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Batuki Music Society and the Gladstone Hotel present music from Mali

featuring kora virtuoso and griot
accompanied by Kassoum Diamoutene on bala

Friday, JUNE 3rd, 2011

The art and culture of Mali is so diverse, and some of its music has played a large role in the introduction of African music into the large and expanding genre of world music.

Mansa Sissoko is one of the new generation of singer-songwriters from Mali, West Africa. A griot by birth, Sissoko weaves his music around the sound of traditional instruments and lyrics which encourage people in their day-to-day life. He is unique in that he sings and accompanies himself on the kora, a 21-stringed harp.

Sissoko will be joined onstage by bala player Kassoum Diamoutene. Diamoutene was born in a village tucked in the south of Mali, where the most popular and pre-dominant traditional musical instrument is the bala (xylophone). Diamoutene has played the bala from the age of five. He also learned to play other traditional instruments such as the bara and ngoni.

Guest appearance by Mutamba Rainos and Pasi Gunguwo, performing mbira songs from Zimbabwe.

Mutamba Rainos and Pasi Gunguwo draw inspiration from Zezuru music. Most of the songs have been passed on by many generations through oral means. Mutamba and Pasi have been playing music on the streets, community gatherings, parks, farmers markets around the city of Toronto and surrounding areas.

Guest DJ Apollo will be spinning from his vast collection of popular African hits.

This is the third event of the World Concert Series, now in its third year.
The series features a diverse lineup of performers with a strong focus on African music.
Each event takes place on the first Friday of each month from 7 – 10 pm.,
at the Gladstone Hotel located at 1214 Queen St. West, Toronto, is all-ages and free!

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Gladstone Hotel.

mansa

 

Mansa Sissoko in Ottawa, May 2009

Mansa Sissoko with Zal Idrissa Sissokho on koras, and Lasso, fula flute - Montréal, July 2010

 
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Batuki Music Society presents

Ambuya Stella Chiweshe
and the Chivanhu Band

Sunday, August 21, 2011 at the Lula Lounge

The Mbira Queen of Zimbabwe

The remarkable Stella Rambisai Chiweshe, known worldwide as the ‘Queen of Mbira’ is an acclaimed virtuoso of the mbira, a sacred instrument central to Zimbabwean Shona culture. The original mbira consists of 22 metal keys but nowadays mbira players have added a few more to 28 keys fixed on a small wooden board made from a special healing tree. Originally, for resonance the instrument is wedged with a stick from a special mind cleansing tree. The keys are played with the right forefinger and the two thumbs. Chiweshe is one of the few musicians in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa who have worked for over 35 years in the role of mbira musician, dancer, instructor, and traditional spiritual advisor.

Born in Mujumhi, a village in Mhondoro Zimbabwe, the woman now known by her people as ‘Ambuya Chinyakare’ (Grandmother of Traditional Music) began drumming at the age of eight and attended her first mbira ceremony at 16 years old. When Zimbabwe was still a British colony (Rhodesia), Chiweshe played at forbidden ceremonies before returning to her job as a young maid. The colonial government banned the instrument fearing its magical powers, and playing mbira was punishable with prison. At the time, local missionaries called mbira music “Satan’s work”. Even her own people told her that it was taboo, an instrument that a woman could never play. Yet by the mid-sixties, she had become recognized as a gifted maridzambira (mbira player), playing at healing ceremonies, funerals, concerts and important parties and her debut single, ‘Kasahwa’, had gone gold.

After independence she was asked to join the National Dance Company of Zimbabwe, where she took the role of a leading mbira soloist, dancer and actress and toured throughout Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Australia, China, India, Korea and Europe. She left the National Dance Company in 1985 when requests for her to play solo had expanded. Her solo work has established her as one of the most original artists in the contemporary African scene using popular music to show the depth and power of her traditional spiritual music at home and abroad. Chiweshe has accumulated an extensive discography of 22 singles and 7 international albums. Regular European and North American touring, plus notable appearances at Womad festivals have helped to keep her long career as a performer, educator and healer alive and vibrant.

Stella Chiweshe will be backed by her Toronto-based Chivanhu Band:
Mutamba Rainos on mbira, Pasipamire Gunguwo on marimba, Tichaona Maredza on marimba and guitar, Tichaona Gombiro on bass guitar, and Gordin Mapika on drums.

Batuki Music Society on facebook | by email

Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West, Toronto
For dinner reservations 416 588 0307
Doors at 8 pm. Show at 8:30 pm.
$15 at the door

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.

stella

 
Mukatiende - Shungu: The Mbira Queen of Zimbabwe Live (1994)

 

 
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Batuki Music Society presents

Alpha Yaya Diallo’s
WEST AFRICAN SUMMIT
le sommet ouest africain

Alpha Yaya Diallo’s West African Summit is a music and dance spectacular featuring an all-star West African band under the artistic direction of award-winning choreographer Alejandro Ronceria.

On stage with three-time Juno Award winner Alpha Yaya Diallo: kora master-griot Prince Diabaté, 'balafola'-griot Naby Camara, and the electrifying dance of N’nato Camara and Mabinty Sylla, along with djembefola Mohamed Diaby, Thomas Ehru Niamke (drums), and Vegari Cendar (bass).

Friday, 16 November, 2012

Polish Combatants' Hall
206 Beverley St, Toronto

entry 8:00 PM | show 9:00 PM

$25 advance | $30 at the door

Tickets on sale at these locations:

African Drums & Art Crafts 618 Dundas St W
New Bilan Restaurant 183 Dundas St. E
Nharo! Direct Trade 543 Danforth Ave.
Play De Record 357 Yonge St.
Soundscapes 572 College St.

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The tour continues...

November 17

November 20

November 22

November 23

November 24

November 25

November 27

December 1

Montreal, QC

Sioux Lookout, ON

Prince Albert, SK

Saskatoon, SK

Sherwood Park, AB

Camrose, AB

Golden, BC

Vancouver, BC

West African Summit promises a musical experience that goes beyond a concert, beyond a show, to bring audiences to the heart of the beauty, power and sheer energy of West African music.

This ground-breaking production brings to the stage the wonder of West Africa’s Bafing River. Like the river, the music flows through the sounds and spirit of Senegal, Mali and Guinea, full with the magic of this storied region and its rich cultures.

“Since coming to Canada, I have dreamed about bringing together both the dance and music of Guinea to the stage. N’nato and I have performed together for many years but we have never really built a big show... something with energy and colour and movement... something that explodes on the stage.
I performed with Prince Diabaté at the Vancouver Jazz Festival and Hollywood Bowl in 2000. We’ve wanted to work together ever since and now is the time. And Naby, he is simply one of the best balafon players anywhere.” – Alpha



Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage

 
Written by Simba   
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talnational

Small World Music Society presents, in association with Batuki Music Society

the 12th Annual Small World Music Festival opening party!
from Niger, the Toronto debut of
TAL NATIONAL
Thursday, 26 September 2013
entry 8:30 PM | show 9:00 PM

ADVANCE $15 | door $20
 Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St W, Toronto
reserve for dinner to guarantee seating *

Buy-Tickets-Button


full album stream: "Kaani"
their first internationally available release drops on Sept. 9 - buy it here.


about Wongharey (first single, released May 2013) - guitarist/bandleader Hamadal Issoufou Moumine (aka Almeida)
“At the beginning of the song we thank God for giving us the opportunity to perform our music and carry a message of peace in our music.
We then sing that 100 years before each area in Niger had its own ethnic language and a famous warrior who fought against colonisation. They fought with the sticks, knife, lance and their ideologies, not with guns.
We thank God that today Niger is a peaceful country. We sing the names of these warriors from the past for the young people who don’t go to school and who would otherwise not know their story.
Tal National also has warriors who help them to promote our music in Niger. Whenever we play our music they are here and we never forget them; dead or alive we carry on their spirit.”
about Tal National
Tal National are from Niamey, the capital city of Niger. With its lightning fast rhythms and rotating cast of vocalists can be heard the history of Niger as a cultural crossroads along ancient trade routes. Collected within the former French colony can be found Songhai, Fulani, Hausa, and Tuareg populations, all of whom are represented in Tal National’s members. In the music we hear the rolling 12/8 rhythms in the Hausa's Fuji percussion, the pensive aridity of the Tuareg's assouf or "blues,” and the exquisite "griot guitar" of Mali's Songhai, all delivered with virtuoso precision and unrelenting energy. ...read more

Exclusive Media Sponsor: CBC Toronto

 
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Batuki Music Society and Afrique Nouvelle Musique present

the legendary Congolese 
SOUKOUS GUITAR SUPERSTAR
with his amazing musicians and dancers

Sunday, July 22, 2012
entry 7:30PM | show 8:30PM
only $15 @ door

LULA LOUNGE
1585 Dundas St. West | 416.588.0307
a dinner reservation guarantees seating

A virtuosic approach to the guitar has made Diblo Dibala one of the top instrumentalists of modern African music. Known as ‘Machine Gun’ for his speed and skill on the guitar, Diblo Dibala was born in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and moved to the capital Kinshasa where at the age of 15 years he joined the legendary Franco’s TPOK Jazz Group. Dibala continued to master his guitar chops performing with top bands such as Vox Africa, Orchestre Bella Mambo and Bella Bella.

