Batuki Music Presents | Habari Africa Festival August 5–7 2022

From a release: 

Batuki Music Presents
Habari Africa Festival
August 5–7, 2022 

at Harbourfront Toronto 

Enjoy the art and music of Africa's rich and diverse cultures at Toronto's Harbourfront. Presentations celebrate the uniqueness, wealth and diversity of the continent of Africa and its music, dance, film and arts. 

The Habari Africa Festival will feature emerging artists in Canada along with established national and international touring groups. Here's a look at the schedule. 

August 5 

Stage in the Park 

Gloria Gift Nankunda and Emanzi Dance Troupe - 7-7:45
Gloria Gift Nankunda is a folk-soul Musician based in Toronto. Her soulful voice brings a delightful euphony of tales and melodies derived from her rich Ankole heritage in Uganda meshed with other African musical influences. 

Ethio Azmari - 9-9:30
The Azmari are skilled at improvisation and play an important role in Ethiopian society, like the griots or praise singers of West Africa. ETHIO AZMARI features vocalist Sintayehu “Mimi” Zenebe, masenqo player/vocalist Abebe Fikade, drummer Bereket Gebrekirstos and dancer Yordanos Behonegn Nuri. 


Concert stage 

Okavango African Orchestra 8-9
Okavango African Orchestra is a musical ensemble created by Batuki Music Society featuring a cast of accomplished African-born musicians, singers and composers who now live in Toronto and Montreal: Daniel Nebiat (krar), Kofi Ackah (drums), Tichaona Maredza (mbira, guitar), Sadio Sissokho (kora, percussion), Ebenezer Agyekum (bass), Assane Seck (guitar) and Mabinty Sylla (dance). 

Dobet Gnahoré 9:30-11
GRAMMY-winner Dobet Gnahoré is one of Africa's hottest and most beloved talents. With her amazing voice, incredible dance moves, powerful presence, and colorful style, Dobet is a virtuosic singer, dancer, percussionist, and songwriter who has taken the modern Afropop sounds of her country in exciting new directions. Dobet Gnahoré is well-known for her jaw-dropping dance moves, powerful stage presence and emotional vocal style.  


August 6 

Kids' Tent 

Njacko Backo’s African Village Music, Arts and Crafts 1-5
Njacko Backo is a Juno-nominated musician, storyteller, and songwriter who has been performing for children and adults since his childhood in Cameroon. He has a lifetime of practice in capturing the subtlety of dance and storytelling with his music – an essential part of the African performing arts. 

Stage in the Park 

IZimba arts 2-2:45
IZimba Arts is a music and dance group specializing in Southern African traditional music, Gumboot and Township dances, Afro-fusion, and Workshops. The groups' founding members are Brian Moyo and Teddy Masuku, both multi-talented performing artists from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Adam Solomon 7-7:45
Adam Solomon "The Professor", as he is known in musical circles, is highly respected as a lead guitarist, composer and singer. He creates a unique sound that combines traditional African blues and jazz, spiced with East African rhythms. He sings in English, Swahili, and Mijikenda (the Nine Tribes from Mombasa on the Kenyan coast). 

La Kora des Griots 9-9:30
Born in Senegal to a family of musicians, story tellers, historians, singers and dancers, collectively known as griots, Sadio Sissokho’s roots are richly embedded in the Mandingue culture. Born in Mali to a large family of griots, Diely Mori Tounkara followed in the footsteps of his musician father by becoming an undisputed master of the kora.


South Lawn Tent 

3:00 – 3:45 : Ethio Dance Workshop
Yordanos Nuri will share basic steps of traditional dances of Ethiopia in this fun workshop for all-ages. Yordanos Nuri is a popular dancer and performer who specializes in traditional dances of Ethiopia. 

4:30 – 5:15 : IZimba Arts Dance Workshop 

Studio Theatre 

3:00 – 4:15 : La Rockeuse du Désert
Sara Nacer is an emerging filmmaker based in Montreal where she also works as a digital product manager at Bell Media. His first documentary film "Let them all go, shot in Algeria at the heart of the smile revolution, highlights the socio-cultural awakening of the young generation. 

5:30-7:15: The Rumba Kings
The country formerly known as Zaïre, starting in the 1950s and continuing into the 1980s, was the vibrant musical heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, crammed with dancing bars and musical orchestras, bustling with record labels, and most importantly home to some of the biggest stars of African music such as Grand Kallé, Dr. Nico and Franco Luambo.

Concert Stage 

Dicko Fils 8-9
Moulaye Dicko, better known by his stage name Dicko Fils, is a popular Burkinabé musician who sings and plays the kamala n’goni. He has been awarded the Knight’s Order of Merit from the Ministry of Culture of Burkina Faso and the Golden Kundé award for Best Artist. 

Songs of My Mother 9:45-11
Batuki Music Society has curated Songs of My Mother to shine a light on the musical diversity and rich talents that these women artists possess.Songs of My Mother features JUNO award winner Lorraine Klaasen, the daughter of the renowned jazz singer Thandie Klaasen, and one of the few South African artists who have preserved the classic sound of ‘Township Music'. JUNO award winner Djely Tapa is a descendant from a long line of griots, and blessed with the voice of her mother Kandia Kouyate, a legendary Manding singer from Kayes, Mali. Mis Blandine is a singer and songwriter from the Democratic Republic of Congo, with music that encompasses sounds from her roots with afrobeats, R&B, jazz and pop. Born in South Sudan, Ruth Mathiang uses her voice to advocate for important social issues, her sound is a fusion of traditional African music with hip hop, afrobeats and reggae.

Sunday August 7 

Kids' Tent 

Blank Canvas 1-5
Spin a Hand Drum Crafts – Blank Canvases Our young participants will make a Hand Drum, which is a traditional African instrument, and very similar versions can also be found in Peru, India, China, and other parts of the world. 

Stage in the Park 

Mambo Chivero 3-3:45
Mambo Chivero is a Zimbabwean musician, singer, songwriter and teacher who plays a unique traditional instrument from Zimbabwe called Mbira (thumb piano). Mbira sound is penetrating and warm at the same time capturing the participation of the listeners and draw into its mood. 

Sadaka 6-7
Sadakah means to give. Inviting our divine deities to give us the energy to spread blessings. Alubarika! Sadaka was created by Nigerian dance educator, performer and choreographer, Sani Abu Mohammed Allen of Ijovudu Dance International. 

South Lawn Tent 

DJ Moussa & Fumu Jahmez 1-1:45
DJ Moussa delivers an intoxicating mix of African music genres, joined by one of Toronto’s most popular dancers and choreographer Fumu Jahmez. Fumu Jahmez is multidisciplinary artist hailing from Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a dancer, singer, poet, song writer and more. 

Beeka RITE 2-2:45
Dance with BK by R.I.T.E. Workshop Fusing traditional East African dance moves and rhythms with modern concepts and high-energy Hip Hop grooves. Beekaa Abraham is a dancer-choreographer-mover-actor-MC-radio host-hype man and martial artist from East Africa, Oromia. You can catch him live on air Tuesdays at 6pm- 7:30pm on 933fm CFMU “Lace Up Radio”. 

Concert Stage 

Butterfly Band 4-5:30
Following in his father's footsteps, master percussionist Kofi Ackah has been a fixture in the African music scene in Canada for many years, having performed with many groups, and is a JUNO award winner and nominee for his work with the African Guitar Summit and Okavango African Orchestra.