Hugh Masekela // © Günther Klebinger
You’ve always wanted to know how to mix the classic original Cuban cocktail, “mojito”, right? No problem, as we’ve set up an extra “mojito embassy” on the premises for this very reason. The focus this year is on the Caribbean island of Cuba, which will be represented musically by six multi-faceted bands, headlined by the internationally-acclaimed Raul Paz. Cuba still has close ties to Africa today. Over 850,000 slaves were transported to Cuba in the 16th century, with the majority coming from the modernday Congo and Nigeria. They’ve left a lasting impression on the local culture. Further background information will be offered by the ARTE cinema tent, where 10 exciting fi lms will deal with the topic of Cuba. The photo exhibition “Cuba Mi Amor” is also worth a visit.
A further focus will be on South Africa. Three South African bands – the singer Lebo, the young band Hot Water and the great jazz legend Hugh Masekela – will get the festival off to a fiery start on the first day. The South African focus will be rounded off with two quite extraordinary exhibitions on Nelson Mandela. After a delicious little sip of South African red wine, you can experience even more world-famous stars in the main tent over the course of the festival days to come, with the likes of Lura, Lokua Kanza and Tiken Jah Fakoly. We’ve once again found it very important that a considerable amount of the 20 guest bands is made up of female voices and musicians. We’re also glad that many bands will be performing live for the first time in front of a German audience.
There will be other interesting changes and novelties on the festival grounds. The Senegalese fashion designer, Rama Diaw, invites you to her fashion show with her latest collections, which will take place this time right next to the Havana Club. You’ll be able to find interesting info-booths again in the new bamboo hall. The relaxation oasis is the perfect place for those who need a little break. You can chill out there under the shade of the trees or in the Moroccan royal tent with a cup of peppermint tea, or you can watch the henna artists and hair braiders at work or marvel at the joyful street parades of Adesa. All the other popular Africa Festival highlights, such as the bazaar, the Havana Club, the children’s tent and the African culinary tasting area are on the programme just like every year.
The German television broadcaster ARTE is a partner of the Africa Festival. “ARTE Concert” will be broadcasting the festival’s biggest concerts once again this year on concert.arte.tv and at the ARTE cinema tent films about Cuba will be shown.
We wish you lots of fun on your journey into the world of Africa and Cuba!
Your Afro Project Team
THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016:
HOT WATER BAND
SOUTH AFRICAN FOLK ROCK
It’s impossible to listen to Hot Water. To just listen. Because when Donovan Copley, the band’s founder, frontman, and creative heart, starts singing, playing (often his iconic African guitar), jiving and jumping around stage, backed up by a mix of stellar South African musicians as diverse as the country itself, you can’t sit still…! The music – ‘South African Folk-Rock,’ Copley calls it – layers the sounds of traditional mbaqanga, kwela and maskanda with a more contemporary folk-rock vibe and utterly danceable rhythms, woven through with Copley’s raw, sweet voice and inspiring, almost dreamlike lyrics…“Easily one of the most exciting musical projects to come out of SA“ (The Citizen)
Photo: © Hylton Boucher
The South African Music Legend
The Rolling Stone Magazin describes the man with the horn as one of the most thrilling live performers. The two times Grammy awarded artist is Africa’s most important Jazz and world musician. The artist who will celebrate his 77 th birthday, already played together with star singers such as Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone and jazz stars such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane. We are delighted to announce that Hugh Masekela will enthuse the audience of the Africa Festival for the third time. Together with his exceptional band he will perform danceable Afro beats and wonderful South African township Jazz from his new CD.
Photo: © Brett Rubin
FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016:
WESTAFRICAN GROOVES FROM THE CAPEVERDIAN ISLANDS
Lura was born in Lisbon. Her parents are from the Cape Verde Islands. Thus she inherited the blood from the African islands. When she was 17, she started her career as a singer when Juka, who was born in Sao Tomé & Principe, booked her for a duet. Many collaborations with artists like Bonga, Tito Paris, as well as the unforgettable Cesaria Evora followed. In 2005 she started her solo career with her album “Di Korpu Ku Alma” which received a number of awards. In 2007, she performed successfully at the 19th Africa Festival. While the songs of most singers from the Cape Verde Islands are more melancholic, Lura will show us with her songs, which feature Batuku and Funaná elements, that the African rhythm fire also blazes on the Cape Verde islands.