In 1981 Dibala moved to Paris, where the soukous music scene was a happening thing. Soukous, (from the French word ‘secouer – to shake’), a popular dance music is an outgrowth of Congolese rumba. This artfully produced, indefatigably upbeat music, with its genial voices and mesmerizing guitars, filled dance floors around the globe for much of the following decade.

He rejoined Kanda Bongo Man, who he had played with in Bella Bella. Their first album, Iyole (1981), was a big hit: Kanda became a big star, and Dibala became the most sought-after session guitarist in Paris, working with Pepe Kalle and numerous top soukous musicians. Dibala’s huge European success with Kanda Bongo Man led to the formation of his own band, Loketo (meaning ‘hips’), featuring the work of the gifted vocalist Aurlus Mabele. In 1990 Diblo left Loketo to form Matchatcha, the name derived from a plant of the rainforest that causes a strong burning sensation after skin contact - "a flower that produces an itch", with a few other Loketo members. His scorching guitar leads are featured on recordings by leading artists throughout the golden age of soukous music. In many songs you can hear them calling out ‘Diblo’ when the guitar solo time comes around!

This is music for the dance floor!


"To see Diblo and Matchatcha in concert is to experience a hot hot time. His scorching guitar lines will leave you breathless and when your hand is grabbed and you're swept up on-stage to dance with the band, you'll close your eyes and suddenly be transported to Kinshasa." The African Music Encyclopedia

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Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

DIBLOrack

 
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Batuki Music Society and the Gladstone Hotel present music from Equatorial Guinea


Friday, MAY 6th, 2011

Ever heard music from one of Africa’s tiniest nations on the Atlantic Coast?


Anastasio Bickie was born into a musical family in the lush tropical and tiny country of Equatorial Guinea in West Africa. Bickie immersed himself in music from an early age. His father played guitar and often his home would be filled with people singing, dancing and playing drums. There was a popular musician, Ecuaga Miko who along with his wife, would travel from village to town singing and dancing to traditional ‘Fang’ rhythms and melodies. The town’s people would supply the drummers and their voices would become the backup choir for Miko and his wife to perform. Bickie was influenced greatly in his early years through these musical experiences and this environment contributed greatly to his decision to make a career in music.

While growing up in Bata on the mainland in the Rio Muni district there was not a lot of local recorded music available. The radio stations mostly broadcast popular music of neighbouring countries like Cameroon, Gabon and Nigeria, soukous of Zaire, music from Spain, South America and Cuba, European and North American pop music. These musical styles along with the traditional ‘elon’ rhythms and other musical styles of Equatorial Guinea combined to create the unique sound of Bickie’s music.

Bickie had the opportunity to go to Madrid where he formed his first band called Annax. He performed with his group around Spain and also toured with a popular Spanish duo, Eduardo Rodrigo and Teresa Rabal. Soon after Bickie migrated to Canada in 1985 and called Toronto home, he formed a band and named it Annax Bickie and Zalang. Anastasio Bickie is one of a few musicians that introduced African music to Toronto in the mid ‘80’s. His band recorded a couple of albums, ‘Harvest Time’ and ‘Cosecha’, and an award winning video ‘I Can’t Sleep’. Annax Bickie and Zalang performed in some of Toronto’s popular clubs including The Phoenix, The El Mocambo, The Bamboo Club and Harbourfront Centre.

Guest appearance by Guinean dancer/choreographer Mabinti Sylla.

Guest DJ Apollo will be spinning from his vast collection of popular African hits.

This is the second event of the World Concert Series, now in its third year.
The series features a diverse lineup of performers with a strong focus on African music.
Each event takes place on the first Friday of each month from 7 – 10 pm.,
at the Gladstone Hotel located at 1214 Queen St. West, Toronto, is all-ages and free!

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Gladstone Hotel.

 
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Batuki Music Society presents

KABAKUWO

Thursday June 30, 2011 at the Lula Lounge

West African Mandinka Music

The Mandinka Empire was one of the most powerful empires in West Africa whose areas stretched over a region that includes big chunks of present day Mali, Benin, Senegal, Guinea and Gambia. The legendary Sundiata Keita founded the great Mandinka Empire; a rich culture and tradition has survived many generations. The exploits of Sundiata Keita are being retold by griots in song. This oral tradition of story-telling through music has influenced many musicians in West Africa, the same is true of their counterparts here in Canada. Kabakuwo is a band that is continuing this rare and rich tradition.

Kabakuwo, a group whose name means ‘fantastic’, created in 2007 by five musicians with a keen interest in Mandinka culture: Sadio Sissokho (Senegal) on percussion and vocals, Diely Mori Tounkara (Mali) on kora and guitar, Cédric Dind-Lavoie (Quebec) on double bass and electric bass, Jean Sebastian Nicol (Quebec) on drums and Estelle Lavoie (Quebec) on kora and guitar.

All experienced in several African musical styles, they took on the challenge of exploring traditional Mandinka music. In addition to traditional pieces, the group’s repertoire includes original creations with influences ranging from Latin beats and reggae but, above all, encompassing rhythms from Senegal and Mali. Together, the musicians take on each traditional piece with integrity and respect for its origin but also with the inventiveness and inspiration that is allowed by this free instrumentation. The double bass and the koras switch between accompanist and solo roles, supported by percussion. In other pieces, they let the griot tell his stories and allow his voice to be heard, praising Mandinka kings. Kabakuwo is like a trip back in time, deep in the heart of West Africa, but with a sound that is unique and modern.

The group has performed at several festivals such as Festival Interculturel de Rawdon, Les Francofolies de Montréal, Festival International de Cinema Vues D’Afrique, and last year at Festival International Nuits d’Afrique. Also in 2010, Kabakuwo took first place among 36 groups, in Les Syli d'Or de la Musique du Monde, the annual competition organized by Productions Nuits d'Afrique in Montréal. Later the same year, the group released its first album "Malongtin", available on iTunes, and at zik.ca and espace-emergence.

Kabakuwo on myspace  |  Batuki Music Society on facebook | by email

 

flyer en-fr

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.
 
Written by Simba   
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(click on image to enlarge)
banner-hbft
top-bottom, left-right: Sadio Sissokho, Daniel Nebiat, Donné Roberts, Nuudi Kooshin
Tich Maredza, Ebenezer Agyekum, Kofi Ackah, Nicolas Simbananiye, (absent, Aron Nitunga)

OKAVANGO AFRICAN ORCHESTRA
12 instruments, 10 languages, 7 countries…

one hot & spicy concert

at Harbourfront Centre, Hot & Spicy Food Festival - FREE

Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 9:30 PM  Westjet Stage 235 Queens Quay West

more here on Okavango African Orchestra

the journey continues...


Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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Batuki Music Society and the Gladstone Hotel present


Friday, APRIL 1st, 2011

Born and raised in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, Daniel Nebiat picked up the krar (a five or six-stringed instrument from Ethiopia and Eritrea) at an early age, performing traditional songs and singing in his language, Tigrigna.

In Canada since 1996, Nebiat’s career had been focused on community celebrations, weddings, festivals and nightclub performances of both popular and traditional Eritrean music. In 2006, Nebiat performed at the Glenn Gould Studio for CBC’s Onstage, at the “Horn of Africa” concert. He has participated at Afrofest, Afrikadey, Eritrean Cultural Day and Bana y’Afrique festivals. Nebiat opened for Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 at Harbourfront Centre in 2007. The same year, he earned the distinction of being the first African artist showcased in Wavelength, the legendary launchpad for Toronto’s indie music scene. Nebiat’s first CD ‘Hakimey” was released in August 2008; it features original and traditional Eritrean songs.

Recently in late February 2011, Nebiat returned to the Glenn Gould Studio as a member of Okavango: An African Orchestra, created by Batuki Music Society. While exposed to a wider audience now, Daniel Nebiat continues to be in high demand for cultural and social events and weddings in Eritrean and Ethiopian communities across Canada and the U.S.

Guest appearance by Jaivah Dance Showcase: Saba Sabina, Rumbi Louise & Fumu Jahmez

Jaivah Dance Troupe is a Toronto dance company specializing in traditional and contemporary dance from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo, Southern Africa and Egypt. Ethiopian-born Saba, the directress of Jaivah, is a versatile and innovative dancer, choreographer and instructor known for her uniqueness in many traditional and fusion dance styles.
Born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, Rumbi is currently a lead dancer with Jaivah.
Guest artist Fumu Jahmez is a performing artist who specializes as a dancer, singer, poet, and writer. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and grown up in Canada, Jahmez is currently an apprentice with COBA.

Guest DJ Apollo will be spinning from his vast collection of popular African hits.

