A conference and festival on African music is currently underway on the North American continent. Starting on Tuesday, 9 June and continuing until Saturday 13 June, several African music professionals - including performers, producers and executives - have come together in Canada’s most populous city, Toronto, to showcase music from the continent in its variety.
The event, tagged African Music Week (AMW), is aimed at increasing Canada’s awareness of African music. It is sponsored partly by Ethiopian Airlines and organised by AIM 2 Impact, a non-profit organisation based in Toronto.
Some of the acts performing at the festival include: Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble, Femi Abosede & Culture Force, Stonebwoy, Kobena Acquaah-Harrison, Waleed Abdulhamid, Trinity Mpho, Ruth Mathiang and Slim Flex.
“African Music Week is a new annual conference staged to help develop the African music industry in North America,” said organiser Julius ‘Julz’ Ossom.“The Afrobeats concert on June 12th will be a celebration of the best of the continents local, national and international popular music makers brought together on one scorching hot stage,” Added Ossom.
Both veterans and emerging artists from various genres will get a chance to feature at the festival. According to the organisers: “AMW aims to educate and expose both local and international African artists to the networks that will assist them in creating or maintaining their careers in the global music industry.”
- 10 June: Movie Night featuring the documentary Is It Sweet about Reggie Rockstone, the godfather of the Hiplife music genre that blends traditional Ghanaian highlife music with hip hop. Limited Space Available Advance Tickets $10 Venue: Blakbird / Pero Lounge, 812 Bloor St W, Toronto. Time: 8:00 PM-11:00 PM
- 11 June: Empowering Women in the Entertainment Industry Forum. To expose local and international female artist of colour to the information, sustainable networks and platforms while providing long-term mentoring to launch and to maintain careers in the global entertainment industry. Tickets are at Eventbrite Venue: Blakbird / Pero Lounge, 812 Bloor St W, Toronto. Time: 4pm-8pm
- 11 June: Ladies First Showcase, an all-African line-up of multi-genre female talents including Sweet Maria, Trish, Empress Ebony, celebrating female empowerment through music. Tickets are at Eventbrite Venue: Blakbird / Pero Lounge, 812 Bloor St W, Toronto. Time: 9pm-2am
- 12 June: Afrobeats Concert night showcases a vast array of A-list African musicians across countries and genres including Femi Abosede & Culture Force, Stonebwoy, Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble, Kobena Acquaah-Harrison, Waleed Abdulhamid, Trinity Mpho, Ruth Mathiang, Slim Flex and more. Tickets are $20 at Eventbrite. Phoenix Concert Theatre. Doors open at 8pm.
- 13 June: AIM Music Conference features a who’s who of music industry trend setters including Universal Music Canada A&R Rich Castillo, leading entertainment lawyer Eb Reinbergs, Peter Toh from Music Africa (producers of Afro Fest), G98.7 FM’s MC Bonde, Ontario Arts Council’s Popular & World Music Officer Micheal Murray, Remix Project’s Gavin Sheppard. Moderated by David Hayman (We Are The Super Group). Alliance Francaise (24 Spadina Road). Time: 9am -1:30pm.
Admission is free. For more details visit the African Music Week website.