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The Interviews


As the years click by, one of the things that becomes obvious when you're producing a blog is that old posts tend to get buried, often quickly. Since interviews are one of the most popular posts in general, and the ones that people will often look at over time, and since they represent my original work (as opposed to media releases) I decided to gather them together here, organized by the discipline of the interviewee.

• You'll find other recent interview pieces on
Interviews and other arts pieces at Okayafrica
• You can also check out my archive at the now defunct Sway Magazine, where I freelanced from 2011 till they folded in 2012, including concert & gallery show reviews and interview pieces.


Thomas Mapfumo 2011 copyright Anya Wassenberg
Thomas Mapfumo, 2011 (copyright Anya Wassenberg)

Patric Caird
• Michelle MacQueen writes about The Tragically Hip
• The Heavyweights Brass Band
Madagascar Slim
Thomas Mapfumo (my pic of him to the right)
Hugh Masekela
Oliver Mtukudzi
Nadine McNulty of Batuki Music
Tunde Olaniran
Uncle Jonny
Dave West & Waleed Abdulhamid


Soulful Messiah by Christopher Cushman
Soulful Messiah by Christopher Cushman

Ilter Ibrahimoff
Sasha Ivanochko
Luke Garwood
• Laurence Lemieux
Christopher Cushman (one of his images of Ballet Creole's Soulful Messiah to the right)
Jasmyn Fyffe
Rex Harrington (not my interview, but I was there...)
Charmaine Headley
Jeff Melanson of the National Ballet School
Tiffany Mosher of the National Ballet
Kevin A. Ormsby


Fela on Broadway

Director Mitchell Cushman 
Blyth Festival Artistic Director Gil Garratt
Hettie Vyrine Barnhill (pictured in Tony Award winning Fela! on Broadway, 2011 - above)
John Hastings
Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu
Heather Ruffo
Kwame Stephens
Jenny Young


Katie Boland
Katie Boland

Da'Vine Joy Randolph
Andrew Renzi
#tiff18 review/interview: Freedom Fields, Directed by Naziha Arebi
Ian Harnarine
Allen Altman
Tetchana Bellange
Wang Bing
Katie Boland (pictured here because her pictures get soooo many pageviews!)
Emily Hampshire
Sandy Jobin-Bevans
Athena Karkanis
Paul Laverty (and I won't even pretend that I don't like to blow my own horn... the New York Times online review of Even the Rain/Tambien la Lluvia has a link to this interview)
Liz Marshall (about her documentary Water on the Table, a portrait of Maude Barlow)
Dorothée Van Den Berghe & Matthias Schoenaerts
Andrucha Waddington

Fashion & Visual Arts

Design by Baby Steinberg
Design by Baby Steinberg

Christopher Cushman
Rafael Goldchain
Ed Ou
• Jane Seymour - the painter
Baby Steinberg (one of her designs pictured)
Hugh Wilson
Gathinja Yamokoski


Brad Bathgate
Brad Bathgate

Food, Travel & Connections: A Sourdough Story, An interview with scholar Arianna Sikorski
Brad Bathgate (pictured)

What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you

Review: Night of the Kings / La Nuit des Rois by Philippe Lacôte

Review:  Night of the Kings La Nuit des Rois by Philippe Lacôte A France, Côte d'Ivoire, Canada and Senegal co-production Now Playing In The New York Film Festival ImageAfter Venice and the Toronto Film Festival, Philippe Lacôte's Night of the Kings has moved on to conquer New York City.  Image Courtesy of TIFF A young pickpocket (Koné Bakary), is incarcerated in the giant La MACA prison, the largest in Côte d’Ivoire. The prison offers a hostile atmosphere, where the guards have long given up keeping order and the prisoners run the show, albeit confined within the prison walls. They dance, sing, and mingle at will in a common area called The Jungle.  There is a violent power struggle between Lord Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu), who runs things, and the younger leaders of other factions. Blackbeard is old and infirm, and he knows he can't hold on forever. But, he does want to hold on long enough to leave on his own terms.  Image courtesy of TIFF Blackbeard designates the new

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020) New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode.  As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range. A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release. "I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so