This is the first event of the World Concert Series, now in its third year.
The series features a diverse lineup of performers with a strong focus on African music.
Each event takes place on the first Friday of each month from 7 – 10 pm.,
at the Gladstone Hotel located at 1214 Queen St. West, Toronto, is all-ages and free!

(please note program change: Mel M'rabet originally scheduled had to cancel due to illness.)

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Gladstone Hotel.

 
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Batuki Music Society and Small World Music Society present

Sidi Touré

Thursday, September 29, 2011 at the Lula Lounge


"Sidi Touré is a worthy successor to Ali Farka Touré. Among Songhaï musicians, Sidi is the best.
Sidi Touré has all the talent, quality, simplicity, playing and singing skills; it's incredible.
We need people like Sidi."

Bassekou Kouyaté, 2010 Grammy Award nominee


Sidi Touré is a singer-songwriter from Mali who has garnered global acclaim for thought provoking songs that honour African sonic traditions in a manner that appeals to listeners from any continent.

Born in 1959 in the ancient town of Gao, Mali, he made his first guitar as a child, constructing it from his wooden writing slate. Growing up, Sidi Touré faced a conflict between the inexorable pull of music and the expectations of family and society, plus the significance and onus of a past that came with being born into a noble family. The Touré family had been sung about, and sung to, by traditional griots for centuries, but until Sidi challenged the rules as a small boy, the Tourés did not sing.

Throughout his time making music, Sidi’s sound has both captured and challenged his roots. His music moves from the translucent swaying takamba to the trance inducing Holley, while the lyrics often address many non-traditional issues. Sidi has a critical mind and his songs have a purpose. His just-released album, ‘Sahel Folk’, a SPIN pick, features spontaneously recorded duets with other Malian musicians.

Small World Music Festival: Sidi Touré

Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St. West, Toronto
For dinner reservations 416 588 0307

Doors at 7:30 pm. / Showtime TBA

Tickets: $20 advance / $25 at the door
Available at:
Small World Music online
Rotate This 801 Queen St. W.
Soundscapes 572 College St.
Kops Records 229 Queen St W.

Batuki Music Society on facebook | by email

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Ontario Arts Council and Canadian Heritage.

 

sidi_slide

 

 
Written by Simba   
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tichcover

Friday, JUNE 1, 2012 | show 8-11 PM
$10 @ door | sorry, no advance ticketing:
 NOW Lounge 189 Church St (at Shuter)
please arrive early for dinner seating, open at 7 PM
AFRICA UP CLOSE:
every FIRST FRIDAY
a MONTHLY Series in an intimate setting...
DJ APOLLO spinning...

Band leader Tichaona Maredza is a self-taught musician whose music is an acoustic guitar based fusion of the contemporary rhythms and afrojazz music of his native Zimbabwe, powered by messages of inspiration, hope, love and awareness on the different issues affecting mankind.
Prior to his move to Canada, Tich released two albums, 'Eternity Music Volume One' and 'Ndinzweiwo', recorded in Australia (2002) and Zimbabwe (2004), respectively.
Recent highlights of his career include sharing the stages in Toronto with legendary Zimbabwean musicians Oliver Mtukudzi, one of his greatest influences, Thomas Mapfumo, and Stella Chiweshe, as well as the Mozambican Marrabenta star, Wazimbo.
The Tich Maredza Band is currently working on their debut album entitled 'The Journey', which will include these two songs.



click here for the Facebook profile of the Tich Maredza Band.

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The Tich Maredza Band (L to R): Larry Lewis, Ruben Esguerra, Tichaona Maredza, Andrew Mark and Tichaona Gombiro

AFRICA UP CLOSE is a series of concerts exclusively taking place at the NOW Lounge, a cozy room with a standing capacity of only eighty. This is an opportunity for the audience to experience music in an intimate setting, as well as interact with the artists. Enjoy healthy, organic, and locally sourced fare from the NOW Lounge’s kitchen, along with the music and ambiance. Resident DJ Apollo entertains between sets.

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

tich46
 
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jewel-cover

Batuki Music Society presents

a Back-To-School Special Double Bill
Highlife legend
JEWEL ACKAH
"The Professor"
ADAM SOLOMON TRIO
Thursday, AUGUST 29, 2013
entry 7:00 PM | show 8:30 PM

online ADV $10 | door $15
 Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St W, Toronto
reserve for dinner to guarantee seating *

* Please note: a dinner reservation does not 'reserve' a ticket at the advance price. Please purchase online separately.

jewel-afrofest JEWEL ACKAH, who hails from Ghana’s western Nzima region, began his career with C.K Mann’s group in 1967 and then moved on to a succession of bands: Ebo Taylor and the Railway Band, the El Dorados (of the Aboso Glass Factory) and the Lantics, the resident band of the Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi. In 1973 he joined A.B. Crentsil’s Sweet Talks, in Tema, and then in 1985-6, the Talkatives

Jewel formed his own Butterfly Six in 1988 and signed up with the local Megastar label in 1995. Later Jewel began releasing gospel albums such as ‘Me Su Fre Wo’ in 1994 and ‘Ahwereshow’ in 1995. Over the years he has released twenty albums.


source: John Collins Highlife Time


backing Jewel are members of Toronto's own champion of Highlife, Afrafranto, including his son, Kofi Ackah.

pictured left: at Afrofest in Toronto, July 2013.
(photo: Bill Gordon)
opening: African Blues and Jazz...

The ADAM SOLOMON TRIO
features Adam Solomon on guitar and vocals, bassist Conrad Henderson and Phil Caffery on drums.

"The Professor" Adam Solomon performs as a blues soloist as well as with his band Tikisa, creating a unique sound that combines traditional and modern coastal East African rhythms, fiesta, rumba, soukous, makossa and highlife music. He has released three CDs, Safari, Mti Wa Maisha and Rocket Express II: African Renaissance Blues. Adam Solomon is also a member of the Juno award-winning African Guitar Summit.

Conrad Henderson, a music educator from Melbourne Australia, plays acoustic and electric bass. He is adept in many styles including jazz, Latin, African, Caribbean, R'nB and funk.

Phil Caffery is new to Toronto, moving from Providence, Rhode Island, where he taught drums and performed regularly in clubs throughout New England. He was trained in jazz and performed in concert bands and in pit orchestras for numerous theater productions.
trio

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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Sani-Abu School for African and Contemporary Dance (SSACD) and Batuki Music Society present

IJO VUDU DANCE in concert:

Kabako Benkadi (Powerful Unity)

A Celebration of African Dance... from the Atlantic to the Indian, the Sahara to the Cape.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pia Bouman Scotiabank Studio Theatre:
6 Noble Street (Dufferin & Queen West)

SHOWTIME 8PM

Reception 6:30
Buffet Service 6:30 - 7:30
African Market 6:30 - 11

Ticket (includes dinner): $20/ $15 advance

plus silent auction, door prizes & more!

on sale now - ONLINE & at these locations:
Nharo! Direct Trade African Art 543 Danforth Ave.
African Drums & Art Crafts 618 Dundas St W.
Earthsong Village 2436 Kingston Rd.

Register for Kabako Benkadi (Powerful Unity) in Toronto, Ontario  on Eventbrite

 

Founded by Nigerian dance educator, performer and choreographer Sani-Abu Mohammed Allen, Toronto's ijo vudu Dance International is a performing company of professional dancers and drummers from diverse backgrounds, on a journey to experience and share the joy and spirit of traditional African music and dance. In the traditional language of the Yoruba people, ijo vudu (ee-joh-voo-doo) refers to the transcendent spirit in dance.

Batuki Music Society on facebook | by email

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage

ijovudu

 
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afraheader

Friday, MAY 4, 2012 | show 8-11 PM
$10 @ door | sorry, not available in advance:
 NOW Lounge 189 Church St (at Shuter)
please arrive early for dinner seating, open at 7 PM
AFRICA UP CLOSE:
every FIRST FRIDAY
a MONTHLY Series in an intimate setting...
DJ APOLLO spinning...

Afrafranto which means Butterfly in the Akan language of Ghana, West Africa, perform authentic acoustic palm wine and highlife music. Afrafranto features two of the JUNO award winning African Guitar Summit group - Theo Yaw Boakye on lead vocals and shakers, Pa Joe on guitar and vocals - along with Ebenezer Agyekum on bass guitar, Sam Donkor on balafon, Marshall Nketiah on congas, Charlie Charles on keyboards and Kwame Sakyi on percussion.

click here for more info at artist profile

AFRICA UP CLOSE is a series of concerts exclusively taking place at the NOW Lounge, a cozy room that holds a maximum of eighty people. This is an opportunity for the audience to experience music in an intimate setting, as well as interact with the artists. Enjoy healthy, organic, and locally sourced fare from the NOW Lounge’s kitchen, along with the music and ambiance. Resident DJ Apollo entertains between sets.

afrafranto

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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cover

Saturday, MAY 25, 2013
entry 8 PM  |  show 9 PM
 The Opera House 735 Queen Street East, Toronto

Summer Fest 2013
BONGA & special guest DON KIKAS
plus Ingrid Monteiro & DJ Nitsen

presented by Massemba Productions | promotional support by Batuki Music Society.

