Okavango African Orchestra, winner of the 2017 JUNO
Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto celebrate Black History Month with a special concert featuring Okavango African Orchestra, winner of the 2017 JUNO Award for “Best World Music Album of the Year”, on Saturday February 3rd at 9 PM at the Alliance Francaise Theatre.
Okavango African Orchestra features a cast of accomplished African-born musicians who live in Toronto and Montreal: Daniel Nebiat (krar, vocals-Eritrea), Kofi Ackah (percussion, vocals-Ghana), Tichaona Maredza (nyunga-nyunga, guitar, hosho, vocals-Zimbabwe), Donne Roberts (guitar, vocals-Madagascar), Ebenezer Agyekum (bass-Ghana), Sadio Sissokho (kora, tama, djembe, vocals-Senegal) and Nicolas Simbananiye (vocals, shakers-Burundi).
The orchestra takes its name from the Okavango Delta, a basin in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, where many different animal species come together to feed and find water. Predators and prey are forced to coexist and share the meager resources because of the harsh environment around them. Similarly, Okavango: An African Orchestra brings together the traditional music and instruments of several major African cultures that historically have had little interaction. The musicians of Okavango have created a common meeting place for these disparate cultures, and a new musical language that harmonizes their different tuning systems, rhythms, and timbres. The musicians and instruments of Okavango represent a continuum of traditions and cultures from time immemorial to the present day. The multicultural spirit of modern-day Canada bridges ancient African solitudes.
Okavango African Orchestra visited the site of its triumphant debut, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the recording of the group’s self-titled album, released on February 27th, 2016 in Toronto. Okavango African Orchestra was awarded the 2017 JUNO for World Music Album of the Year for their debut album.
Okavango African Orchestra looks ahead on its continuing journey to an “Africa without borders… before the borders were created”.