Local and global stars for Zanzibar fest

Hot on the heels of the announcement that legendary South African/Zimbabwean singer Dorothy Masuka will be one of the headlining acts for the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) 2015 music series, the organisers of the longest running film festival in East Africa have revealed an exciting range of additional artists to the eight-night music line-up between 18 and 26 July. 

Tanzanian star Vanessa Mdee. Photo: Afronaut
Tanzanian star Vanessa Mdee. Photo: Afronaut

The musical line-up includes artists from across Africa and from afar afield as India, Mexico, the USA and Denmark, as well as some of Tanzania’s hottest acts. These include home-grown favourites from the Tanzanian mainland Vanessa Mdee, Christian Bella, Ya Moto Band and Weusi. And from the island of Zanzibar itself, Baby J, Smile, and Sultan King are just some of the acts set to perform at the Mambo Club at The Old Fort in Stone Town.

ZIFF will also be hosting Malian-born bass player, singer, composer and story-teller Moussa Diallo. This mutli-talented African musician is currently based in Denmark and has in recent years released a number of albums. Not only will he be performing at ZIFF, but a film about him, Moussa Diallo: The Man and His Music, will also be screened during the festival.

Other acts include Antique from the USA, a talented singer-songwriter who was commissioned by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to write a song for their Women in African History curriculum. Mexican flamenco guitarist Paco Renteria is an incredible addition to the ZIFF line-up. By the time he was 22, Renteria was performing with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Guadalajara. Since then, he has composed over 300 pieces and performed with the likes of Carlos Santana and Luciano Pavarotti. His music has appeared in Hollywood blockbusters such as Desperado and Legend of Zorro.

On 19 July Dorothy Masuka will perform at the Old Fort - music enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets early to avoid disappointment. While in Zanzibar she will rehearse and perform with the THT Band, many of whose members were not even born during Mama Dorothy Masuka’s heyday!

ZIFF is also extremely proud to welcome internationally renowned American hip-hop artist, actor and activist Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey). As the festival’s ‘Chief Guest’, Mos Def will take part in a number of official activities during the festival.

Another esteemed guest of the festival will be South African  actress Leleti Khumalo, best known for her award-winning role in the musical Sarafina!. Khumalo will host the South Africa Day events as well as special screenings of some of her films.

More artists are expected to be announced soon. The full schedule for ZIFF can be found at the ZIFF website with daily news and updates on the ZIFF facebook page. Tickets for the music concerts well as all other ZIFF events can be purchased via ZIFF’s online ticketing platform.

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