Tickets: $50 advance
online - click here

bonga-evenbrite

in person:

Soundscapes, 572 College St.
African Drum & Art Crafts, 618 Dundas St. W.<
Portugal Mix, 1191 Dundas St. W
M&J Perfumes, 1030 St Clair Ave. W.
Wireless Wave (Francisco Pegado) in Dufferin Mall, 900 Dufferin St.
by phone: (647) 402-7867 | (647) 533-9595 | (647) 985-4784


BONGA

Bonga (born José Adelino Barceló de Carvalho) has been composing and performing musically since the early ‘70s. His professional career was launched in Rotterdam (where, in 1972, he was forced into exile) adopting the name Bonga Kwenda. With over 30 albums released to date, singing in a variety of Angolan languages, Portuguese and French, Bonga’s songs are a melodic blend of merengue, semba, kizomba and some latin elements. Bonga’s music evolved from singing about the fight for independence, social consequences of a war the lasted nearly 3 decades and ending in 2002 (Album Paz em Angola - Peace in Angola), to more uplifting themes contained in his latest album Hora Kota. The lyrics emphasize the importance of observing and passing cultural values to the younger generation. Hora Kota appeals to the deeper African identity, valuing ancestral teachings and listening carefully to the histories told by the elderly, which to a large extent can equip us to cope in this conflicted world we live in.
With his famous husky voice, Bonga’s energy onstage is so captivating that he always leaves his audiences wanting more! The songs are backed by rippling acoustic guitar, accordion and Bonga’s own work on harmonica and dikanza (an African percussion instrument made from bamboo). Bonga will be accompanied by his group of musicians and will delight Torontonians with the sweet sounds and voices from Angola.


Karibuni radio program, CIUT 89.5FM Toronto: host Nadine McNulty with guest Rui DaSilva interview Bonga - March 3, 2013


DON KIKAS
Don Kikas is a talented singer/songwriter who exploded in the Angolan music scene in 1995. He has 5 Albums released to date. His latest Album Regresso a Base (Return to Base) released in 2011 contains a variety of rich rhythms and sounds which are sure to please the audience. Don Kikas’ “youngish” appearance disguises a mature, hard working and multi-faceted artist. In reviewing his latest album, Toronto blogger Anya Wassenberg (Art & Culture Maven) said: ‘The CD is full of irresistible rhythms and latin-flavored grooves, topped by his expressive vocals and nimble guitar lines”. Toronto will be treated to a rich blend of refreshing music!


Ingrid Monteiro, the best Cape Verdian voice in North America!



Massemba Productions... Taking you to higher places | Promovendo valores culturais

 
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Batuki Music Society presents

BASSEKOU KOUYATÉ & NGONI BA

Mali’s Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba have deep roots in the griot tradition. The ngoni drives the band’s energetic live performances. When four of them are joined by the calabash, percussion and vocalist Amy Sacko’s transcendent voice, the pulsing, hypnotic sound compels audiences to dance.

opening: DANIEL NEBIAT

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Great Hall
1087 Queen Street West, Toronto

Doors at 8 PM / Showtime 9 PM

Ticket: $25 advance / $30 at the door

tickets on sale now at these locations:
Nharo! Direct Trade African Art 543 Danforth Ave.
African Drums & Art Crafts 618 Dundas St West
New Bilan Restaurant 183 Dundas St. East
Earthsong Village 2436 Kingston Rd.
Play De Record 357 Yonge St.
Soundscapes 572 College St.

and ONLINE...

eventbrite


The Djeli/Griot's Ngoni 101
bio-documentary made for Segu Blue, 2007 (two parts)
Out Here Records





Bassekou Kouyaté is a virtuoso picker and musical visionary whose work blurs the lines between West African and American roots music. The ngoni, his instrument, is a ‘spike lute’ and an ancestor of the banjo, sharing its taut-skinned drum body, percussive attack, and varied picking techniques.

Bassekou is a true master of the ngoni and he has collaborated with many musicians in and outside of Mali. He was part of Taj Mahal and Toumani Diabaté’s Kulanjan project, as well as being one of the key musicians on Ali Farka Toure’s posthumous album Savane (2006). He also toured and recorded with Bela Fleck on the Grammy winner ‘Throw Down Your Heart’.

an interview with Banning Eyre on Afropop Worldwide

Bassekou was born in a village called Garana, 40 miles from Segu in the remote countryside on the banks of the Niger River. He was raised in a traditional music environment, his mother a praise singer and his father and brothers exceptional ngoni players. Bassekou moved to Bamako when he was 19 years old where he met the young Toumani Diabaté. By the late 1980’s Bassekou was part of Toumani’s trio and they recorded their first albums together, ‘Songhai’ and ‘Djelika’. Bassekou married the singer Ami Sacko, the ‘Tina Turner of Mali', and they have been in high demand for the traditional Sunday wedding parties in the streets of Bamako.

In 2005, Bassekou formed Ngoni Ba, the first-ever group built around not one but four ngonis of different sizes, all played by members of his family. Its repertoire is from the region of Segu, the heart of Bambara culture. Unlike Mandinka griot music, Bambara music is pentatonic in nature, music as close to the blues as you can get in Africa. 

Bringing the ngoni from the palace to the people, a global griot rocks his roots!

Segu Blue, his debut as a band leader, won the 2007 BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music as Best Album. It was followed in 2009 with I Speak Fula - 11 tracks providing a star-studded tour of pan-Malian music, including contributions from Toumani Diabaté, griot vocal legend Kasse Mady Diabaté, master of the horse-hair soku fiddle Zoumana Tereta, and guitar phenomenon Vieux Farke Toure, Ali’s talented son. I Speak Fula was nominated for the 2010 Grammy for Best Traditional World Music Album, ironically won by a Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabaté collaboration).


The opening act is Eritrean-Canadian Daniel Nebiat, who sings and plays the krar - a traditional stringed instrument similar to the harp, tuned to a pentatonic scale and in Daniel’s case, amplified. His music combines both traditional and modern forms of Eritrean music.

NgoniBa-poster

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage
and the promotional assistance of Small World Music.

 
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Friday, JULY 6, 2012 | show 8-11 PM
$10 @ door | sorry, no advance ticketing:
NOW Lounge 189 Church St (at Shuter)
please arrive early for dinner seating, open at 7 PM
AFRICA UP CLOSE:
every FIRST FRIDAY
a MONTHLY Series in an intimate setting...
DJ APOLLO spinning...

Ruth Mathiang has quickly become one of the rising stars of African music in Toronto. She comes from a musical family, where both her parents were musicians in their youth. She started her musical career in Kenya performing at social functions and local clubs. Mathiang honed her singing and composing skills by performing with local musicians and adopting various styles from traditional music, gospel, Afropop and hip-hop.

She recorded her first CD “My Cry, Peace” in Prince Edward Island, depicting her difficult life growing up in war-ravaged Southern Sudan. The CD is also a celebration of her faith and resilience as it has a gospel sound. Her second release “Butterfly” is a more refined recording, which draws from influences such as hip-hop, reggae, afrobeat and gospel. Since coming to Toronto she has established herself as one of the best female vocalist, has performed at several festivals such as Harbourfront Centre’s Hot & Spicy Festival, Afrofest, Bana y’Afrique, as well as numerous venues in the city. Mathiang also donates her time performing for non-profit agencies that especially work in Africa in sectors such as human rights, women and children issues, primary health care and community development.



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AFRICA UP CLOSE is a series of concerts exclusively taking place at the NOW Lounge, a cozy room with a standing capacity of only eighty. This is an opportunity for the audience to experience music in an intimate setting, as well as interact with the artists. Enjoy healthy, organic, and locally sourced fare from the NOW Lounge’s kitchen, along with the music and ambiance. Resident DJ Apollo entertains between sets.

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

ruth46
 
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(click on image to enlarge)

l-r: Ebenezer Agyekum, Kofi Ackah, Aron Nitunga, Tich Maredza, Sadio Sissokho, Donné Roberts, Nicolas Simbananiye
seated: Daniel Nebiat, Nuudi Kooshin

OKAVANGO AFRICAN ORCHESTRA
12 instruments, 10 languages, 7 countries…

one free outdoor concert

at the 25TH ANNUAL AFROFEST 2013

Sunday, JULY 7, 2013 - 3:30 PM  Woodbine Park: Lakeshore Blvd E & Coxwell Ave

 

the journey continues...

more here on Okavango African Orchestra


(click on image to enlarge)


Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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Batuki Music Society presents

‘MSAADA’ for East Africa Relief
Benefit Concert

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at the Lula Lounge

‘MSAADA’ - 'HELP' (in Kiswahili, widely spoken in East Africa.)

Batuki Music Society invites you to ‘Msaada’, the East Africa Relief concert
to benefit the Médicins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Horn of Africa Crisis campaign.

