Skip to main content

African Reggae Star Alpha Blondy Headlines Afrofest - July 6 & 7 2013 in Toronto

Update July 6:
Here's a post with bit of the shows that I caught - including Alpha Blondy

From a release:

Music Africa Presents
Afrofest Toronto 2013
July 6 & 7 2013
Woodbine Park - 1pm to 10pm daily
Free - rain or shine

See map

Toronto’s largest celebration of African music, heritage and culture is back for its 25th year! Afrofest 2013 will take place Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7, at Woodbine Park, Lakeshore Boulevard East and Coxwell Avenue. Presented by Music Africa, the vibrant two-day festival is a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of the African continent.

Michael Stohr, President of Music Africa, says Afrofest was formed from a vision to broaden and challenge the stereotypes of Africa. "Afrofest brings Africans together in celebration while educating all visitors about the vast diversity of the continent,” says Stohr. The colourful festival will feature performances by top international groups and local stars of African music, along with dancing, drumming and theatre.

This year’s stellar Main Stage line up will feature Alpha Blondy (Ivory Coast), one of the world’s most popular reggae artists and classic highlife  singer Jewel Ackah (Ghana).  Also performing are Culture Force (Nigeria), Njacko Backo and Kalimba Kalimba (Cameroon), Okavango African Orchestra (Trans Africa) Waleed Kush (Sudan), Donne Roberts (Madagascar), Kae Sun (Ghana), Ijo Vudu (Nigeria), Jean Asamoah (Ivory Coast) and more.  We will keep you posted with additional updates!

In addition to the performances on the Main Stage, the popular Baobab Stage will have non-stop activity with music and dance workshops and performances by the rising stars of African music.  This year’s line up includes workshops by Sani Abu (Dance), Amadou Kienou (Drum), Evelyn Mukwedeya (Mbira), Bokwa Demos (Dance), performances by Runs Tee, Concept Books, Jemini, Destiny, Hodan Hussein, VITAL, Spoken, Star 5 and more.

The Children's Village provides organized fun and educational activities for youth including: face painting, working with clay, storytelling, beading, a drum area, easels for painting and more.  Belinda Ageda will again coordinate activities with additional story telling by Ruth Danziger.

In the bustling African marketplace there will be an impressive display of authentic African arts, crafts and traditional dishes representing the culinary scene of Africa and the Diaspora.

Afrofest has truly become a summer tradition in Toronto!

This year, 89.5 FM CIUT will be returning to broadcast the event LIVE in Southern Ontario and worldwide at

• Image of Alpha Blondy at Solidays Festival, 2008 (Hippodrome de Longchamp, France) - 4 July 2008; Source - Author KellyChlew

Main Stage – Broadcast live on CIUT 89.5FM
• Saturday 6th July

DJ Apollo
Akwaba Cultural Exchange (Ivory Coast) 1:15pm
Mohamed Diaby and Manding Foli Kan Don (Guinea) 2:15pm
Kae Sun (Ghana) 3:15pm
Waleed Abdulhamid (Sudan) 4:30pm
Donne Roberts (Madagascar) 5:40pm
Blaise LaBamba (Congo) 6:50
Alpha Blondy (Ivory Coast) 8:45pm

• Sunday 7th July
Maracatu Mar Alberto (Brazil) 1:15pm
Amadou Keinou (Burkina Faso) 2:15pm
Ijo Vudu (Nigeria) 3:15pm
Okavango African Orchestra (Africa) 4:15pm
Culture Force (Nigeria) 5:45pm
Njacko Backo & Kalimba Kalimba (Cameroon)  7:15pm
Jewel Ackah (Ghana) 9:00pm

Baobab Stage - Presented by G98.7FM
• Saturday 6th July

DJ Magicflow   1:00pm
Sani Abu    1:45pm
Amadou Keinou 2:30pm
DJ Magicflow    3:00pm
Spoken    3:55pm
Fashion Show  4:15pm
Jemini  4:45pm
DJ Flowmaster  5:05pm
Yusra Khogali  5:35pm
Dance Competition   5:55pm
Yusra Khogali   6:35pm
Ozee Bee 6:50pm
Quabena Maphia  7:15pm
Blandine 7:45pm
Destiny  8:30pm

• Sunday 7th July
DJ Vanestin  1:15pm
Bokwa Demos   1:45pm
Evelyn Mukwedeya  2:20pm
Multinational Fashion Show   2:55pm
Hodan Hussein  3:25pm
Team GLR   3:55pm
Koncept Dance Group   4:30pm
TK Smoothe   4:55pm
Maria Da Silva   5:15pm
Runs Tee   5:40pm
Dance Competition Finals  6:00pm
Concept Books 6:45pm
Trinity    7:30pm
Neza      8:15pm
Star 5        8:30pm

About Music Africa:
Music Africa is a non-profit community-based organization whose main objective is to promote African music in Toronto through the Afrofest music festival and other occasional events. Established in 1990, Music Africa is among the oldest and most respected organizations promoting African music in Canada.

Music Africa also supports the activities of other non-profit cultural organizations through partnerships for various events. Through its activities, Music Africa is committed to enhancing appreciation and awareness of African music among Canadians while also striving to establish Toronto as a thriving global centre for African music.

Music Africa gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…