Luminato & other festival info

Part 1 of the summer festival notes.  Check www.events.to-music.ca for details on these and many other events. Summer festival time kicks is here, kicking off this weekend with The Afrofest launch event tonight Beginning Friday, 10 amazing days of free Luminato concerts & the annual free Muhatadi International Drumming Festival Saturday. Afrofest launch: June 7 Tonight in the Ballroom of the Gladstone Hotel, Music Africa announces the lineup for the 2012 Afrofest, this year moved to Woodbine Park. A few names have already been announced including Sam Fan Thomas (Cameroon) and Wazimbo (who put on a terrific show at the … Continue reading

May Days (and down the road)

Check www.to-music.ca/events for details on these and many more shows. Great stuff to look forward to this month including… A big-time highlight: Khaira Arby at the Lula May 8. More on her here The Annual Lulaworld Festival kicks off the next day, marking 10 years of this Toronto musical treasure. This year’s festival focuses on many of the collaborations between local and international musicians. A great lineup for 11 days, starting with Autorickshaw, and ending up with a huge blowout concert featuring Pupy y Los Que Son Son from Cuba at the Phoenix Theatre. May 12: Too much going on … Continue reading

Summer (festivals) #2: other notables

Besides the Luminato announcement, there’s much more coming, including: Lulaworld, May 9-19 The Lula Lounge over 10 years has been indispensable  as a live music venue, and as a contributor to the music and wider community of this city. This year’s annual Lulaworld festival will celebrate a decade of… that Lula world. Their website describes the festival best: For a decade now, Lula Lounge distinguished itself as Toronto’s home for groundbreaking international latin, jazz, and world music. In celebration, Lula Music and Arts Centre has programmed a series of collaborative concerts that will bring together artists from around the globe. … Continue reading

RIP, Jack Layton

There have been so many tributes to this remarkable man who led such a remarkable life, that I can’t add much more here. And while I have many thoughts about how much he contributed to a better Canada, in the context of this website, I picture him at Afrofest. Frequenty there are politicians and dignitaries who show up at Afrofest and other events, speak their words and leave. I remember Jack & Olivia showing up…and hanging out. An informal photo of them backstage at Afrofest, 2008 with Michael Stohr (Music Africa president).

Afrofest replay: audio & video

A strange bout of flu made me miss my first Afrofest in years, but whether you were there or not, you can catch some of its performances. CIUT FM, as always, broadcast most of the two day festival, and has archived all the performances it broadcast. Listen here I talked to many people who were at Afrofest, and the one performance everybody raved about was the Canadian debut of South African Dizu Plaatjies and Ibuyambo.  While I listened to their concert on CIUT, I missed out on the visual impact of their show, something everyone commented on. Fortunately, Peter Mykusz … Continue reading

Afrofest schedule

The 2011 Afrofest schedule and a map of the site is here. Three stages, vendors, food, a Children’s Village and of course a beer garden. This year Wellesley St to the south and one lane of Queen’s Park Crescent to the east will be closed to traffic, expanding the size of the festival area and easing the pressure on the park and its grass — one of the areas of contention with the city. It’s not certain if Afrofest will be able to return to its traditional home next year, so come out to enjoy this year’s Afrofest in the … Continue reading

“Summer kicks off”: Upcoming highlights

Event listings have been updated. Check out www.events.to-music.ca for information on numerous shows through the summer. July this year keeps up its tradition of great music. Some shows to check out in the next couple of weeks: Details on the event listings page.   Fri. Jun. 30: Kabakuwo at the Lula Mandingue music, featuring dual koras. Among the players: Sadio Sissoko whom many have seen recently wiith Okavango African Orchestra plus Dieli Mori Tounkara, nephew of the great Super Rail Band guitarist Djelimady Tounkara. Bela Fleck & the Flecktones at the Toronto Jazz Festival “Hispanic Extravaganza” at the Living Arts … Continue reading

Afrofest in Queen’s Park 3 weeks away

Email announcement from Music Africa: AFROFEST AT QUEEN’S PARK ON JULY 9th & 10th Afrofest, a free celebration of the richness and diversity of African culture, is set for Queen’s Park in Toronto on Saturday July 9th and Sunday July 10th.  Featuring world-renowned African musicians and top African groups based in Canada, an African marketplace, food and craft vendors, artistic displays, music workshops, and organized activities for youth and children. Afrofest is THE cultural event of the summer. Discover Africa in the Heart of Toronto! African music legend Thomas Mapfumo will be a feature act of Afrofest 2011. “The Lion of Zimbabwe” is considered both the Bob Dylan and … Continue reading

Afrofest 2011 confirmed in Queen’s Park

Announcement today from Music Africa: Music Africa is happy to officially announce that Afrofest 2011 will be taking place at Queen's Park on July 9th and 10th.   Full details of the 2011 festival will be announced soon.   Music Africa thanks all Afrofest fans for their great support and patience these last few months. See you at Afrofest!     Discover Africa in the Heart of Toronto   www.musicafrica.org   Michael Stohr President, Music Africa    

Event updates

Check www.events.to-music.ca for full event listings, including: Apr. 15: Drummer Tony Allen, a giant of Afrobeat at the Phoenix Apr. 15: Okavango: An African Orchestra The second Toronto concert featuring a collection of musicians from 7 distinct African musical traditions. The debut concert at the Glenn Gould Studio in February was sold out; this show, in the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom may add an extra dimension, given their increased familiarity with each other; the more relaxed and informal setting… and the added energy of dancer Saba from Jaivah Nouvel Exposé Apr. 16: Freddie Gwala & Platform One with Tich Maredza Band … Continue reading