The concert features a lineup of some of Toronto’s popular African artists: Henok Abebe, Kooshin, Faduma Nakruma, Daniel Nebiat, Donné Roberts, Kemer Yousef, Njacko Backo and Val, Sonia Aimy, Ijovudu Dance, Hussein Adani, Yared Tesfaye, DJ Apollo and more. Many of the musicians performing hail from the countries severely affected by the famine (Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya) and are joining hands with Batuki Music Society to raise funds and public awareness. 100% of proceeds from the ‘Msaada’ concert will benefit the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Horn of Africa Crisis campaign. All donations will be matched by the Government of Canada's East Africa Drought Relief Fund.

A wide swath of East Africa that includes Kenya and Ethiopia has been hit by years of drought, and regions of Somalia are suffering from the worst famine in 20 years, over 3 million people starving. Years of conflict in southern Somalia have exacerbated the emergency, preventing aid agencies from helping communities in the area. Thousands of Somalis have fled mainly to Kenya and Ethiopia, with many dying during the journey.

Your donations are valuable. We have a real opportunity to save lives through emergency relief efforts in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Our hope is that Canadians will learn more about this crisis and donate funds to help those in need.

 PWYC... suggested donation $15

Every dollar counts.... asante, shukran, thank you, merci!

Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West, Toronto
For dinner reservations 416 588 0307
Doors at 7 pm. Show at 8 pm.

Batuki Music Society on facebook | by email

msaada

 
Nuudi Kooshin from Somalia: Barni

 
featured performer, Henok Abebe from Ethiopia: Keberchacha

 
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 "In Baye Fall, we have something called a jarasse.... the multicoloured clothes that I wear most of the time...
the music on this album is a kind of jarasse...."
Cheikh Lô, liner notes to "Jamm"...

"The dreadlocked singer's signature blend of semi-acoustic flavours - West and Central African, funk, Cuban, flamenco - has been distilled into his most mature, focused, yet diverse statement to date."

“a globe-hopping aural adventure.”

Wednesday, APRIL 25, 2012
entry 8:00 PM | show 9:00 PM

The Great Hall 1087 Queen Street West, Toronto
$25 advance | $30 at the door

opening: Donné Roberts Juno Award Winner with African Guitar Summit

Eventbrite - Cheikh Lô :: Senegal's Mystic Troubadour

also on sale at these locations:
African Drums & Art Crafts 618 Dundas St W
New Bilan Restaurant 183 Dundas St. E
Nharo! Direct Trade 543 Danforth Ave.
Soundscapes 572 College St.

 

Cheikh Lô is one of the great mavericks of African music. A singer and songwriter as well as a distinctive guitarist, percussionist, and drummer, he has personalized and distilled a variety of influences from West and Central Africa, to create a style that is uniquely his own.

  title track: Jamm, which means “peace” in Wolof.

 

Growing up with Senegalese parents in Burkina Faso near the border of Mali during the 1950s, Cheikh Lô played the musical genres of the time, including Cuban and Congolese styles. He gave his first performances as a young man in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina’s creative capital and hotbed of musical activity, and later moved to Dakar. But it was not until he made his way to Paris in 1985 that he began to build the relationships that would make up his unique musical community.

Since his first internationally distributed record, the Youssou N’Dour–produced Né La Thiass (1996), Cheikh Lô has received increasing acclaim worldwide. His last album, Lamp Fall (2005), was highly praised; on NPR’s All Things Considered, African music expert Banning Eyre said Lô “proves himself one of the most dynamic creators in today’s African music” and the Associated Press called the record “a globe-hopping aural adventure.”

For the next few years Lô withdrew from the international stage and immersed himself in the Dakar scene playing regularly with his own band and this return home is reflected in his new album, Jamm (2010).

Cheikh Lô is an artist unlike any other in music.  It's not just his unique appearance - with long dreadlocks and his colourful patchwork clothes - that sets him apart; his career is constantly evolving, incorporating influences from around the world.  Wherever his musical journey takes him you can be sure he'll remain rooted to his Baye Fall beliefs, and no matter what, will always sound like Cheikh Lô.


Montréal: April 21, 2012 (video by Jacqueline Mallette, ServicesMontreal.com)

"And though his music feels global in scope and influence, Lô’s heart beats close to home."
{ more from this in-depth interview at eMusic Q&A }

{ more about Cheikh Lô }

{ more about Jamm }

"In order to make this album reach far beyond his home in Senegal, the singer, drummer and guitarist construes beautiful pieces of music from rhythms of all corners of Africa and the Americas." { more from this Afropop Worldwide review }


trailer for 'Jamm', featuring Cheikh on location & live onstage in Dakar.


Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council
with the promotional assistance of Small World Music.

cheikh-poster

 

 
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Thursday, JUNE 6, 2013
entry 8 PM, show 9 PM
 Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St W, Toronto
reserve for dinner to guarantee seating
Ticket (online & door): $20
Save $4 more with the discount combo: $35 for advance tickets to both shows
Okavango African Orchestra on June 6 and African Guitar Summit on June 27

Batuki Music Society presents

the return of
OKAVANGO AFRICAN ORCHESTRA
12 instruments, 10 languages, 7 countries…

one debut album preview concert

Over the autumn and winter of 2012, the reassembled Okavango African Orchestra revisited the site of its triumphant debut, the Canadian Broadcasting Centre where it conquered a full-house at Glenn Gould Studio in February 2011. Its members, returning and new, hunkered down in Studio 211 for the recording of the group's debut album, due for release in late 2013.

Two years now since its last appearance, Batuki Music Society brings the Okavango African Orchestra to Lula Lounge for an exciting look ahead on its continuing journey to an "Africa without borders... before the borders were created".


OKAVANGO AFRICAN ORCHESTRA
The orchestra takes its name from the Okavango Delta, a basin in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, where many different animal species come together to feed and find water. Predators and prey are forced to coexist and share the meager resources because of the harsh environment around them.

Similarly, Okavango African Orchestra brings together the traditional music and instruments of several major African cultures that historically have had little or no interaction. The musicians of Okavango have created a common meeting place for these disparate cultures, and a new musical language that harmonizes their different tuning systems, rhythms, and timbres. The multicultural spirit of modern-day Canada bridges ancient African solitudes.

the journey continues...

JUNE 6, 2013 - LULA LOUNGE Toronto


photo: Lungile Ncube (click on image to enlarge)

Karibuni radio program, CIUT 89.5FM Toronto - June 2, 2013:
host Nadine McNulty talks about the Okavango African Orchestra with a new member, guest Tich Maredza.



Here and Now: CBC Radio One 99.1 FM Toronto - June 3, 2013:
Song of the Week: Okavango African Orchestra, "Na"
guest Nadine McNulty introduces the song and the ensemble.




where it all began: Glenn Gould Studio, February 2011





rack card

want to read more? please click on the above links (in orange & underlined).

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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When: February 25, 2011 at 8pm.
Where: Glenn Gould - (CBC) at 250 Front St. West, Toronto.
Admission: $25 tickets on sale at Glenn Gould Studio or 416-872-4255.

The idea is to harmonize several musical instruments that many African artists use to create music.  The instruments are used in a variety of musical genres from North Africa, East, Central, South and West Africa.

This concert has never been attempted before; the idea came into fruition based on the concept of the Okavango Delta, a basin in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana where animals come to graze and drink water.   Animals of prey as well as predators are forced to coexist and share the meager resources because of the harsh environment around them.  Similarly, musicians in West Africa who usually play the kora, balafon or drums would not use an instrument from East Africa such as the krar to create music or vice versa.  A Malian kora for instance would sound alien to a farmer in the Ethiopian highlands who is used to the one string fiddle, ‘masenko’.   Hence, the theme ‘Okavango’ represents a meeting place of these various African instruments to create a sound that accommodate the different nuances, tones and rhythms of these instruments in an orchestra setting. We believe this is the introduction of a new voice into African music.

Okavango African Orchestra will feature some of the local African musicians performing for the first time in an orchestra setting with traditional and contemporary instruments.  The Orchestra will compose of; Daniel Nebiat (Eritrea krar), Pasipamire Gunguwo (Zimbabwe marimba and mbira), Donne Roberts (Madagascar guitar), Nuudi Kooshin (Somali kaban), Sadio Sissoko (Senegal kora), Waleed Abdulhamid (Sudan bass and guembri) and Walter Maclean (Ghana percussion).

Batuki Music Society would like to curate Okavango to help foster the development of local African artists and to explore new artistic work.

When: February 25, 2011 at 8pm.
Where: Glenn Gould - (CBC) at 250 Front St. West, Toronto.
Admission: $25 tickets on sale at Glenn Gould Studio or 416-872-4255.

 

 
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ethio

the rich musical traditions of “Abyssinia” or present day Ethiopia...

appearing at Luminato 2012
Ethiopiques: The Horn of Africa Afternoon Concert
with Debo Band at 2 PM
hosted by Nil Köksal of CBC News Toronto

Sunday, June 10 at 3 PM
Festival Stage, David Pecaut Square
55 John Street, Toronto
FREE!

