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T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #25: Jan. 19/07
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In this issue:
1. Palm Wine concert rebroadcast Feb. 19
2. CBC Radio changes
3. Events: Johnny Clegg, and more
4. Other: Alglerian Rai, photos


Good news for fans of West African music, especially Ghanaian Palm Wine music. CBC's "The World in Performance" will be re-broadcasting the July 6 Harbourfront concert by Afrafranto, Friday Jan. 19, 8-10 pm on Radio Two (94.1 Toronto, or online). The group includes several African Guitar Summit members (Pa Joe, Theo Yaw Boakye & Kofi Ackah), and first performed last February in a wonderful, intimate show at the NOW Lounge (one of my picks for live shows of 2006).

This July, they had a much larger venue, and a much bigger crowd, as they were opening for Salif Keita. Simply beautiful, warm music. The radio how will also play the performance by superb kora player Mamadou Diabate from Afrofest 2006.

You can view my photos of the group from Harbourfront and the NOW Lounge. (The NOW show is also available online at Andy Frank's podcasting site).




Among the upcoming changes on CBC radio announced Wednesday (see Star article), is the cancellation of Jowi Taylor's long-running show "Global Village". (The show "Dispatches" will apparently be expanded to include elements of topics covered on "Global Village").

A new show to begin March, broadcast 8-10pm Monday to Friday will feature broadcasts of performances recorded live across the country featuring a range of music, focusing largely on Canadian performers, but including international artists as well. The format -- and the host (Matt Galloway) -- make it appear that it will be a kind of broader "The World in Performance".


See for details of the events below plus many others.

Johnny Clegg - Feb. 20. The South African star is making a very rare appearance in town next month at the Danforth Music Hall.

Below is a description I found on a music list of a recent Clegg performance in London, U.K. And, here are a few YouTube video clips from the same show:

AND then Johnny Clegg - 2 hours on stage and rising and he still had even more to give - high Zulu kicks, high energy bush dance -swirling round the stage jazz style and use of at least 3 different guitars notwithstanding! I had forgotten how good he is. How he leaves any questions about what is world music at the gate - Mbqanga, Marabi, Rock - Chimurenga beats on one song: a real plea and indictment about how things are in Zimbabwe - good humoured anecdotes that go somewhere and give both political and very personal insights into the man - whether you agree entirely with him or not - more rock and more clear understanding of how music works. How you can be born in England and grow up an African. Towering rhythm section - fabulous use of those unique south african harmonies - driven by his long
time vocal colleague Mandisa Dlanga whose worked with him for 20 years (and is a producer in her own right) and musical arranger, of 15 years standing, Andy Innes. And he featuredthe first French, Afrikans, Zulu fusion!

The set was a superbly paced mix of (both brilliant and need time to grow on you) tracks from Johnny Clegg's new album and full house sing along favourites retaining their potency) which eventually he gave full vent to in the last part of the gig and when finally the capacity crowd
really started dancing too - jumping and girating and not even treading on toes despite the place being packed! In the two upper tiers it was
standing ovation time which lasted a good four minutes before the generous encore. And the thing I really took away from it was both Johnny Clegg's sheer pleasure in still sharing his music after a lifetime on stage and the value he gives his musicians - even giving them full biogs on his website.

Here is a recent South African news story about him:

A few other events of note:

This Saturday Feb. 20, in typical eclectic Toronto fashion, choices include:

Memorial for Boubacar Diabate - Jan. 26. A very lengthy list of musicians will perform to honour the Senegalese griot / kora player. Music starts at 8, doors open and films of Boubacar at 7. See my event page or

Vieux Farka Touré - Feb. 10: I have previously mentioned this show (Feb. 10, Harbourfront) which will mark the Canadian release of his frist CD (self-titled). Don't leave this too late; it may sell out.  Here are a few links about him:

  • His website
  • Background, media release, audio clips and links to the two Toronto Star articles here
  • A video of one of the songs from the new album
  • Afropop Worldwide review of the CD.

Oscar Goes to Africa - Feb. 25. A benefit for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Watch the Oscar broadcast in an African setting at Manyata Courtyard in Hazelton Lanes. Great food donated by several Toronto restaurants and chefs, live music, "Maasai Martinis" and more.

Tamsir Seck - Feb. 3 at Earthsong

James McMurtry - Feb. 5 at the El Mocambo. Texas singer-songwriter

Kevin Mahogany - Feb. 7-8 at the Lula. One of the outstanding jazz voices

Soweto Gospel Choir - Feb. 27-28 at the Hummingbird

Many more... visit



If you enjoy Algerian Rai music, and Rai star Khaled specifically, check Afropop Worldwide's website for an extensive feature, "The Story of Rai" which includes a three part interview with Khaled, plus links to a radio show about him, a Sing Out! article on rai, music samples and discography. NOTE: At the moment, the interview links all point to Part 3. You can start with Part 1 here.

Photos from last weekend's Gladstone "First Anniversary" party with Njacko Backo and Hilario Duran, plus Adam Solomon at the "African Images" exhibit opening, and Donné Roberts at Earthsong are all posted here.


John Leeson

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