On November 11 and 12, Honeyland Festival — a two-day celebratory event showcasing the creativity of Black professionals across various industries— is bringing some of the biggest names in food and the music industry to the Houston area.
The two-day festival will overtake Sugar Land’s Crown Festival Park, with food and beverage demonstrations, cook-off competitions, panel and podcast conversations and more. The festival will include concerts from major acts, including Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige, Summer Walker, TEMS, Miguel and Chlöe Bailey. Let’s take a look at what is in store for this weekend.
The food lineup includes Houston-based chefs and restaurateurs such as Chef Chris Williams, Kavachi Ukegbu, Keisha Griggs, Bun B and many more.
Chef Chris Williams of Lucille’s will be showcasing some well-loved food. Lucille’s is a Southern cuisine restaurant with global influences named after Williams’ great-grandmother Lucille. The restaurant serves two of her original recipes which are over a hundred years old. Williams’ is also the founder of Lucille’s 1913, which is a nonprofit that he started at the beginning of the pandemic. To date, the organization has donated over 145,000 meals around the community.
Kavachi Ukegbu, the Houston-based chef behind West African food, is a third-generation food and beverage professional with culinary roots deep in her Nigerian heritage. She dedicated her career to sharing her passion for foods from all over with the rest of the world. Her “Art of Fufu” food tastings and demonstrations have brought her to even more prominence, appearing on local TV programs and national podcasts to demonstrate her mastery of fufu, one of Nigeria’s most beloved staple foods.
Keisha Griggs brings her Trinidadian roots and culinary expertise to Ate Kitchen, which offers contemporary Caribbean-inspired cuisine. Fusing Griggs’ Trinidadian heritage with French, African, Indian and Latin influences, the menu offers favorites like curry chicken, doubles, jerk chicken, flavorful stews and more. Chef Griggs Is Currently Co-Founder and Curator of Houston’s Black Chef Table. Black Chef Table is a culinary experience highlighting African American food purveyors and chefs identifying as Black Indigenous and People of Color.
Musical performers also include a robust list of musicians and Grammy Award-winning artists, plus some Houstonian artists, including DJ Mr. Rogers, Dende, Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Scarface, Lil Keke and Z-Ro; plus Tobe Nwigwe, who will serve as the festival’s “Houston ambassador.”
Atlanta artist Chlöe Bailey rose to fame as a member of the Grammy-nominated sister duo Chloe x Halle. The group caught the attention of Beyoncé and was immediately signed to her Parkwood Entertainment company after having performed covers of pop songs online.
Chlöe Bailey continues to record with Chloe x Halle while also pursuing a solo career. But she shattered expectations when she debuted her first solo single “Have Mercy.” It quickly became a bona-fide radio smash after she debuted a performance of the single on the MTV Video Music Awards.
Miguel Jontel Pimentel is an American singer and songwriter who specializes in contemporary and alternative R&B. He began pursuing a music career at age thirteen. After signing to Jive Records in 2007, Miguel released his debut studio album ‘All I Want Is You‘ in November 2010. Miguel released his sophomore effort ‘Kaleidoscope Dream‘ in 2012. The lead single “Adorn” became his second No. 1 single on the R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart and earned him a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.
Summer Marjani Walker is an American R&B singer-songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia who was recently added to the Honeyland lineup. Walker’s music has the raw, soulful energy that R&B devotees live for, exploring new melodies and showcasing her influence from greats such as Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu and Jimi Hendrix. Summer shares her moody vibes through piano and guitar along with her captivating vocal execution.
Iconic Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, producer and philanthropist Mary J. Blige is a figure of inspiration, transformation and empowerment. She is one of the defining voices of the contemporary music era.
Blige has cemented herself as a global superstar. Born in the Bronx, New York, Blige is the MCA-distributed label’s youngest and first female artist. Blige is an artist who uses her gift of song to lift spirits and touch lives while bringing her heart, soul, and truth to those who are willing to listen with top hits like “Be Without You,” “No More Drama” and “Family Affair” all of which have made her a force in music. Last summer, Blige was honored with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
These amazingly multi-talented leaders of the Black community are only just the beginning. There are many more to look out for this weekend at the inaugural Honeyland Festival.
There are just not enough words to describe the talent this event is bringing. Stay tuned for our day-to-day coverage of the Honeyland Festival.