Abyssinian Roots

Assembled by the Batuki Music Society, this unique ensemble, featuring some of the hottest expatriates coming out of Addis Ababa’s nightclub and culture scene, paints a vibrant portrait of Ethiopian musical forms: the monochord music of the ‘Azmaris;’ the pentatonic and varied regional sounds; and the hybrid Ethio-jazz.

Abyssinian Roots

The ensemble at the 'Ethiopia: A Musical Perspective' concert: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto on February 11, 2012
(front: L to R) Fantahun Shewankochew: krar, vocals; Abebe Fikade: masenko, vocals; Eyerusalem Dubale: vocals; Martha Ashagari: vocals; Saba Alemayehu: dance
(back: L to R) Dawit Tesfamariam: keyboards; John MacLean: tenor saxophone; Girma Woldemichael: tenor saxophone; Bereket Gebremedn: keyboards; Henok Abebe: vocals; Daniel Barnes: drums; Yared Zeleke: bass
not pictured - Andargachew Abebe: guitar ('Andy' in Ethiopia at time of this concert, now replaces Bereket, who had ably substituted as second keyboardist.)


Ethiopia has the enviable position in the African continent of being the only country that was never colonized by European powers. It also had the longest continuous monarchy until the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in the ‘70s by the military.  Ethiopia has a glorious past with a great civilization, one of a few countries with a written language (the Ge’ez script) and a developed system of governance.  The resilience and bravery of the Ethiopian people in resisting Italian campaigns to colonize it are often seen by many Africans as a catalyst that sowed the seeds of independence for their countries.  The idea of a United Africa started in Ethiopia; hence, Africa’s first parliament was established in Addis Ababa, the capital city.



Toronto has one of the largest Ethiopian populations in Canada;  there is already a large pool of talent within this community.Having interacted on many occasions with its leaders and artists. Batuki Music Society’s Artistic Director proposed the idea to put together a musical collective to showcase the various traditions and cultures of Ethiopia.

There will be an array of traditional and modern instruments displaying on a single stage the wealth of talent and energy from “the Horn of Plenty”.. Batuki Music Society is offering fresh eyes at defining what Ethiopian music is.


Gashe Wolalom: Fantahun Shewankochew


listen to songs and an interview with series curator Francis Falceto | NPR 2006:

Jazz from the Horn of Africa: 'Ethiopiques'



Debo Band: 2010 at Joe's Pub, NYC - Lantchi Biye

Batuki Music Society is an incorporated non-profit community-based organization that promotes African music and art through performances at music venues throughout the year. The organization actively seeks out local artists and works with them by helping find performance venues, advice on career development, music recording, touring and management.

 
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Thursday, JUNE 27, 2013
entry 7:30 PM | show 9 PM

ADV $20 | door $25
 Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St W, Toronto
reserve for dinner to guarantee seating

Batuki Music Society presents

an AfriCanada Day Special
AFRICAN GUITAR SUMMIT

only in Canada, eh?

"Born in Africa, united in Canada..."
Almost ten years ago, when the members of African Guitar Summit were recruited by CBC Radio for first a concert at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio, and subsequently a recording, the idea of musicians from different backgrounds playing together was less prevalent. Not so today.

Then as now, the ensemble represented a uniquely Canadian cultural identity: "a diverse group... who have all brought... gifts of their own to this country." That reflection was substantiated both by the 2005 Juno Award won by that debut album, and by the group's appearance a few months later at the Live 8 concert in Barrie, which showcased the best of Canadian talent to an international audience. Since that breakthrough, followed by a second CD and countless kilometres of touring, African Guitar Summit remains "a miracle of compromise and teamwork: each guitarist is a lead voice in their own right, and they work with disparate styles that might otherwise seem irreconcilable"...  worthy 'musical ambassadors' for an early start to Canada Day celebrations.



AFRICAN GUITAR SUMMIT

Indulge in the sounds of the finest Canadian guitarists of African origin! This star-studded collective unites the talents of 9 musicians, each an expert in their individual style and together creating musical magic with African Guitar Summit. Experience live this superb and unique achievement for African music; the mix of musicians who are distinct in cultural backgrounds and languages yet sharing stories and singing each other’s praises, the inspiration of these skilled hands and voices joined in common to reach the summit… a truly incredible experience!

The 'Toronto-combo' of African Guitar Summit for this '(Afri)Canada Day Special' features:
from Ghana, the elder master of the guitar, Pa Joe, with 'golden voice' Theo Boakye, also a percussionist, the solid basslines of Ebenezer Agyekum, and the heartbeat of drummer Kofi Ackah; from Kenya, the Fiesta guitar of Professor Adam Solomon; and from Madagascar, the quicksilver guitars and harmonies of Donne Roberts, and multiple Juno Award winner Madagascar Slim.

ags-poster
click on image to enlarge

The African Guitar…
The history of the guitar in Africa is perhaps one of the best examples of the cross-fertilization of music within that continent, and of the ongoing “feedback loop” of musical influences back and forth between Africa and the Western hemisphere. This complimentary flow of music and musicians continues to this day.

Todd Fraracci
producer of both Vol. I & II CDs

The Guitar In Africa
It is the guitar, of all the western instruments, that has been most thoroughly indigenised in Africa. Some have suggested the instrument was first introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century – but there is no evidence of this. The popularity of the guitar in Africa probably corresponded with the widespread 19th century adoption of this originally Spanish instrument in Europe and America, and was subsequently introduced to Africa during the late 19th century in a variety of possible ways.
... click to continue article

Dr. John Collins
the Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation (BAPMAF)

The Six String Nation Guitar
Made from 64 pieces of Canadian history, 'Voyageur', the Six String Nation guitar is a symbol uniting this vast and diverse land.  

photo credit: Doug Nicholson
courtesy of Jowi Taylor, Six String Nation

 


want to read more? please click on the above links (in orange & underlined).


Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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Friday March 25, 2011 • The Music Gallery presents

ETHIO T.O.
Featuring Girma Woldemichael’s Ethio Fidel + Canaille with Isla Craig
Part of the New World Series

Toronto shows its love for the exotic, pentatonic jazz-funk of Ethiopia and Eritrea
Co-presented with Batuki Music Society

Doors: 7pm, concert 8pm
Tickets: $15 regular, $10 member, senior + student
Or $12 advance at Rotate This, Soundscapes & Ticketweb.ca
Location: The Music Gallery, 197 John St.
Info: 416-204-1080 • www.musicgallery.org

Over the past decade, “The Golden Age” of Ethiopian sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s has been brought closer to the mainstream by high-profile fans as diverse as Jim Jarmusch, Budos Band and Kanye West, all enchanted by its exotic combination of funky rhythms and eerie pentatonic modes.  Artists of that era, most notably Mulatu Astatke, have benefitted from this international attention.

Toronto contains the second largest Ethiopian population in North America, and the sounds of Ethiopia and Eritrea hold a special place in the city’s musical landscape. Moreover, the community has a very visible downtown presence in Bloorcourt Village. This is likely a contributing factor in its rich musical traditions resonating with the high concentration of musicians of all stripes living in the neighbourhood.  If you’ve experienced a night out in one of Bloor and Ossington’s clubs, chances are you’ve seen bands featuring Girma Wolde Michael.

Girma Woldemichael’s Ethio Fidel

A saxophonist who studied with Mulatu Astatke and Getachew Mekuria (who performed in Toronto with The Ex in 2009), Wolde Michael is one of many musicians from the Golden Age residing in the GTA. Girma is the first-call bandleader for visiting stars such as Mahmoud Ahmed, and also leads the Ethio Stars band. He will be drawing from the repertoire of the Golden Age with his Ethio Fidel band for this Music Gallery presentation.

Canaille with Isla Craig

Canaille is a sympathetic opening act. Jeremy Strachan and his jazz quintet’s debut album Potential Things (Standard Form, 2010) is strongly influenced by Ethiopian horn arrangements and melodies. Now incorporating keyboards which underline its “Eastern” sound, Canaille has finished recording its second disc to be released soon. Joining the band for this show is versatile, globally proficient vocalist Isla Craig.

 

   

 
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Friday, APRIL 6, 2012 | show 8-11 PM
$10 @ door | sorry, not available in advance:
 NOW Lounge 189 Church St (at Shuter)
please arrive early for dinner seating, open at 7 PM
AFRICA UP CLOSE:
every FIRST FRIDAY
a MONTHLY Series in an intimate setting...
DJ APOLLO spinning...

The ‘Djeli’ ("blood" in Mandé) or ‘Griot’ (more common French equivalent) belongs to a centuries-old caste revered as oral historians of the great Manding Empire. Sountougoumba 'Tapa' Diarra, who descends from a long line of griots, was born in Kayes, Mali. A young artist of exceptional pedigree, Tapa (her childhood nickname) inherited the powerful voice of her famous mother, Kandia Kouyaté, and the Bambara dance talents of her father, Bouya Diarra. Based in Montréal, Tapa has performed throughout the province of Quebec, and has made several appearances here in Ontario.  She will be accompanied by kora player Diely Mori Tounkara and keyboardist David Mobio.

