History Month every Friday night throughout February with a series of free concerts featuring some of the top African artists living and working in Toronto, Canada. Music Africa is a community organization dedicated to promoting African music and culture.
The free concerts will hold at the Gladstone Melody Bar, every Friday from 9 to 11 p.m as follows:
Fojeba – February 03
Fojeba Afropop guitarist, video producer, band leader and singer-songwriter, Fojeba has been playing the guitar ever since he was 13 years old. In Cameroon, he played with the group “Orchestre du College Jeanne d’Arc” in 1981. Currently based in Toronto, Fojeba has been in the Canadian music scene for about seven years and his musical repertoire is made up of various music styles including Makossa, Zouk, Ngwa and Pop and lyrics is written in Bamileke, French, Lingala and English. Fojeba has performed for Afrofest,Toronto african dance festival, Banayafrika festival, Canada Day, and many other high profile events. He is currently promoting his latest CD “A la queue leu leu” which appeals to both Canadian and American markets.
Sonia Aimy – February 10
With a velvety voice comparable to the greats, Nigerian-born songwriter, singer and actress Sonia Aimy is the quintessential virtuoso of world music. Her CD “Mother” brilliantly evokes highlife, afrobeat, jazz and the call-and-response of African griot tradition; her style is effortlessly “afrojazz”. Fluent in English, Italian, French and several African languages, Sonia relishes Toronto’s diversity, which, already knee-deep in African music, will be much richer when she takes the stage on Canada Day! The multi- talented Aimy has also starred in several Italian films. Aimy’s work in the media includes writing, directing and presenting multicultural programmes for radio. Aimy’s music career started when she was in her teens, singing at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Benin City, Nigeria. She developed interest in folk, traditional music and storytelling. She later enrolled in the Esigie Cultural Group to pursue further education in traditional music and dance. When she came to Italy she studied jazz music and interpretation as well as theatre arts. This extra music education as well as practice through performances has allowed Aimy to craft a sound solely her own which is a beautiful amalgam of folk, afropop and jazz. Sonia Aimy will be backed by a lineup of some of Toronto’s foremost African players including guitarist Pa Joe, bassist Ebenezer Agyekum, keyboardist Suleiman Juma and Kwame on drums.
Waleed Abdulhamid is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, producer, educator, film maker and humanitarian. Since 1992, he has wowed Toronto audiences with his tremendous artistic versatility and social impact work, most recently taking home the 2011 New Pioneer Award for the Arts. A resident artist at the Young Center, Waleed also sits on several grant-reviewing juries for Canadian Art Councils, appears often in Canadian festivals and has played, toured and recorded with dozens of artists, composers and bands in the areas of reggae, hip hop, R&B & jazz. He has taught at numerous schools throughout the GTA, including the University of Toronto. He has written, composed and produced music for several TV shows. His internationally acclaimed, award-winning documentary Let’s Find Away has been used to raise funds for Doctors without Borders, the Red Cross, OXFAM, UNICEF, CIDA, & the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Waleed will be accompanied by Daniel Nebiat on February 17, 2012. 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; and features original and traditional Eritrean songs.
Young Stars Night – February 24
Yusra Khogali (Sudan) – Poet, Spoken word Artist
Run’s T (Nigeria) – Musician, Hip Life
Quabena Maphia (Ghana) – Afro Jazz
Concept Books(Toronto) – RapJae Baz (Nigeria) – Hip Life