The 2022 Afro-Roots Fest in Miami went down in an expanded format April 22-25, including a unique concluding concert in the Florida everglades. Friday night opened with a triple threat: Jude Papoloko from Haiti; Panafrik, a Gainsville-based trio featuring two artists from Guinea exploring a variety of West African rhythms; and Miami's own Cortadito, who expanded their classic Cuban repertoire to include members of the other two groups in a rousing finale.
The main event took place at the North Miami Beach Bandshell, beginning with a percussion, vocal and dance set from Son Mandinga--red-hot rhythms from the Caribbean and Venezuela. Then Cuban jazz diva Daymé Arocena delivered a scorching set--probably the highlight of the weekend--backed by three musicians from Miami. Ending his pandemic hiatus, Brooklyn-based Sinkane debuted a new band lineup, sampling the band's tried and true Sudan-infused rock and unveiling a couple of new songs.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, beside a lake in the everglades, Cortadito co-founder Jose Elias assembled a remarkable set of musicians from all sorts of places, including a local Seminole musician and story-teller to perform The Everglades Song Suite. Sweet multi-ethnic grooves on a sunny afternoon with alligators lurking in the water nearby proved an excellent conclusion to a spectacular three days of music.
It was all recorded, and Afropop interviewed the key artists, all to be part of an upcoming edition of Afropop Worldwide. Meanwhile, here are a few images from this one-of-a-kind festival.