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Showing posts from January, 2020

Ségou ‘Art – Festival sur le Niger February 4 to 9 2020

With material from a media release:

Ségou ‘Art – Festival sur le Niger
February 4 to 9, 2020
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The 16th Ségou’ Art – Festival sur le Niger is a special edition, dedicated to reconciliation and social cohesion, centred on the theme of ‘Migrations & Identity’

Last year, in 2019, the Festival sur le Niger (“Festival on The Niger”), a large festival of traditional arts and culture, held on the banks of the river Ségou, combined with Ségou’ Art, a celebration of contemporary African art. Traditional and contemporary artists in the worlds of visual arts, music, dance, theatre, and crafts come together, along with an agricultural fair, in the newly revitalized multidisciplinary festival. The Festival also includes workshops, a symposium, master classes, and an industry conference.

On the theme of ‘Migrations & Identity’, speakers will include Prof. Ibrahima Wane (Senegal), Prof. Mahamadé Savadogo (Burkina Faso), Prof. Yacouba Konaté (Côte d’Ivoire), Prof. Lupwis…

#CUTMR2020 Come Up To My Room at the Gladstone Hotel January 16 to 20 2020

With material taken from the artists' statements

Come Up To My Room
at the Gladstone Hotel
January 16 to 20, 2020
Part Of DesignTO

The city of Toronto celebrates "design as a multidisciplinary form of creative thinking and making, with over 100 exhibits and events forming Toronto's design week," from January 17 to 26.
At the Gladstone Hotel, already an icon in the city's design landscape, Come Up To My Room, part of DesignTO, takes over all four floors with a series of installations occupying the rooms (second floor) and the hallways (third and fourth). This has been one of my favourite artsy events in the city year after year, as the curators - Astrid Ho, Megan Feheley, and Lee Petrie this year - put together a fun, eye popping show that provokes thought and entertains at the same time.

There were 24 artists, designers, and design groups who participated this year.

Special Events
Love Design Party
January 18 - 7 to 10 p.m.
Free - in the ballroom
Dance and…

Folk/Americana: Magical Beasts - Yes, My Love, I am Reaching (Independent / December 20, 2019)

Magical Beasts - Yes, My Love, I am Reaching
(Independent / December 20, 2019)
Stream the album via Bandcamp
Stream and playlist via Spotify 

Led by musician and composer Ned Paulus, Magical Beasts offers a dreamy, melodic, even haunting version of folk and Americana. The sound overall is lush, with instrumentation that includes banjo, ukelele, and pedal steel guitar along with violin and the usual acoustic guitar and bass.

The pace is languid, and the six songs talk about love and devotion - but devotion replete with sexual imagery. Love, sex, and yearning come together. The band released it around the Winter Solstice intentionally. "It is very much a Winter record," says the media release.

The various threads of vocals, acoustic guitar, fiddle, and percussion weave into a trance-like groove in Darling. The lyrics are simple, and tell a story in the true folk tradition.

Darling, come and walk beside me
Your hand in mine, watch the world you see
Darling, bring …

RnB/Reggae/Hip Hop: Har'Monique - Oh Lawd (Independent / 2 November 2019)

RnB/Reggae/Hip Hop:
Har'Monique - Oh Lawd
(Independent / 2 November 2019)
Stream it on Spotify

Upbeat and infectious, you won't be able to stop moving to Oh Lawd, a new single from Har'Monique. The song has a bouncy groove with a modern reggae feel and classic RnB harmonies and fluid vocals.

Har'Monique (aka Monique Fraser) grew up in Brooklyn, New York. The budding writer - she'd started her first novel at 12 - relocated with her family to upstate NY at 13. It was a boyfriend - a music engineer - who would turn her onto the world of music.

Her sound began with the classic RnB that she drew up with, influenced by greats like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. But, along the way, she's developed her own sound, infusing reggae, RnB, and hip hop idioms.

Har'Monique is working on ther first full-length album, and this is the lead off single.

Looking forward to more from this talented artist.

Produced By: Kontrabandz

Stay in touch:
Facebook music page: https://m.fa…

Lithuanian Rock: Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories (Independent / November 20, 2019)

Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories
(Independent / November 20, 2019)
Stream it on Spotify
The Album "Backstage Stories" 2xLP & CD

Robertas Semeniukas is a great find if you like your rock with a hard edge and a strong groove. Naturally, guitar reigns supreme, with a sound that ranges from snarly to fluid and melodic, and virtuosic chops to keep everything interesting. You don't have to understand Lithuanian to enjoy the well-crafted songs and polished musicianship.

Of the 20 tracks, 8 are instrumental. This is rock in what you'd call a classic vein, heavily influenced by 1980s and 1990s bands, but with a modern gloss to it, and a sense of musical experimentation that isn't often associated with that era in Western pop music. Robertas wrote or co-wrote all the tracks except for one cover, the blues composition You Gotta Move by Mississippi Fred McDowell.

Within the rock/metal genre, the prolific composer, singer and musician mines a variety of moods. So…

2020 Beethovenfest Bonn March 13 to March 22 2020

From a media release:

2020 Beethovenfest Bonn
March 13 to March 22, 2020
Find out more
Check out the concerts

A festival in the city of Beethoven's birth. In addition to its traditional autumn season, the Beethovenfest Bonn is offering a second season of celebrity orchestras for the anniversary year 2020, from 13 March to 22 March 2020. Some concerts are already sold out.

The heart of the Bonn Beethovenfest is the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. Here performances by internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles give local, regional, nationwide and worldwide impetus to the preservation of his oeuvre. To the present day the festival has created dramatic interdisciplinary ties to Beethoven's past, present and future.

Today Beethoven is still considered one of the greatest innovators in music history. He was born in Bonn in 1770, and in 2020 Bonn will celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth.
The traces he left behind in the city are still visible: his birth house and the Bo…

Dual Citizen: A Ghanaian Canadian Memoir by Kwame Stephens (Paperback – Oct 28 2019)

Dual Citizen: A Ghanaian Canadian Memoir
by Kwame Stephens (Paperback – Oct 28 2019)
Get It On Amazon

when dawn breaks tomorrow, when the dawn breaks I will be miles away on my way to a new land quite different from this one
In 1989, Kwame Stephens packed up his life in Ghana and immigrated to Toronto, Canada. At the time, he felt he was making a brand new start, and would be sowing new and permanent roots in his new home - even if certain aspects of his new landscape were dismaying.

It was in March 1989 when I made my first Trans Atlantic fight from Amsterdam to Toronto. I remember looking below from the plane and seeing fields of white snow. I’d seen snow before. It snows in Lesotho in Southern Africa where I'd visited twice in my teens. What freaked me out was the “snow as far as my eyes could go”.
The book is an intimate portrait of his life and travels, with pictures, and poetry that adds a different perspective and slant.

He's candid about issues like his dismay at the differe…

From Cumbancha: The Best Music From Across The World Of 2019 (A Playlist)

From Cumbancha:
The best of 2019
Too much music to keep up? We've got the playlist for you!

There's an overwhelming amount of music out there and keeping up with it can be daunting. Cumbancha head and Putumayo researcher Jacob Edgar has reviewed exorbitant amounts of music this year and made a playlist of his favorite songs from around the world released in the past year or so. You can check out the playlist for free on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and Deezer. We'd love to hear what you think!

Best World Music 2019 Playlist

Choose Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and Deezer