Video performance by Charlotte available May 7–21!
Click above to play the video.

A First Fridays Online performance by Charlotte Blake Alston: 
Stories and Songs in the Oral Tradition!


Available May 7–21, 2021

For hundreds of years throughout the African continent, people gathered and told stories. The tradition may be the strongest in the West African countries of Senegal, Gambia, Guinea and Mali griots or jalis. Stories were the way the beliefs, mythology, cultural identity, history, and shared community values of a people were taught and preserved. The tradition continued when Africans were brought to America. Charlotte selects from her wide repertoire of stories and songs from the African and African American oral traditions.

Charlotte Blake Alston breathes life into traditional and contemporary stories from African and African American oral and cultural traditions. Charlotte is a nationally acclaimed storyteller, narrator and singer. She is the host of Sound All Around, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Preschool concert series and has appeared as host or narrator on the orchestra’s school and family concerts since 1991. Learn more about her at

Beginning May 7, visit the to watch Charlotte make music and tell stories. But don’t worry if you can’t celebrate on that date: For this First Fridays Online experience, Charlotte's performance will be available May 7–21, so you can listen and learn as many times as you want!

CAAC believes young audiences participating in a broad range of art forms is a vital part of their education and development. Keeping true to our mission, “to strengthen the community through arts and culture,” we are creating artistic opportunities to engage and inspire families at home. As we reimagine our programs for the changing times, we are proud to support this performance while keeping everyone safe.