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Black History Month: The Roots en Route Arts Festival in Hamilton, Ontario February 12 to 27, 2013

From a media release (one that I wrote by the way, since I'm looking after media & communications for Matapa Music & Arts Organization):

Celebrate Black History Month with the Arts
Matapa Music & Arts Organization and its partner organizations present
The Roots en Route Arts Festival in Hamilton, Ontario
February 12 to 27, 2013

(HAMILTON, ON) - From inspiring documentary film screenings to irresistible Haitian dance beats; from thought provoking theatre to the stories and music of the ancient West African griot tradition, the Inaugural Roots en Route Festival offers up an exciting program in celebration of Black History Month 2013. We’re inviting all of Hamilton and all arts lovers anywhere to join us in a multi-disciplinary festival that includes music, spoken word, visual arts, theatre, film and a free workshop for kids and teens aged 10-16. Events will take place at a variety of venues - details of the schedule are listed below.

The Festival reflects Hamilton’s diverse community with a focus on artists of the diaspora and provides an opportunity for Canadian artists from varied geographical and cultural backgrounds to perform in one dynamic program.

The Roots en Route Festival was created by an umbrella group of organizations representing the Hamilton community, including the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH), Artword Artbar, Bryan Prince Bookseller, the Centre français Hamilton, Flyprint, Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts, Radius Café, urbanicity Magazine, Silver Studio, Immigrant Culture and Art Association (ICAA), Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (hcci.ca), George Quo-Enoo, Wass Ethiopian Restaurant and Matapa Music & Arts Organization.

Roots en Route is sponsored by Upper James Toyota and the Admiral Inn, Hamilton.

• Tickets available online at www.matapa.ca
• Excluding all events held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, tickets are also available for advance purchase at all festival venues
• If the event hasn’t sold out, tickets will also be available at the door for all events
• Tickets for all events held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton are available for purchase: at the AGH during normal business hours, at the AGH Design Annex (118 James Street North, Hamilton), or online
• For all inquiries, please contact info@matapa.ca or call 289-700-9997.

ROOTS EN ROUTE 2013 FESTIVAL AT A GLANCE:

February 12, 2013
Festival Launch/Reading & Exhibition Opening - 7pm
Venue: Radius Café (151 James Street South, Hamilton - 905-393-1658)
A Free Event - with PWYC (pay what you can) donations appreciated.

D-Lishus (Jamaica/Hamilton)
Poet mother fire goddess diva storyteller and much more, D-Lishus lights up the stage with spoken word.

Photographic Exhibition: George Qua-Enoo (Ghana/Hamilton)
I had the opportunity to revisit my home country and while working with an aid organization in the country I traveled to a number of remote areas and documented the lifestyles and challenges of the local people, focusing on the village of Nzulezo. Sales & donations from this photo exhibit will help to provide funds to repair and expand Nzulezoʼs crowded two-room school.

February 13, 2013
Film
The United States of Africa (Documentary) - 7:30pm
Venue: Art Gallery of Hamilton (123 King Street West, Downtown Hamilton - 905.527.6610 ext.232 )
Tickets available at www.artgalleryofhamilton.com - $10 /AGH Members $8
The United States of Africa is a new film documenting African hip-hop pioneer Didier Awadi as he records African Presidents, an album spotlighting revolutionary African leaders like Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba and Kwame Nkrumah who led the battle in Africa’s struggle for self-determination.

February 14 & February 16, 2013
Theatre
Langston Hughes vs Joe McCarthy a dramatic reading - at 7:30pm
Venue: ARTWORD ARTBAR (15 Colbourne Street - west off James Street North, one block south of Barton- 905-543-8512)
Tickets $10 in advance/$15 at the door/$8 for Matapa members
Langston Hughes vs. Joe McCarthy, a dramatic reading assembled by Ronald Weihs: On March 24, 1953, Langston Hughes, renowned poet of the Harlem Renaissance, was summoned before the infamous McCarthy Committee investigating communist subversion in the USA. This dramatic and musical evening interweaves some of his testimony with selected poems.

February 17, 2013
In Concert:
Wesli (Haiti/Montreal) - at 7:30pm
Venue: Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (126 James Street South - 905-528-4020)
Tickets: $25 in advance/$30 at the door/Matapa members $20
Singer/songwriter, guitarist, enthusiastic, talented and very charismatic band leader, Wesli and his high octane driven band have created a very intelligent,  and explosive musical cocktail mixing Haitian roots music with Reggae,  Afrobeat, Funk, Soul, Hip Hop and Rock. Come with your dancing shoes on!



