The second annual Habari Africa festival, a weekend-long exploration of African music, art, food, film and more, takes place at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Canada from 14 to 16 August.
Hosted by the Batuki Music Soceity, a non-profit organization that promotes African music and art in Canada, this year’s curatorial theme is ‘New Voices: A view of African music from a Canadian perspective’. The artistic works on show will explore the changing styles of music, dance and other art forms.
The featured musicians will represent an array of genres and dance styles from Congolese rumba and mutuashi, roots reggae, Ethio-jazz, afrobeat, morna, batuque, kizomba, traditional and contemporary West African sounds, North African shaabi, Andalusian fusion, African gospel and house music from South Africa.
Some of the featured artists at this year's festival include: Awa Sangho (Mali), Rocky Dawuni (Ghana), Moto de Kapia (DRC), Ethio Zema Band with Fantahun Shewankochew (Ethiopia), Trinity (Botswana), Voices of the Savannah (Kenya/Zimbabwe), Hassan el Hadi (Morocco), Frederica Ackah (Ghana), Kunle (Nigeria), Badema Foli, Nyabyenda Cultural Ballet (Rwanda), Mi Casa (South Africa), Magma Sound (Cape Verde) and locally-based Afrocentric acts Amai Kuda Y Josephine, Asiko Afrobeat Orchestra, Esie Mensah & the Black Stars, Shangaza Performers, DJ Flowmaster and more.
Besides the live music there will be plenty of other exciting activities on offer, including films (including As Old as My Tongue: The Myth and Life of Bi Kidude about legendary Zanzibar musician Bi Kidude), various drumming and dance workshops, fun for the kids, African crafts and cuisine, and art by David Kibuuka.
The Habari Africa Festival takes place at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto on Friday (7-11pm), Saturday (12-11pm) and Sunday (12-6pm). All performances and activities are free to the public except for Saturday’s special late-night show with Mi Casa (book your tickets here. For more information and complete event listings visit the Harbourfront Centre website.
If US-based Ghanian reggae man and the rest of the artists have their way, the festival promises to be an 'African Thriller' indeed!