Okavango: An African Orchestra

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Batuki Music Society presents Okavango: An African Orchestra
April 15, 2011 at the Gladstone Hotel.

Fresh off their triumphant debut, Okavango: An African Orchestra returns for an encore performance!

Okavango: An African Orchestra is an ambitious new musical project that could happen only in a great multicultural city like Toronto. Batuki Music Society Artistic Director Nadine McNulty has assembled a cast of seven accomplished African-born musicians who now live in Toronto and Montreal: Daniel Nebiat (Eritrean Krar), Pasipamire Gunguwo (Zimbabwean marimba/mbira), Donne Roberts (Malagasy guitarist), Nuudi Kooshin (Somali kaban), Waleed Abdulhamid (Sudanese bass/guembri), Sadio Sissokho (Senegalese kora/percussion) and Walter Maclean (Ghanaian percussion). The musical friendships formed with hard work over months of rehearsals, culminated into a cohesive ensemble which was enthusiastically received by the sold-out audience at the Glenn Gould Studio on February 25.

That triumphant debut can relived online, streaming from CBC Radio 2 Concerts On Demand. It will be aired nationwide twice on Canada Live, which co-presented the concert, on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:00 pm on CBC Radio 2 (94.1 FM in Toronto), and on Friday, April 22 at 2:00 pm on CBC Radio One (Toronto: 99.1 FM).

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 or no 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 multicultural spirit of modern-day Canada bridges ancient African solitudes.

Okavango: An African Orchestra will be joined onstage for its encore performance at the Gladstone Hotel by a special guest: Saba of Jaivah (Nouvel Exposé) Dance Troupe, a Toronto dance company specializing in traditional and contemporary dance from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo, Southern Africa and Egypt. Ethiopian-born Saba is a versatile and innovative dancer, choreographer and instructor known for her uniqueness in many traditional and fusion dance styles.

Okavango: An African Orchestra – 13 instruments, 10 languages, 7 countries… one special concert!

Where: Gladstone Hotel, the Ballroom at 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto.
Date: April 15, 2011
Time: show 9 PM | doors 8 PM
Admission: $20 at the door | $15 in advance

Tickets on sale now at these locations:

African Drums & Art Crafts, 618 Dundas St. West
New Bilan Restaurant, 183 Dundas St. East
Play De Record, 357 Yonge St.
Rotate This, 801 Queen St. West
Soundscapes, 572 College St.

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council,
and our community partners, CIUT 89.5FM and African Drums & Art Crafts.

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