Batuki Music Society presents: Habari Africa Festival at Harbourfront Centre
Batuki Music Society is proud to present the fifth edition of the Habari Africa Festival from Friday August 10 – 12, 2018. This multi-disciplinary African arts festival is free for all-ages and co-produced with Harbourfront Centre. Join us for a weekend of exploration and engagement with the art, sounds and tastes of the continent.
Habari Africa is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that displays the rich and diverse cultures of Africa. The festival will display an authentic African experience through presentations and workshops that celebrate the uniqueness, wealth and diversity of African arts and culture.
The artists featured will represent an array of music genres and dance styles from; salegy, sega and maloya of the Indian Ocean Islands, Zimbabwean folk and Afro-jazz, Senegalese mbalax, Congolese rumba and mutuashi, traditional and contemporary West African Manding music, Ethio-jazz and eskista, East African choral, Afrofusion, Sudanese and Moroccan folk songs, to the latest Afrohouse and hip hop sounds. The festival will also have activities for children of all ages, workshops, drumming, films, vendors with crafts, as well as delicious cuisine from the World Café.
A sample of the festival line-up includes the following artists:
Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a prestigious West African Griot family. She is a modern day pioneer in an ancient, male-dominated hereditary tradition that has been exclusively handed down from father to son for the past seven centuries.
Habari Africa All-Stars is a star-studded collective that unites the talents of JUNO award-winning musicians, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Donne Roberts, Madagascar Slim, Kofi Ackah and Ebenezer Agyekum with dancer Mabinty Sylla, each an expert in their individual style and together creating musical magic.
Master drummer Élage Mbaye is a descendant of a Griot family, his music brings together the traditional rhythms and melodies of his Senegalese heritage with contemporary sounds.
Neema Children’s Choir represent children in Uganda orphaned due to civil war, AIDS and poverty. They raise their voices in songs of love, gratitude and praise.
Songs of the Azmari: Masenqo player Abebe Fikade, vocalist Mimi Zenebe and drummer Bereket Gebrekirstos, are skilled at improvisation and play an important role in Ethiopian society, like the Griots of West Africa.
The Ace of Africa (Les As d’Afrique) promises to keep audiences dancing to the hot sounds mutuashi, rumba and ndombolo from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Descended from a long line of griots, Fatoumata Kouyaté is a balafonist, singer, percussionist, founder of Groupe Djéliguinet et ses Enfants, member of the National Theatre Troupe of Guinea and Amazones Women Drummers. Born in Conakry, Guinea, Mabinty Sylla is a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher of West African dance.
One of Toronto’s most promising urban artists, Slimflex’s music is an African fusion, perfectly blending the sounds of popular African music with pop, hip hop, dancehall and R&B.
Tich Maredza Band creates music that is an acoustic guitar-based fusion of Zimbabwean rhythms with Afrojazz. Guest vocalists Ruth Mathiang and Elvis Bokosha join the band for this special performance.
The Black Stars pallet of skills combines more than 7 African dance styles including Azonto, Kuduro and Ndombolo that they showcase as one flawless artistic expression.
Barnes/Woldemichael Quartet will perform original music of diverse cultural origins alongside Ethio-jazz classics for a potent world jazz experience.
Indian Ocean Roots showcase the cultural dances of the Islands of the Indian Ocean: Comoros, Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius and Madagascar.
Two oud masters, Hassan el Hadi and Haiba weave a tapestry of captivating sounds that celebrate the rich musical heritages of North Africa.
Acholi Cultural Group will present an exciting performance of traditional dances, which have been passed on from generation to generation.
Sadakah means to give. Inviting our divine deities to give us the energy to spread blessings. Join the ijo vudu parade to the centre of Habari Africa. Everybody is welcome to join, drum, dance, clap and sing along!
DJ Marvin B and DJ Moussa spin a diverse selection of the latest hits and classics.
There will be various workshops including:
Balafon Village with Adama Daou introduces festival goers to the African wooden xylophone, a masterpiece of the intangible heritage of Mali.
Pulga Muchochoma shares his unique Mozafro (Mozambique-Afro) style of dance that combines traditional dance with Afro-Fusion and popular dances of Nigeria, Ghana and Angola.
Master drummer and griot Amadou Kienou invites you to the Siraba (“the meeting place on the road” in Malinke) as he shares the universal language of the drum.
Join professional dancer Mabinty Sylla and Fatoumata Kouyaté in a fun and challenging workshop on West African dance, for people of all skill levels.
Dance Afrohouse with Albena Assis and learn the basic steps of a dance style popular in several African countries.
Moko Jumbie introduces children to the traditions of Moko Jumbie, a stilt-dancing forest spirit.
Rebecca Omer and Samuel Bekele of Sebseb Belu will share traditional dances of the Tigray, Amhara, Gurage, Oromo and Wolayta of Ethiopia.
Afrofusion is a blend of African and Caribbean styles including azonto, coupe decale, dancehall, soca, Afrohouse, hip-hop and more, with instructor Esie Mensah.
Sani Abu of ijovudu Dance International shares the creative art and cultural traditions of “sangele” African head-wraps.
Four films will be screened at the festival namely: Burkinabè Rising, Félicité, Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba, and Mukanya.
Burkinabè Rising – Burkina Faso is home to a vibrant community of artists, musicians and engaged citizens who carry on the revolutionary spirit of Thomas Sankara.
Félicité follows a fiercely independent club singer and single mother who lives her life in the chaotically vibrant Congolese capital of Kinshasa with a proud defiance.
Mama Africa serves as a powerful introduction to a new generation to Miriam Makeba, South African singer and anti-apartheid activist, the voice and the hope of Africa.
Mukanya inspires conversations around the state of Zimbabwean as well as African fathers in the face of patriarchy and changing perspectives of what fatherhood is all about.
Habari Africa Festival 2018
Venue: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, M5J 2G8
Friday August 10: 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Saturday, August 11: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
Sunday, August 12: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
For additional information please visit:
Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges support from the Ontario Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, CIUT 89.5 FM and CHOQ FM. We are grateful for the generous contribution and support from Harbourfront Centre, the festival co-producer.