Photo by John Williams

While a few events for Charleston’s MOJA Arts Festival were canceled when Hurricane Ian blew through, the celebration of African-American and Caribbean culture is going strong from now until Sunday when it ends.

“Obviously, Hurricane Ian threw MOJA a curve, with the parade and reggae getting washed out,” said Scott Watson, director of the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs.  “That said, our MOJA artists leapt right into action as soon as it was safe after Ian passed, and we’ve had rousing performances that have audiences totally wowed.

Watson said the remaining acts of the festival offer world-class rhythm and blues, jazz, contemporary dance and great visual arts exhibitions.

“The MOJA Finale at Hampton Park features artisan and food vendors, wellness exhibitors and top-notch local music, starting with cool Latin grooves mid-day and powering through with hard driving classic soul by way of Black Diamond and LaFaye to end the festival on a high note.”

What’s left 

Two popular events still on tap are Thursday’s Jazz on King Block Party at the corner of King and Ann streets and the all-day MOJA Finale celebration Sunday at Hampton Park.  At Thursday’s event, it’s free to enjoy Tonya Nicole and her band of musicians, who will pay tribute to jazz icons Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. On Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., music enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a tribute to Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin.

Two events – Black Biz on the Block and a reception for the festival’s juried art show, were rescheduled.  The remaining schedule of MOJA events includes:

Oct. 6

4 p.m. One Love: A Celebration of African- American and Caribbean Culture, Enston Homes, 900 King St. Presented by The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston, the event features the sounds of Spiritually Yours, Mystic Vibrations, and Black Diamond Band. Free.

6 p.m. Jazz on King Block Party, Ann at King Streets. Enjoy outdoor dining at participating restaurants, shopping at your favorite retailers, and musical performances by Tonya Nicole and Latoya Renea. Tonya Nicole and her expert band of musicians will be paying tribute to two icons of Jazz Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Live painting performance by painter kolpeace. Free.

8 p.m. Harambee Dance Company presents Origin, Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St. Harambee Dance Company pulls together the essence of African and African-American dance and music. Tickets are $25.

Oct. 7

1 p.m. Gullah storyteller and local historian Theresa Hilliard, James Island Arts and Cultural Center, 1248 Camp Road. Gullah storyteller and local historian Theresa Hilliard speaks about her childhood on Edisto Island. Hear how Gullah sounds. Free.

8 p.m. WonderVerse: The Music of Stevie Wonder, Festival Hall, 56 Beaufain St. From the “Classic Albums Period” of the ‘70s into the ‘80s to songs written for other artists Charlton Singleton and Friends will draw from his massive catalog for a night of high energy and sing-a-longs! Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Oct. 8

7:30 p.m. Joey Morant – All That Jazz concert, Festival Hall, 56 Beaufain St. The inaugural concert features internationally renowned piano virtuoso Danny Mixon with special guest Antoinette Montague, celebrating the life and legacy of Charleston icon Joey Morant. Tickets are $25.

Oct. 9

11 a.m. to 8 p.m. MOJA Finale, Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Blvd. Close out the Festival in style at this day-long celebration of Lowcountry culture and Charleston history, culminating in a knock-out mainstage performance! Black Diamond & LaFaye will join forces as The ZD Experience Presents “Simply the Best” a tribute to Tina Turner & “Queen of Soul” a tribute to Aretha Franklin. Free.

1:30 p.m. Metropolitan Opera Singer Edward Washington II, Unitarian Church, 4 Archdale St.

Washington will be presenting a program of Spirituals and Art Songs. Free.

3 p.m. Oh Happy Day, Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. Celebrate Charleston’s rich gospel music heritage with the creators of The Sound of Charleston. Tickets are $28 adult; $26 senior; $16 student with ID.

Rescheduled: 5 p.m. Juried Art Exhibition, City Gallery, 34 Prioleau St.  Instead of an opening September reception, this event is now a closing reception that pays tribute to more than 40 artists with wide-ranging media who are part of this year’s juried exhibition selected by juror Dana Coleman. 

Oct. 22

Rescheduled: 1 p.m. Black Biz on the Block, Philip Simmons Park, 64 Columbus St.

The event offers a space for black-owned small businesses to sell their products and services as well as for community members to get various resources. Entertainment and food trucks will be on site.


Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.