Rather than the usual week of live shows in the middle of summer, Montreal’s fabulous Festival International Nuits d’Afrique will be streaming via their Facebook page every Thursday in October. The first concert starts at 8 p.m. EST, Oct. 8 and features the Colombian-Canadian artist Mateo and perennial Afropop favorite, Montreal-based Haitian guitarist/singer-songwriter Wesli.
“We are doing everything we can to take you on this journey—free of passports and visas—just for the pure pleasure of it," Myriam Fehmiu, spokesperson for Nuits d’Afrique, said in a press release. “It’s time to discover a whole new universe!”
Both of Thursday’s concerts were recorded in the festival’s first home, Club Balattou where, for a while, the festival considered hosting concerts for live audiences, albeit at lowered capacity but public health concerns prevailed. Of course, those of us south-of-the-closed-border would be watching remotely anyway, but in other cities a closed border could've made an African/African-diasporic festival difficult, but happily Montreal is just about as international as cities get in North America.
In the weeks ahead we have all this to look forward to:
10/15: Kenzow (Burkina Faso/Quebec), West African afropop; Ilam (Senegal/Quebec), Afro blues, reggae and soul; Naxx Bitota (Congo/Quebec) modern soukous.
10/22: Ayrad (Morocco/Quebec), multigenre group that spans rock to rai to bhangra to assouf and even Celtic vibes; Bantü Salsa, whose members, from Africa to Latin America deliver African salsa.
10/29: Dakka Dembélé (Ivory Coast/Quebec), African reggae; Cumbia Gypsy Orchestra (Colombia/the Balkans/Quebec). See what happens when Balkans and Colombians get together to play!
More details about the festival are available on its site.