“I’m heading for the future with African heritage,” says Canadian Malian artist Djely Tapa (Sountougoumba Diarra). The singer, who hails from the Kayes region in western Mali and now resides in Montreal, brings to TD Sunfest ‘22 the wise words and vocal art of the griots, emblematic figures of ancient and contemporary Malian society.
As a worthy heir to the great Gania dynasty, which has been so influential in Moroccan culture, Maâlem (the title of Master Musician) Moktar Gania from Essaouira (western Morocco) has established himself as an essential artist in today’s Gnawa music scene. Moktar plays the Gnawa bass lute (known as the guembri and sintir), generating trance-like grooves.
Vildá is a Finnish duo that features traditional joik singing and accordion, and is the creation of “Arctic fells, frosty winds, wide waters and deep forests.” Acclaimed Sámi musician Hildá Länsman is from Utsjoke in the northern region of Finland. Viivi Maria Saarenkylä is an award-winning accordionist who also hails from northern Finland. After meeting in a global music class, they decided to combine their world-class singing and musicianship.
Think Canary Islands (an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest African mainland). Think timple (a traditional five-string plucked string instrument native to the Canaries). And think Yone Rodríguez, a new generation Gran Canaria timplista, whose training (mentored by the late great José Antonio Ramos and many others), talent (since age 7) and mastery have made him one of today's foremost exponents of his instrument.
While Laila continues to earn high honours in the jazz world, her signature sound transcends genre as she “masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy” (The Washington Post). In all these projects, “Biali provides the positive, come-together messaging that we need in these challenging times” (Parade Magazine).
Ghetto Kumbé´s concept is as powerful as it is simple: a journey to the rhythmic Afro-Caribbean roots of Colombia fuelled by the hypnotic power of contemporary Afrohouse beats. GK’s co-producer, The Busy Twist, adds all the legacy of UK’s bass scene to the Afrofuturistic sounds of the group. One minute you're on a Colombian dance floor, and the next you're singing along with the tribes of West Africa.
Lazo (full name Lazarus John Finn) was born on the beautiful island of Dominica in the Caribbean. ‘Mr. Sunfest’, as he is affectionately known, is a crowd favourite who continues to exude a ‘feel good’ vibe through his unique combination of roots reggae ‘riddims’, conscious lyrics and an uncanny ability to connect with audiences.
In March 2020, Donald conceived the musical project Coubli, whose name means “adventurer” in his native language Bété. Through this project, he strives to further the marriage between jazz and the traditional rhythms of Central and West Africa, such as the akpongbô and the gbégbé (Ivory Coast), the bikutsi (Cameroon), and the mbalax (Senegal).
In the early '90s, the nomadic Tuareg people of Niger and Mali (West Africa) rebelled. Laid low by drought and abandoned by governments, they fought to establish a Tuareg nation. That dream was never realized, but the rebellion did inspire a tradition of guitar-wielding rebel rockers with songs of suffering and nostalgia, and Niger’s Bombino (Oumara Moctar) was one of them.
Big Smoke Brass Band is a leading voice on the Canadian brass scene, born on the streets of Toronto when, in the summer of 2017, a group of friends graduated from the jazz program at the University of Toronto and decided to busk together.
Sonido Pesao is a band dedicated to original Latin urban music and founded in Montreal thanks to the union of three rappers: Rila (from Peru), Lunatico (from Guatemala) and Chele (from El Salvador). The group’s compositions energetically mix urban music, rap, cumbia and electronic elements, all supported by rhythms in tune with dynamic Latin American cultures around the globe.