 

"The Griots": a workshop with Tapa Diarra and Diely Mori Tounkara
Festival international Nuits d'Afrique Montréal; July 2011

Diely Mori Tounkara, another griot and an excellent kora player, is the brother of guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, a member of Mali’s famous Super Rail Band, as well as of the AfroCubism super group that toured Europe and America recently.  Diely Mori Tounkara studied kora from the highly regarded kora master, Toumani Kouyaté, and has played alongside some great artists in Mali and Senegal.  He also plays guitar, drums and other percussion.  He is a founding member of ‘Kabakuwo’ in Montréal, Quebec.

David Mobio, born in the Ivory Coast, is a talented keyboardist and arranger with several recordings to his credit. In Canada since the early 1990's and now based in Quebec, he lends his talents to local artists such as Jean Leloup, Melanie Renaud, and Senaya, and also international artists such as Guyana’s Chris Combete, Guinea’s Sekouba Bambino, Congo’s Annie Ebene, Togo’s King Mensah, and South African Lorraine Klassen.

Tapa Diarra (dancing!) with Diely Mori Tounkara, David Mobio and others
Université du Québec en Outaouais; September 2011

Tapa Diarra’s performance recreates the communal setting of a village in Mali; the NOW Lounge will be as warm and welcoming as a Malian homestead. Savour and enjoy the experience... up close.

AFRICA UP CLOSE is a series of concerts exclusively taking place at the NOW Lounge, a cozy room that holds a maximum of eighty people. This is an opportunity for the audience to experience music in an intimate setting, as well as interact with the artists. Enjoy healthy, organic, and locally sourced fare from the NOW Lounge’s kitchen, along with the music and ambiance. Resident DJ Apollo entertains between sets.

tapa46

 

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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lulaworld

Friday, MAY 10, 2013
entry 7 PM, show 8-9:30 PM
$15 @ door
$49 dinner package available.
 Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St W, Toronto
reserve for dinner to guarantee seating.
Ticket holders are welcome to stay and enjoy Lula's regular salsa Friday after the concert.

Opening Night of the Lulaworld 2013 Festival.
The Jay Danley EthioJazz Project & Fantahun Shewankochew
presented by Lula Music and Arts Centre in association with Batuki Music Society.


The concert will feature compositions by both Danley and Shewankochew as well as a few surprises.

The Jay Danley EthioJazz Project
Jay Danley’s compositions combine Ethiojazz (Ethiopian scales with jazz) with influences from Latin, modern jazz, ambient and progressive music. The project is inspired by Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke of the legendary Éthiopiques recordings. Danley creatively explores the deep beauty of Ethiopian music.

Fantahun Shewankochew
A master in the unique tunings of Ethiopian music, Fantahun Shewankochew is an acoustic krar player, multi instrumentalist, composer, arranger and vocalist who has performed throughout the world. His extensive discography includes an album of Ethiopian love songs (1997), featuring the popular singer Gigi.

This collaboration has an interesting back story...

In February 2012, Batuki Music Society presented a concert called Ethiopia: A Musical Perspective at Glenn Gould Studio, featuring an all-star collective which included Shewankochew. Danley was in the audience that night and was absolutely amazed.

A year later, Danley’s group played a gig at Lula Lounge which Shewankochew attended, and meeting Danley afterwards, agreed to work together. Lulaworld was approached and decided that this collaboration would be a great way to open the 2013 festival.
The Jay Danley EthioJazz Project:

Jay Danley - guitar
Chris Gale and Elena Kapeleris - saxes
Sam Petite - bass
Jeff Halischuck - drums
Richard Whiteman - keyboards

Special guest - vocals and krar:
Fantahun Shewankochew
danley

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

LULAWORLD is made possible by the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council as well as our sponsors Toronto Hispano, Telelatino, Mill Street Brewery, Brazil Travel, Cubaintoronto.com.

 
Written by Simba   
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Thursday, APRIL 25, 2013 - entry 8 PM, show 9 PM
$15 @ door
 Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St W, Toronto
reserve for dinner to guarantee seating

Karibuni's wrap-party for the CIUT 89.5FM Spring Membership Drive:
FREE with any pledge during the fundraising show, 6 to 8 PM on Sunday, April 21.

Afrafranto ('Butterfly' in the Akan language of Ghana, West Africa) performs authentic acoustic palm wine and highlife music. The only group outside Ghana preserving and promoting this unique genre, Afrafranto has grown into a dynamic group that has entertained audiences over the past few years with their dance-driven music and electric performances.

Afrafranto features four members of the JUNO award winning African Guitar Summit group - Theo Yaw Boakye on lead vocals and shakers, Pa Joe on guitar and vocals, Kofi Ackah on percussion and vocals, and Ebenezer Agyekum on bass guitar - along with Sam Donkor on balafon, and Marshall Nketiah on congas.


click here for more info on palm wine and highlife music, at Afrafranto's artist profile.

The Karibuni radio program on Sundays, 6 to 8 PM: a celebration of the cultures and music from the African continent, hosted by Nadine McNulty and Michael Stohr.
CIUT 89.5FM, Toronto’s preeminent, listener-supported, presenter of leading-edge music and spoken-word programming since 1966: firmly rooted in the University of Toronto community, and broadcasting 24/7 from Barrie to Buffalo, and Kitchener to Cobourg.


Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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Batuki Music Society presents Okavango: An African Orchestra
April 15, 2011 at the Gladstone Hotel.

Fresh off their triumphant debut, Okavango: An African Orchestra returns for an encore performance!

Okavango: An African Orchestra is an ambitious new musical project that could happen only in a great multicultural city like Toronto. Batuki Music Society Artistic Director Nadine McNulty has assembled a cast of seven accomplished African-born musicians who now live in Toronto and Montreal: Daniel Nebiat (Eritrean Krar), Pasipamire Gunguwo (Zimbabwean marimba/mbira), Donne Roberts (Malagasy guitarist), Nuudi Kooshin (Somali kaban), Waleed Abdulhamid (Sudanese bass/guembri), Sadio Sissokho (Senegalese kora/percussion) and Walter Maclean (Ghanaian percussion). The musical friendships formed with hard work over months of rehearsals, culminated into a cohesive ensemble which was enthusiastically received by the sold-out audience at the Glenn Gould Studio on February 25.

That triumphant debut can relived online, streaming from CBC Radio 2 Concerts On Demand. It will be aired nationwide twice on Canada Live, which co-presented the concert, on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:00 pm on CBC Radio 2 (94.1 FM in Toronto), and on Friday, April 22 at 2:00 pm on CBC Radio One (Toronto: 99.1 FM).

The orchestra takes its name from the Okavango Delta, a basin in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, where many different animal species come together to feed and find water. Predators and prey are forced to coexist and share the meager resources because of the harsh environment around them. Similarly, Okavango: An African Orchestra brings together the traditional music and instruments of several major African cultures that historically have had little or no interaction. The musicians of Okavango have created a common meeting place for these disparate cultures, and a new musical language that harmonizes their different tuning systems, rhythms, and timbres. The multicultural spirit of modern-day Canada bridges ancient African solitudes.

Okavango: An African Orchestra will be joined onstage for its encore performance at the Gladstone Hotel by a special guest: Saba of Jaivah (Nouvel Exposé) Dance Troupe, a Toronto dance company specializing in traditional and contemporary dance from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo, Southern Africa and Egypt. Ethiopian-born Saba is a versatile and innovative dancer, choreographer and instructor known for her uniqueness in many traditional and fusion dance styles.

Okavango: An African Orchestra - 13 instruments, 10 languages, 7 countries... one special concert!

Where: Gladstone Hotel, the Ballroom at 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto.
Date: April 15, 2011
Time: show 9 PM | doors 8 PM
Admission: $20 at the door | $15 in advance

Tickets on sale now at these locations:

African Drums & Art Crafts, 618 Dundas St. West
New Bilan Restaurant, 183 Dundas St. East
Play De Record, 357 Yonge St.
Rotate This, 801 Queen St. West
Soundscapes, 572 College St.

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council,
and our community partners, CIUT 89.5FM and African Drums & Art Crafts.

 
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madslim

Malagasy guitar Maestro & Multiple Juno award winner...

Friday, MARCH 2, 2012 | show 8-10 PM
NOW Lounge 189 Church St (at Shuter)

launching...
AFRICA UP CLOSE:
a Monthly Series
in an intimate setting...
every FIRST FRIDAY
DJ APOLLO spinning...


madslim46


 
Written by Simba   
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CANCELLED: we regret to inform you that due to visa complications, the band was unable to enter Canada for this show, and apologize for any inconvenience. If you've bought tickets, refunds will be forthcoming.

bombinoheader

one of the great guitar players emerging on the World Music scene today... a cult-like figure on the global stage.

