The oldest and biggest African music festival in Finland, Fest Afrika, will be celebrated in Tampere for the 16th time from 3 July to 9 July. Festival gathers together international stars of African music as well as musicians of African origin who have been living Finland for an extensive periods. As Finland is celebrating its 100 years of independence, we want to show the history of African music in Finland by recognizing the local legends.
The main act of the festival is Damily from Madagascar. They play the tsapiky – a music style found in the West on the edge of the Mozambique canal. Congolese, Kenyan and Mozambican music of the 60’s and 70’s nurtured its sound and instrumentation while it also perpetuated local village musical traditions with their distinctive codes. The result is music with an essence of both the countryside and the city, of tradition and modernity.
Other great acts include Liwata’s Afro Review (CG|FI); the long awaited return of Galaxy (SN|FI) and Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble (BJ|FI|TZ). On Thursday we will witness Black Poetry Night organized in cooperation with the Fest Afrika Festival and London-based Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions, with black poets and spoken word artists Zena Edwards, Vanessa Kisuule, Solomon OB and Yomi Sode. The poetry night is hosted by Roger Robinson who also performs at Klubi the following evening (7 July).
The festival also includes children’s program, festival market and workshops and courses in music and dance. See the full program at www.festafrika.net.
In 2017 Fest Afrika has as it’s theme “Voices to be heard”, which highlights the contributions of the people of African descent to culture and the arts in Europe, especially in Finland. Festival is collaborating with Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe – sixth biennial network conference at University of Tampere.
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