From a media release:
July 5 & 6, 2014
Woodbine Park - Toronto
This is what you have been waiting for. This is the list of all artist who are going to be performing during this year's Afrofest at Woodbine Park on July 5 and 6.
Petit Pays – Cameroon
Petit-Pays born Adolphe Claude Moundi in Douala, Cameroon in 1967 is a Cameroonian musician. He had sold over 50,000 cassettes by 1966. He is also known as OMEGA, Rabba Rabbi, Turbo and famously Avocat defenseur des femmes (advocate for women). He is one of the most celebrated Cameroonian musicians of the late 1980s and 1990s. His music has evolved over the years adapting to contemporary African genres. He mixes native Cameroonian makossa with soukous, zouk, and salsa, leading to the portmanteau label of makozouk for some of his music. He launched his first album Haoussa in 1987, after working with makossa producers. In Haoussa, he says his father is Haoussa and mother is Douala. His band, known as Petit Pays et Les Sans Visa, with several band members moving on to start their own solo careers over the 1990s and 2000s.
He is the self crowned king of Makossa. In one of his songs, "Le Jour de ma Mort" (The Day I Die) from the album Class FM and other songs, he compares himself to Fela Kuti of Nigeria, Alpha Blondy of Côte d'Ivoire, Salif Keita of Mali and Youssou N'dour of Senegal. He always gives credit to legends like Francis Bebey, Eboa Lotin and Manu Dibango
Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble (Nigeria)
From the countryside of Ogidi Nigeria via New York City, Foly Kolade's Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble brings new and energized Afrobeat to the Toronto live dance music scene.
Asiko (ä•se•ko´) in Yoruba means time, an appointed moment, connoting fate, e.g. "Your time has come." Asiko group was formed in 2003 by the multi-talented singer, designer and percussionist Foly Kolade. Originally from Ogidi, Nigeria, Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble is the musical expression of a diverse group of musicians and influences. Known for its high-voltage blend of Rock, Funk, Jazz and West African rhythms, Asiko's powerful lyrics speak truth to power in the spirit of the late Fela Kuti. "Uniquely blends pumping polyrhythms that inspire manic dancing and lyrics that make you think."
Ruth Mathiang (Sudan)
Ruth Mathiang Ruth Mathiang has quickly become one of the rising stars of African music in Toronto. She comes from a musical family, where both her parents were musicians in their youth. She started her musical career in Kenya performing at social functions and local clubs. Mathiang honed her singing and composing skills by performing with local musicians and adopting various styles from traditional music, gospel, Afropop and hip-hop.
She recorded her first album “My Cry Peace” in Prince Edward Island, depicting her difficult life growing up in war-ravaged Southern Sudan. The CD is also a celebration of her faith and resilience as it has a gospel sound. Her second release “Butterfly” is a more refined recording, which draws from influences such as hip-hop, reggae, afrobeat and gospel. Since coming to Toronto she has established herself as one of the best female vocalist, has performed at several festivals such as Harbourfront Centre’s Hot & Spicy Festival, Afrofest, Bana y’Afrique, as well as numerous venues in the city. Mathiang also donates her time performing for non-profit agencies that especially work in Africa in sectors such as human rights, women and children issues, primary health care and community development.
Madagascar Slim (Madagascar)
Randriamananjara Radofa Besata Jean Longin (born October 31, 1956 in Antananarivo, Madagascar) is a Canadian-Malagasy folk and blues guitarist, who records and performs under the stage name Madagascar Slim. He is a member of the folk music band Tri-Continental and the world music group African Guitar Summit, as well as a solo artist and a regular collaborator with blues singer Ndidi.He moved to Canada in 1979 to study English and accounting at Seneca College, pursuing music with the folk group La Ridaine while studying. He has cited Jimi Hendrix and B. B. King as the two primary influences on his choice to become a guitarist.
He is a three time Juno Award winner, having won World Music Album of the Year in 2000 for his solo album Omnisource and in 2005 with African Guitar Summit.
Resolutionaries Marimba Band (Zimbabwe)
The Resolutionaries Marimba band is a hot new blend of hybrid Zimbabwean music that has set dance floors ablaze and is hailed for bringing people together. Marimba is a traditional Zimbabwean instrument that combines sweet melodies with African rhythms. The Resolutionaries Marimba Music is a mix of age-old African tunes, Modern innovations and TransAtlantic "livasporic" inspiration.
The band leader, Chaka Chikodzi is a Zimbabwean-Canadian sculptor, musician, and community arts organizer. The Resolutionaries project is a product of Chaka's local arts' organization, Africville Dandaro Centre, where he runs art and music workshops for youth.
Amara Kante (Guinea)
Professional percussionist playing traditional rhythms and instruments from Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Senegal: Djembe, dununs, bara, talking drum and krin.” Of Malinké origin, Amara Kante started playing percussions at the age of seven. His talent was exceptional especially for one so young, that he was invited to perform with the KOTEBA group and the Ballets Africains de Guinée, touring throughout Africa, the United States and Europe. His extensive professional experience has attracted famous international artists such as Mory Kante and Peter Gabriel.
