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T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #113: July 8/10
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In this issue:

1. Afrofest weekend: schedule detail
2. Next week's events:
3. Last week's shows

1. Afrofest weekend
Photo: Chiwoniso (Lula Lounge, Sep. 18, 2008)

This hardly needs noting for even casual African music fans; it's one of those weekends that makes living in (or near) Toronto a joy. The music is just one of its treasures. And, despite all the hard work Music Africa does to book local and international talent, and organize the crafts, food and other vendors, once again, its looks like its weather committee is coming through with flying colours this weekend. Just enough sun and heat to force occasional visits to the beer garden (and lemonade stands).

Once again, there will be three music stages to keep you busy. There have been a few lineup changes recently, so to check the latest schedule and other info, check Music Africa's website:

  • Afrofest page has the full schedule of all three stages on the page. The schedule (plus a Festival map) is also available as a download.
  • The full Festival program guide is here.

Here are the mainstage performers, taken from the MA site, along with their website links:

Sat. Jul. 10
1:00 Isaac Akrong & the African Dance Ensemble (Ghana +..)
Masaisai (Zimbabwe)
3:15 Mohamed Diaby & Manding Foli Kan Don (Guinea)
4:15 Waleed Abdulhamid Kush (Sudan)
5:30 Doody Le Tigre (Haiti)
7:00 Dramane Kone (Burkina Faso/Mali)
8:40 JP Buse (Congo)

Sun. Jul. 11:
1:00 Muhtadi and the World Drummers
2:00 Soul Influence (pan-African)
3:00 Kae Sun (Ghana)
4:15 Nati Haile (Ethiopia)
5:30 Occidental Brothers Dance Band International with Samba Mapangala (Ghana/US)
7:00 Muna Mingole (Cameroon)
8:50 Chiwoniso  (Zimbabwe)

There are numerous other performers on the other stages as well; check the links above for details and times.

See you there!

2. Next week:
See event page for more details on these and many other shows.

There will be another newsletter next week covering some other July and August shows, but some shows to watch for in the next week include:

  • Jul. 10: Sleepy Labeef at the Dominion on Queen. A one of a kind, the now 67-year old rockabilly singer claims to know over 6000 songs, and will play whatever you ask, in his deep Arkansas twang. "Sleepy speaks... liars tremble", says Nick Lowe. Watch him here do "Strange Things Happening", a song by the great gospel singer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, followed by a brief interview with Conan O'Brien.


  • Jul. 13: Tien-Juicani at the Lula Lounge. Traditional folk music, based on the folk harp, from Veracruz, Mexico

  • Jul. 13: James McMurtry at Lee's Palace. American singer from Texas, known for his political and social commentary. Watch him perform one of his best known songs, "We Can't Make It Her Anymore", on the TV Show "Corporate Country Sucks".

  • Jul. 15: Ruth Mathiang & Waleed Kush at Nathan Phillips Square (noon), Toronto-based Sudanese musicians. Free

  • Jul. 16: Del Castillo at Yonge Dundas Square. Flamenco, rock, Latin, blues & world music. Free.

  • Jul. 16-18: "Expressions of Brazil" at Harbourfront Centre

  • Jul. 19-25: An all-star week of music. See events page, and the next newsletter.


3. Two of last week's shows

Angelique Kidjo is truly deserving of the growing accolades she's been receiving over the years. Even Time magazine may not be far off, calling her "Africa's premier diva". She always tries something new, and exploring various music's in each of her CD's (but always through an African filter, as she says, "Because I'm African". And as she showed dramatically on Canada Day in the big tent of the Jazz Festival, she puts on a superb live show. More photos of her show posted here.

Last Saturday night, the 12-piece Haitian group, L'Orchestre Sepentrional, made its first-ever Canadian appearance (in its 60-year history) at Harbourfront Centre. I hope it won't be their last. Their unique sound is certainly worth checking out. (They will be at London's SunFest this weekend).

Angelique Kidjo, July 1, 2010

L'Orchestre Sepentrional, July 3, 2010


John Leeson