Batuki Music Society and Harbourfront Centre present the third annual Habari Africa Festival from Friday August 12 – 14, 2016. This free multi-disciplinary African arts festival will take place at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.
The artists featured will represent an array of African music genres and dance styles from; Congolese rumba, makossa, pantsula, afro-pop, South African jazz, traditional and contemporary sounds of West Africa, Ethiopian eskista, Angolan kuduro, Ghanaian highlife and palm wine music to hip hop. The festival will also have activities for children of all ages, workshops, films, visual arts, vendors with African crafts, a panel discussion and a literary evening, as well as delicious cuisine from the World Café.
A sample of some of the performances this year include the following artists:
Djely Tapa – was born in Kayes, Mali and is a descendant from a long line of griots. She is blessed with the voice of her mother Kandia Kouyate, a legendary Manding singer and the talents of her Bambara griot father Bouya Diarra, a great traditional dancer. Cour des Grands – Veteran Congolese music group Cour des Grands honour influential African musicians Tabu Ley Rochereau and Papa Wemba, alongside guest Congolese vocalist Blandine Mbiya.
Afrafranto – The Kings of Ghanaian highlife and palm wine music, Afrafranto, entertain audiences with their dance-driven music and electric performances. Carine – is a singer/songwriter whose interest in music began at an early age in Benin. Her music encompasses Afro-pop, jazz, hip hop, gospel and some forms of traditional music.
Yebo Dance Collective – debuts its new dance work, Amadiozi, choreographed and performed by Pulga Muchochoma, Sale Almirante and Mafa Makhubalo, to evoke and commemorate our ancestors’ spirits that live within us.
Fojeba & the Sunshine Band – Fojeba’s repertoire includes various music styles such as makossa, ngwa, zouk, Afro-pop, Cameroonian folk and traditional African music.
Mafattet – The Lesotho-born Fatha Ma is a multi-instrumentalist who draws his influences from legendary sweet melodies, harmonies and rhythms of Southern Africa.
Hip Hop Slam – featuring Rasselas and Ebedoz. East Africa meets West Africa in this hip hop slam featuring two of Toronto’s rising performers.
Dieufaite Charles – his music style reflects a mix of Haitian roots, and African rhythms, which he calls The African Soul
Akwaba Cultural Group – perform African rhythms that mark the abundance of the harvest or the hunt, and reflect man’s link with the spiritual world, alternating solo and ensemble playing.
Kwame Stephens and friends Literary Evening – Kwame Stephens, Jude Idada, Simeon Taole and Yahaya Baruwa discuss engaging subjects. Join MK Bonsu, Joan Piloya, and Derek Thorne for the launch of Kwame Stephens book The Prophet
Panel Discussion – Generation of Leaders discussion focuses on various topics affecting African youth such as cultural identity, role models. Followed by a Q&A. We are also very excited to be featuring the work of visual artists, Daniel Getahun and Addisalem Hailemariam, at the Marilyn Brewer Community Space. The art exhibit is titled: Migration: A place-less place, the expedition of one’s destination, not as an end to itself but a journey which covers the meaning of one’s own identity, perspective and fate.
Three films would be screened at the festival namely: Roaring Abyss, Boda Boda Thieves and Beats of the Antonov. Roaring Abyss is an immersion into the ancient and diverse sounds of Ethiopia. A sound journey across the mountains, deserts and forests of Ethiopia that unveils its majestic cultural universe.
Boda Boda Thieves deal with the theme of corruption and the tension between traditional
communal values pitted against the prevalent ideology of dog eat dog individualism.
Beats of the Antonov is a celebration of defiant cultural expression and a unique perspective on the complex realities of a divided Sudan.
Habari Africa Festival – Free
Venue: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, M5J 2G8
Friday August 12: 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Saturday, August 13: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
Sunday, August 14: 12:00pm – 6:00pm
For additional information and complete event listings please visit:
Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges support from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts
Council, Canadian Heritage and CIUT 89.5 FM. We are grateful for the tremendous contributions from
Harbourfront Centre, its staff and dedicated volunteers for making this happen.