In 1998, he made one of his dreams come true when he set up the KAWAFOLI school of Manding percussions in Marseille, France where he taught the djembe, dunun and krin.
Beyond Sound (Multinational – Diaspora)
Beyond Sound Empijah a new generation of drummers is a collective of young artists who have grown up in various Toronto based dance and drum organizations; Ballet Creole, COBA, and Ngoma Drum and Dance Ensemble. These groups share a common goal to learn, maintain, present and share African and Caribbean Cultures. Beyond Sound Empijah brings a unique mixture of the past to the present and is dedicated to educate youth through drum and dance. This collaboration of drummers studied this art form and trained in the rhythms of drums providing them with the solid foundation that is needed when instilling a passion for musicality and performance.
Our Motto is Youth Who Engage Youth!
THE BEST OF AFRICAN DRUMMING & YOUR FESTIVAL (Burundi)
Urimosho Umurisho rhythm or Burundi Drumming is a traditional African music and dance ensemble. The Umurisho drumming show from Burundi is a highly respected African art form, with intoxicating rhythms and intricate stick- handling techniques. The group has won several awards and has performed at numerous major events and festivals in North America and Europe.
The musical universe of the group is as diverse as the backgrounds of its members. Cameroonian Roger and Augustus, Métis American father and mother Franco-Cameroonian for Haïs. It is therefore logical that the Bassa, French and English can be found in the album. Everyone has their common key. He met a few years ago on the banks of the school, the two "blacks" are involved in the song. Roger Bassa language and Augustus in French. As for the "white" group, or Haïssama Hated to his friends, he takes the cap songwriter. Latest addition to the group, Hated never leaves his guitar. Fans will discover the album during his promotion for concerts and performances organized this year. The members of X-Maleya group heard enough this refrain during the release of their first album. For their new jewelry, young artists prefer that their audience is fixed on the quality of their music, not their youth and lack of experience it brings. Roger, Auguste and Haïssama offer an eponymous album, X-Maleya with "many fewer errors than in the first," says Roger, to reassure skeptics possible. Innovations appear as artists, in terms of technology, even if they do not drain flowers speaking of maturity, as they admit, "many things are yet to perfect." Young musicians want to get rid of this label singers hip-hop, and highlight their professional side. However, they do not stray too specific to their age rhythms. In this album, fans will find hip-hop, but also an ancient rhythm called "Makoma" updated for the occasion, in order to reconcile the youth and experience. X-Maleya reassuring. They tried to do better than the first album. "Each of us brought sensitivity and tried to do something good," said Augustus.
Samba Mapangala (Congo/Kenya)
Samba Mapangala was born in Matadi, in the region known as Bas-Congo. In the early 1970s he moved to Kinshasha for secondary education. His vocal talents were recognized early and he worked in various Kinshasa bands like Bariza, Super Tukina, Super Bella Bella, and Saka Saka. Samba travelled east with other musicians in 1975. In Kampala, Uganda in 1976, they made their mark as Les Kinois (The Kinshasans). With Samba as lead singer, Les Kinois relocated to Nairobi, Kenya in 1977 and took the music scene by storm. Samba formed his own band, the legendary Orchestra Virunga, in 1981. Virunga, named after a volcanic mountain range in central Africa, proved to be one of East Africa's most popular groups, Their music is an innovative mix of the best rumba and soukous from Congo, with the earthier Kenyan style. Samba composes and sings in both Lingala and Kiswahili. His astounding voice has been described as melting in the ears. Virunga as a whole also get high praise; "The telepathy that runs between the bass, drums and rhythmic guitar players of this outfit is jaw-dropping…" (Ian Anderson, Folk Roots).
Virunga's first recording was the LPIt's Disco Time with Samba Mapangala (1982). Samba Mapangala and Virunga went to UK in April 1991 and played 23 concerts, not surprisingly causing a terrific buzz. After celebrated journeys through Africa, Europe and North America,Virunga last toured in 1997. Samba thensettled with his family in Washington D.C. Samba Mapangala made a triumphant return with his CD Ujumbe(The Message).
Samba's albums to date includeVirunga Volcano (1990), Evasion (1983),Feet on Fire (1991), Karibu Kenya(1995) recorded in Paris with Les Quatres Etoiles and other veteran musicians, Vunja Mifupa (1997) released on cassette in East Africa as Confusion and in 2001,Ujumbe. Virunga Roots Volume 1, featuring songs from the Orchestra Virunga archive, was released in 2005.In 2000 Samba's presence at the Kenyan Jamhuri celebrations in London was one of the major highlights. His music is timeless, sounding as fresh after the 100th hearing it as it did the 1st. The lyrics, often containing advice or social commentary, are charming and interesting, the melodies delightful, energetic and exuberant.
Samba's latest album is Song and Dance (2006) on virungarecords featuring Bopoland other great members of Orchestra Virunga. They promoted the album and other great hits during a very energetic UK tour in March 2006. Samba was in Kenya for a major event, Ecofest, on 4th June 2006 alongside other well-known Kenyan musicians.