor, she has received numerous accolades and awards for her talents. Her leading role credits include Aldonza in Man of La Mancha; Effie in Dreamgirls, Sofia in The Color Purple and Caroline in Caroline or Change for which she won the RTCC Award for ”Best Actress in a Musical” (2015). Since being bitten by the theatre bug at the age of thirteen, Desiree has starred in over thirty productions in the Richmond Region.

Her debut CD, Don’t Ever Stop Dreaming, released in 2015, showcases the range of her talent with an eclectic mix of jazz favorites and contemporary popular hits. Desiree’s passion has been working for the RVA arts community.

For up-to-date information about the 2nd Street Festival, please visit our website.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.