Photo: © N'Krumah Lawson Daku
Cuba Vista & Guests
TRADITIONAL SON, SALSA AND RUMBA
The excellent band with singer Mireya Coba Cantero will take the audience on a journey through Cuba‘s most beautiful musical landscapes. Energetic son, fiery salsa and moving rumba create a good mood and make you want to dance. Anyone who likes the music of “Buena Vista Social Club“ should listen to the music of Cuba Vista. Several guest musicians will join the band on stage.
SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2016:
MUSICAL POET FROM THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
The singer and guitar player Pascal Lokua Kanza was born in Democratic Republic of Congo. After his studies at the Kinshasa Music Conservatory, he relocated to Paris and studied jazz music. From 1991 he played with the Soul Makossa Band of Manu Dibango. His debut album was released in 1994 and awarded as “Best African Album“ at the African Music Awards. For the first time he enthused the audience at the Africa Festival in 1995, with his poetic and soft ballads. He is also in great demand as a producer for many African artists because of his distinct musical sense. He is one of the most popular artists of the festival. By popular request we invited him again. He will bring along his daughter Maleika who has already performed at the open stage before.
Photo: © Christophe Campana
TIKEN JAH FAKOLY
BEST AFRICAN ROOTS REGGAE FROM COTE D´IVOIRE
Doumbia Moussa Fakoly has become one of the most important voices of the African continent. With his driven lyrics he brings up the grievances of Africa and thus mobilizes young people to change something about their social and political status. Unfortunately, because of his outspokenness he had to leave his hometown Odienné in the North of the Ivory Coast in 2003 and was exiled to Mali. Now the son of a griot lives in Bamako. In his studio he recorded his last project "Racines", which is a great hommage to reggae artists like Bob Marley or Burning Spear, and brought it to places as far away as Jamaica. After his energetic performances in 2001 and 2006 he will once again enthuse the audience with his fine roots Reggae made in West Africa!
SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2016:
Cuban Beats All Stars
Hip Hop Meets Salsa and Rumba Beats
Until their break up in 2009, Orishas were worldwide mega stars and the most successful hip hop band from Cuba. Their successful performance at the 12th Africa Festival in 2000 was their first appearance in Germany. Now the majority of the original members have formed a new band. They called themselves Cuban Beats All Stars (CBAS) and also managed to get the exceptional musician, singer and composer Nelson Palacios on board who also plays various instruments. An exciting mixture of typical Cuban sounds and different instruments combined with electronic sounds, samples and fat urban beats!
Photo: © Tom Kramer
Latin Pop Star From Cuba
When the Cuban singer and composer Raul Paz performed at the Africa Festival for the first time in 2005, he was still living in France. In the meantime, he has returned to Havana, the city which is currently experiencing a great cultural and musical renewal. His style of music makes him one of the most important representatives of new Cuban music. His concerts in Cuba sell out even with little advertising. On his new CD “Ven Ven“, which he will perform at the 28th Africa Festival, Raul Paz mixes a modern Caribbean cocktail with the ingredients Latino pop, salsa, socca, reggae and rumba. His songs always feature fat horn sets and excellent percussionists. It will be a great “noche cubana“ of dancing!
Photo: © Christophe Berlet
THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016:
GUITAR VIRTUOSO FROM THE DEMOcRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Olivier is an exceptional guitar virtuoso who has already played with the greatest of the African music scene, namely Papa Wemba, Youssou N’Dour, Lokua Kanza (with whom he is actually preparing a project), Manu Dibango, Ray Lema etc. Today, as a solo performer, he creates a colourful musical show accompanied by excellent musicians, a show that reflects the quality of this talented musician striving to excellence.
SOUTH AFRICAN URBAN AFRO SOUL
The South African singer-songwriter, Lebo Masemola, was born in the small town of Marishane in the province of Limpopo. Although she was still mostly singing to her beloved cows as a little girl, she moved to Europe when she was 17. She quickly found her feet in Hamburg and broke into the local music scene there. After collaborating with Nneka, Dube, the Sisters and Adé Bantu, she’s now carrying out her own projects, and she’ll be presenting us with songs from her new album, “Sister Gwen”, to get our festival underway.
FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016:
TRADITIONAL & MODERN SOUNDS FROM GUINEA-BISSAU
Her father comes from Guinea, her mother from the Cape Verde Islands, but Karyna Silva Gomes Cerqueira was born in Guinea-Bissau. Her first musical steps in the choir of a Gospel band and her membership in Adriano Ferreira’s band Super Mama Djombo were the stepping stones to her solo career. She describes her fusion songs as “My music from Guinea-Bissau”. With her music she will present traditional as well as modern infl uences from her home. The Africa Festival will feature a group from Guinea-Bissau for the first time.