Agadez: one of NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2011... for all music...!
between Beyoncé & Bon Iver in the list: "his riffs are sublime & miles ahead." 

Thursday, April 12, 2012 | show 8:30 PM

Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St. West

$20 at the door.... buy in advance to save 20%

eventbrite

presented in association with Small World Music


see blog of July 2011  background on Bombino - the film “Agadez, the Music and the Rebellion” & the CD “Agadez”  

watch video  Bombino at New York's (Le) Poisson Rouge, November 29, 2011 | Live in Concert, NPR music

Bombino - Agadez trailer, 2011

 

Bombino: Toronto premiere, July 2011... with Nadine.

bombino-lula


Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council

 
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achilla

Batuki Music Society presents

a Tribute to the King of Lokembe
Achilla Orru Apaa-Idomo

Sunday, April 7, 2013

entry 7 PM | show 8 PM

Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St. W, Toronto

By donation: $20 suggested minimum

All proceeds benefit The Achilla Orru Memorial Fund.

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Toronto artists and musicians join together to pay tribute to Achilla Orru Apaa-Idomo.

This extraordinary gathering of so many talented artists at the Lula is a fitting homage to Achilla who touched the lives of many with his music in Toronto, Canada and around the world.

The line up of performers includes:

Baana Afrique (Achilla’s band)
African Guitar Summit
Njacko Backo & Ann Lederman
Nhapitapi Mbira
Lizzy Mahashe/Kobena Aquaa-Harrison
Ruth Mathiang
Sani Abu of Ijovudu Dance
Kwame Stephens
Katenen ‘Cheka’ Dioubate
Subway Friends.

Born in Uganda, and blind at childhood, Achilla was the finest musician that ever played the simple lukeme, a hand-held wooden box instrument with keys made from flattened bicycle spokes (also known as likembe, mbira, kalimba, sanza or simply thumb piano).

Achilla passed away on February 4, 2013 in Toronto.

< in 2008 with his grandfather's thumb piano.


Ongoing donations can also be made at any branch of Bank of Montreal, account number: 00022-3941-436


The Karibuni radio program on CIUT 89.5FM Toronto, with host Nadine McNulty, special co-host Opiyo Oloya & invited guests - Godfrey Sekijoba, Doriann Forrester, Lina Allemano, Shelly Coopersmith, & Njacko Backo, honour Achilla in a broadcast on February 10, 2013.

In 2009, Achilla received the Pioneers for Change Arts Award from Skills for Change, an organisation championing the accomplishments of new Canadians for over 20 years - here is his video profile.

 
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wazimbo

the Golden Voice of Mozambique, the magical Marrabenta style...

direct from Maputo... first tour in Canada!

Thursday, March 8, 2012 | show 9:00 PM
Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St. West


wazimbo46


 
Written by Simba   
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Batuki Music Society presents


LORRAINE KLAASEN
A Tribute To Miriam Makeba

Lorraine Klaasen is one of the few South African artists who have preserved the classic sound of 'Township music', which continues to be the most distinctive sound to come out of South Africa. Born and raised in Soweto, South Africa, Lorraine has electrified audiences worldwide with her dynamic stage presence and showmanship.  Her latest show and accompanying CD are a tribute to the legendary songstress Miriam Makeba, a close friend of Klaasen's and her mother - the incomparable Thandi Klaasen.

In a fitting homage, Lorraine and her band do 'Auntie Miriam' justice with energetic and heartfelt renditions of South African classic and traditional folk songs, including those that Miriam Makeba brought to the masses like Pata Pata, The Click Song and Jolinkomo, as well as Lorraine's own compositions inspired by the lady herself.

featuring Assane Seck (guitar), Sebastian Andre Whiteman (bass), & Moïse Yawo Matey (percussion)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Daniels Spectrum
Ada Slaight Hall
585 Dundas St. East, Toronto

entry 8:00 PM | show 9:00 PM

Tickets NOW available at these locations:
African Drums & Art Crafts 618 Dundas St. W
Nharo! 543 Danforth Ave.
Soundscapes 572 College St.

$20 advance | $25 at the door

In celebration of Black History Month!

click to select and play video

bonus video: Lorraine as tour guide for South Africa CBC-TV DOC ZONE: Africa On The Move; May 2010 (World Cup)

click to select image (right-click to enlarge)





Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage

 
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Batuki Music Society presents

KAE SUN

launching live: Ship and The Globe, the first single off his upcoming album AFRIYIE

opening: Ayo Leilani and Jamilah (Pan Fried Afrika)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

entry 9 PM | show 10 PM

the Rivoli - 334 Queen St. West, Toronto

$15 at the door

Ghana-born, Toronto-based musician-songwriter Kae Sun launches live in concert the first single "Ship and The Globe" from his next full-length album AFRIYIE, produced by Kae Sun and Science!, and set for release mid-year.

Kae’s latest work explores themes of spiritual growth, fearless exploration, and vulnerability. As the artist explains, "the way I came to music was part of a bigger search. Exploration and fearless expression was a part of a spiritual journey for me and continues to be. It was never initially about a career or a certain style or anything like that. It was about easing anxiety and being closer to God. In that sense I'm always creating to satisfy that part of me. The songs on this record are deeply personal for that very reason."

This new effort by the singer-songwriter builds on the success of his previous releases. For his 2011 EP Outside the Barcode, Kae Sun was inspired by the return to his native homeland Ghana. After nine years of living in Canada, he found a renewed drive for creating the raw and non-commoditized artistic experiences that shaped his passion for music.

2009’s Lion on a Leash, the well-received LP that landed on the iTunes 2009 Rewind List and earned esteemed reviews from Exclaim, The Montreal Gazette, Okayafrica, as well as gaining recognition on many critics' lists for top indie release of the year.

The success of Kae’s work has led him to play venues and festivals across Canada, UK, Dubai and Ghana.


AYO LEILANI is a local singer/songwriter and producer. Leilani has successfully carved out a niche in the city’s indie scene. Her musical style ranges from hip hop to soulful house and offers her listeners sweet sounds without all the added preservatives. Leilani speaks to the complexities of life with songs about social justice, power, love and relationships.

 

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council.

 
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ethio

To celebrate Black History Month,
the rich musical traditions of “Abyssinia” or present day Ethiopia...

 a comprehensive look at the country’s musical forms:the monochord music of the ‘Azmaris’ (story-telling and social commentary through song); the pentatonic and varied regional sounds; and the hybrid modern stylings of ethio-jazz.

Saturday, February 11, 2012  |  8:00 PM
Glenn Gould Studio 250 Front St W

$25 at the door....
buy in advance to save 20%

Register for Ethiopia: A Musical Perspective in Toronto, ON  on Eventbrite

tickets on sale at these locations:

Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant 869 Bloor St W
African Drums & Art Crafts 618 Dundas St W
New Bilan Restaurant 183 Dundas St. E
Nharo! Direct Trade 543 Danforth Ave.
Soundscapes 572 College St.

(online sale ends at 1 PM Saturday)


Ethiopia has the enviable position in the African continent of being the only country that was never colonized by European powers. It also had the longest continuous monarchy until the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in the ‘70s by the military.  Ethiopia has a glorious past with a great civilization, one of a few countries with a written language (the Ge’ez script) and a developed system of governance.  The resilience and bravery of the Ethiopian people in resisting Italian campaigns to colonize it are often seen by many Africans as a catalyst that sowed the seeds of independence for their countries.  The idea of a United Africa started in Ethiopia; hence, Africa’s first parliament was established in Addis Ababa, the capital city.


        


listen to songs and an interview with series curator Francis Falceto | NPR 2006:

Jazz from the Horn of Africa: 'Ethiopiques'


Toronto has one of the largest Ethiopian populations in Canada;  there is already a large pool of talent within this community.Having interacted on many occasions with its leaders and artists. Batuki Music Society’s Artistic Director proposed the idea to put together a musical collective to showcase the various traditions and cultures of Ethiopia.

There will be an array of traditional and modern instruments displaying on a single stage for the first time in Canada the wealth of talent and energy from “the Horn of Plenty”.. Batuki Music Society is offering fresh eyes at defining what Ethiopian music is.


       

 

 Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of
Toronto Arts Council, Canadian Heritage and Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant

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Batuki Music Society is an incorporated non-profit community-based organization that promotes African music and art through performances at music venues throughout the year and culminating into a weekend festival at the end of the programming season. The organization actively seeks out local artists and works with them by helping find performance venues, advice on career development, music recording, touring and management.

 
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kinobe

Steeped in the music of his homeland, with ears and heart open to the pulse of the world, Kinobe and The African Sensation share the traditional sounds of Uganda and the African continent, performing on a wide variety of traditional acoustic instruments.

Sunday, January 29, 2012 | show 8:30 PM

Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St. W,

$20 at the door.... buy in advance to save $5.00!

eventbrite

 

 a Batuki Music Society & Small World Music co-presentation

with promotional support from CIUT 89.5FM