Okavango African Orchestra

(click on image to enlarge)

l-r: Ebenezer Agyekum, Kofi Ackah, Aron Nitunga, Tich Maredza, Sadio Sissokho, Donné Roberts, Nicolas Simbananiye
seated: Daniel Nebiat, Nuudi Kooshin

Batuki Music Society presents

12 instruments, 10 languages, 7 countries…


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 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.

the journey continues…

one debut album preview concert


Over the autumn and winter of 2012, the reassembled Okavango African Orchestra revisited the site of its triumphant debut, the Canadian Broadcasting Centre where it conquered a full-house at Glenn Gould Studio in February 2011. Its members, returning and new, hunkered down in Studio 211 for the recording of the group’s debut album, due for release in early 2014.

Two years now since its last appearance, Batuki Music Society brings back the Okavango African Orchestra for its continuing journey to an “Africa without borders… before the borders were created”.

The current members of OKAVANGO AFRICAN ORCHESTRA:
Aron Nitunga – Burundi/guitar; Daniel Nebiat – Eritrea/krar, Kooshin – Somalia/kaban; Donné Roberts – Madagascar/guitar; Sadio Sissokho – Senegal/kora & percussion; Tichaona Maredza – Zimbabwe/marimba & nunga-nunga;
Kofi Ackah – Ghana/drums & percussion; Ebenezer Agyekum – Ghana/bass; Nicolas Simbananiye – Burundi/vocals.


SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 at Harbourfront Centre


feature by Errol Nazareth in the Toronto Sun on Friday, August 30. (click on image to read)

JULY 7, 2013 – AFROFEST Toronto

photo: Bill Gordon (click on image to enlarge)

‘field recording’ of “Yohanna” by Daniel Nebiat – source: Mechanical Forest Sound


JUNE 6, 2013 – LULA LOUNGE Toronto

photo: Lungile Ncube (click on image to enlarge)

Karibuni radio program, CIUT 89.5FM Toronto – June 2, 2013:
host Nadine McNulty talks about the Okavango African Orchestra with a new member, guest Tich Maredza.


Here and Now: CBC Radio One 99.1 FM Toronto – June 3, 2013:
Song of the Week: Okavango African Orchestra, “Na”
guest Nadine McNulty introduces the song and the ensemble.


where it all began: Glenn Gould Studio, February 2011


want to read more? please click on the above links (in orange & underlined).


Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council


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