LENI STERN’S AFRICAN TRIO
GERMAN JAZZ MEETS THE MALI BLUES ROOTS
When German jazz and blues guitarist Leni Stern performed at the “Festival au Desert“ in Mali she was really smitten. There she played with Salif Keita and Baaba Maal and she was immediately mesmerized by the music, country and people. Later she was introduced to the ngoni by Bassekou Kouyate and his wife Amy Nacko. She learned how to play it and love it. Now she is cooperating with bassist Mamadou Ba and percussionist Alioune Faye and is following the West African roots in a very impressive way.
Photo: © Sandrine Lee
CAMEROON’S FINEST VOICE
Youssou N’Dour, MC Solar, Meiway, Papa Wemba, Koffi Olomidé or the great Manu Dibango - there is hardly any African artist in Paris who hasn’t worked with this excellent singer and backing vocal. It is no surprise that it is now fi nally time for this singer to go her own way. She will perform her CD “Djaale”, which is sung in Duala, with the sun of her home country Cameroon in her heart for the first time at the Africa Festival.
SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2016:
YOUNG VOICE WITH CARIBBEAN ROOTS
In 2014 she was already celebrated for her fi rst solo CD “Part of me” as newcomer of the year in the German music scene. Her father, the friendly fusion jazz & reggae musician Wally Warning from the Caribbean island Aruba, has already supported her playing the guitar and writing songs early on. Now she is 20 years old and interprets her sensitive acoustic soul and world music folk in the style of Ayo. At the Africa Festival she will perform her new CD which will be released in spring.
Photo: © Steffen Bugs
REGGAE MADE IN GERMANY WITH WORLD ROOTS
Diplomatensohn Dominik Haas, alias “Jahcoustix”, war schon in jungen Jahren durch die Tätigkeit seines Vaters als Botschafter stets mit den unterschiedlichsten Kulturen, Menschen und Strömungen in Kontakt gekommen. Ägypten, Ghana, New York, Mexiko und Liberia waren seine Lebensstationen. Mit 19, in Kenia, lernte er den Reggae kennen und lieben. Seine Kooperationen mit den Reggae Formationen Headcornerstone und Dubious Neighbourhood ebneten ihm den Weg, als Solokünstler ebenfalls erfolgreich zu sein.
HIP-HOP, DUB REGGAE & AFROBEAT SOUL FROM NIGERIA
This delicate ball of energy from Warri/Nigeria is not only a gifted song writer and singer but in the meantime she has also turned into one of the most important and infuential voices of the African continent. Whether she appears in talkshow, print media or plays at festivals, her performances are not only about music but also about a message and enlightenment. As a world traveller she lives in Paris, Hamburg or Lagos. Seven years after her first performance at Mainwiesen, the audience can again look forward to listening to this exceptional artist.
SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2016:
OSAIN DEL MONTE
MASTER OF AFROCUBAN RUMBA
Rumba is the rhythm oft he black slaves from Africa. The music was created in the black quarters of Havana and Mantanza. Rumba combines music, rhythm, songs, dance and storytelling to form one unit and social event. The music group Osain del Monte was founded in Havana in 2013. The musicians come from famous Cuban bands like “Folklorico Nacional“, “Clave y Guaguanco“ and “Yoruba Andabo“. Four percussionists, four singers and two dancers turn the performance into a powerful event!
Photo: © Christian Lieblich
LA DAME BLANCHE
RAP, REGGAE AND NU CUMBIA FROM CUBA
Yaite Ramos is the daughter of Jesus “Aguaje“ Ramos (musical director of the “Buena Vista Social Club Orchestra“). She played the flute and sang for Sergent Garcia and was the lead singer of El Hijo de la Cumbia. Her debut album “Piratas“ (2014) was produced by French beat maker and sound technician Marc Damblé (Sergent Garcia, Amadou & Mariam, Orishas). “La Dame Blanche“ presents urban music which combines rap, reggae and nu cumbia.
Photo: © Victor Delfim
HOT CUBAN SALSA AND MORE
The band ZuleMax consisting of 12 women was founded by Zulema Hechavarria Blanco who is a singer, flute player and percussionist from Santiago de Cuba. A great passion for Cuban music is what connects the women of the band. Besides Cuban salsa the professional musicians also present the musical styles cha-cha-cha, mambo and guaguanco which have enriched the salsa of today. A big set of horns, fiery percussionists, singers and dancers invite the audience to dance along and have an unforgettable party!