February 18, 2013
Music & Memories
With John Ellison & co-author Jon Wells
FREE Event
An Evening with John Ellison (American/Canadian) - at 7:30pm
Venue: Worker’s Arts & Heritage Centre (51 Stuart Street, Hamilton)
Free with PWYC donations appreciated.
In 1967, John Ellison wrote She’s Some Kind of Wonderful, one of the seminal rock/pop songs of all time. In his autobiography, co-authored with John Wells (who will also appear,) he gives readers a unique and detailed glimpse into a life of tremendous hardship, violent racism and musical success.

February 21, 2013
In Concert:
Tich Maredza (Zimbabawe/Toronto) - at 7:30pm
Venue: ARTWORD ARTBAR (15 Colbourne Street - west off James Street North, one block south of Barton- 905-543-8512)
Tickets $10 in advance/$15 at the door/$8 for Matapa members
Tichaona Daniel Maredza is a Zimbabwean born self-taught musician whose sound is an acoustic guitar-based fusion of Zimbabwean contemporary rhythms and Afrojazz powered by messages of inspiration, hope, love and awareness on the different issues affecting humankind. His music is irresistibly upbeat and danceable.



February 22, 2012
In Concert:
Lorraine Klaasen, Tribute to Miriam Makeba (South Africa/Montreal) - Doors open 7:30 - Show at 8:00pm
Venue: Art Gallery of Hamilton (123 King Street West, Downtown Hamilton - 905.527.6610 ext.232 )
Tickets available at www.artgalleryofhamilton.com - $20 AGH & Matapa Members, $25 General Public
Lorraine Klaasen, the daughter of legendary South African Jazz singer Thandie Klaasen, is one of the few South African artists who have preserved the classic sound of Township Music, which continues to be the most distinctive sound to come out of South Africa.  This show is her tribute to much beloved South African legend Miriam Makeba.

February 23, 2013
Kid’s & Teens Musical Workshop
Workshop with Zal Sissokho - at 11:00am for kids aged 10-16
Venue: Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (126 James Street South - 905-528-4020)
Free for children - adults PWYC (pay what you can) donation.
Please contact us to register at info@matapa.ca. Seating is limited
Zal Sissokho will talk about and demonstrate the Kora in a workshop for kids and teens ages 10 to 16.  The Kora is a 21-string bridge harp common throughout West African. Zal’s workshop will intermingle conversation and performance as he tells the story of the fascinating instrument.

In Concert:
Zal Sissokho (Senegal/Montreal) -  at 7:30pm
Venue: Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (126 James Street South - 905-528-4020)
Tickets $25 in advance/30 at the door/students seniors $22/Matapa members $20
Multi-instrumentalist Zal Idrissa Sissokho comes from Senegal and is of the Sissokho griot family who have passed down the music and stories of the Mandinka people for hundreds of years. His music is based on the traditions of West Africa and a strong improvisational talent and he sings in Malinka and Wolof.



February 27, 2013
Film:
UNDER AFRICAN SKIES (Documentary) - at 7:30pm
Venue: Art Gallery of Hamilton - (123 King Street W. Downtown Hamilton)
Tickets available at www.artgalleryofhamilton.com  - $10 /AGH Members $8
Joe Berlingerʼs UNDER AFRICAN SKIES begins with Paul Simonʼs 2011 emotional journey back to South Africa and the roots of his seminal album Graceland – but it unfolds into a kaleidoscopic portrait of the turbulent birth and ever-shifting life of a work of art.

The Organization
MATAPA Music & Arts Organization is an incorporated Canadian non-profit organization located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Our goal is to establish Hamilton and Southern Ontario as a vibrant cultural area by promoting the best in music and arts from around the world.  We believe that the arts are a critical site of social and political resistance and Matapa aims to foster cultural exchange between Canada and the global south. Memberships and any donations will go towards our ongoing programming and efforts to spread the news about global culture

Festival information:
General information & volunteer opportunities: Filimone Mabjaia - fmabjaia@matapa.ca 
Annette  Paiement - annette@artgalleryofhamilton.com  - for AGH events
Media & Communications: Anya Wassenberg - info@matapa.ca
Festival information: www.matapa.ca / https://twitter.com/matapaorg - @matapaorg
Phone:  289 700 9997

Our partners: Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH), Artword Artbar, Bryan Prince Bookseller, the Centre français Hamilton, Flyprint, Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts, Radius Café, urbanicity Magazine, Silver Studio, Immigrant Culture and Art Association (ICAA), Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (hcci.ca), George Quo-Enoo, Wass Ethiopian Restaurant.


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