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Grammy nominated, Cheick Hamala Diabate joins Afrofest lineup

Master musician Cheick Hamala Diabate has been added to the lineup to perform at Afrofest 2011. The celebrated instrumentalist, whose 2007 collaboration “From Mali to America” was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Traditional World Music Album, is a virtuoso performer and a genuine ‘griot’. He sings and performs songs of history and legend in […]

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Master musician Cheick Hamala Diabate has been added to the lineup to perform at Afrofest 2011. The celebrated instrumentalist, whose 2007 collaboration “From Mali to America” was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Traditional World Music Album, is a virtuoso performer and a genuine ‘griot’. He sings and performs songs of history and legend in the 800-year-old West African tradition, and takes the stage on Saturday evening, July 9.

Diabate rounds out a packed Afrofest lineup that includes international world music superact Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, Dizu Plaatjies and Ibuyambo, JP Buse, and a wealth of top African acts currently based in Canada.

Afrofest is a free festival celebration of the richness and diversity of African culture. Featuring fabulous music, an African marketplace, food and craft vendors, artistic displays, music workshops, and organized activities for youth and children, Afrofest is THE cultural event of the summer. It takes place in Toronto on Saturday July 9th and Sunday July 10th. Discover Africa in the Heart of Toronto! Come out and enjoy Afrofest in Queen’s Park for what may be the last time. Show the city how great Afrofest is, and how much it means to you!

African music legend Thomas Mapfumo is a feature act of Afrofest 2011. “The Lion of Zimbabwe” is considered both the Bob Dylan and the Bob Marley of Southern Africa for the immense impact his songs have made on the music and culture of his homeland. Indeed, the “Chimurenga” music he created was the soundtrack of the revolution in Zimbabwe. A titan of African recording, Mapfumo, with more than 20 albums of outstanding original music to his name, has been performing his songs of love, freedom and justice for more than 40 years.

Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited will also be performing an ‘Afterfest’ concert at the Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, on Monday, July 11. Admission is $20 at the door, $15 in advance – Tickets available at Afrofest and other locations to be announced.

South Africa’s Dizu Plaatjies and Ibuyambo will make their Canadian debut performance at Afrofest 2011. Dizu led his band Amampondo in wowing the crowd at Nelson Mandela’s famous birthday concert at Wembley Stadium in 1988. They were later made official ambassadors of South African music, and their 2000 show at Afrofest stands as one of the festival’s finest ever performances. A startingly original act, not to be missed.

The Afrofest headliners will be supported by some of the top African groups based in Canada, including JP Buse (Zaire), Femi Abosede & Culture Force (Nigeria), Zekuhl (Cameroon), Ruth Mathiang and Waleed Kush (Sudan), Ijo Vudu Dance International (Nigeria), Soukous Tchatcho (Congo), the Tich Maredza Band (Zimbabwe), Anastasio & Zalang (Equatorial Guinea), Amadou Kienou (Guinea), Beyond Sound (various Africa), Justine CanAfric (Ivory Coast),  Rumba Iyambo (Cuba) and the Symphonyx Steel Orchestra (Trinidad).

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“Chairman is so quick to remove credit on a kid!”- Stonebwoy responds to Rocky Dawuni

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