The 25th edition of the Concert of Colors festival is set to take place July 12-16, 2017 in Detroit. The free five-day festival will present world music genres such as African, reggae, and Latin along with electronica, soul and jazz artists.
The acts on Wednesday, July 12 at Third Man Records include gospel act Nikki D. Brown and the Sisters of Thunder, gospel band Pure Heart Travelers and Detroit-based musician and producer Warren Defever.
The African artists scheduled to perform include Zimbabwean band Mokoomba on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16, and Ghanaian reggae star Rocky Dawuni. Mokoomba is touring North America in support of its new album, Luyando.
Latin music will be represented by East Los Angeles band Las Cafeteras, the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra and Colombian global electronica act Sidestepper. Las Cafeteras will also present a free workshop and performance at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation at 12 p.m., Friday, July 14.
The festival will also include additional free workshops, forums, film screenings and after parties. For the complete lineup and schedule go to www.concertofcolors.com.
Zimrock band Mokoomba will be touring the United States during April and May 2017. The band will present its new album, Luyando. The new recording focuses on the acoustic side of the band from Niagara Falls.
The current lineup includes Mathias Muzaza (lead vocals), Ndaba Coster Moyo (drums, backing vocals), Trustworth Samende (lead guitar, backing vocals), Donald Moyo, (keyboards, backing vocals), Miti Mugande, (percussion & backing vocals) and Abundance Mutori (bass, backing vocals).
Mokoomba 2017 Tour Dates
April 28 – New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 29-30 – Lafayette, LA: Festival Internationale de Louisiane
May 5 – Baltimore, MD: Patterson Theater
May 6 – Washington, DC: Funk Parade
May 9-14 – Black Mountain NC: The LEAF Festival & residency
May 17 – Marlboro, NY: The Falcon
May 18 – Portsmouth, NH: The Music Hall
May 19 – Boston, MA: Villa Victoria Center f/t Arts
May 21 – Joshua Tree, CA: Joshua Tree Music Festival
African music festival Africa Oyé has announced the first artists scheduled to perform this year. Headlining the anniversary concerts in June will be festival favorites Dizzy Mandjeku & Odemba OK Jazz All-Stars, Jupiter & Okwess International, and Mokoomba.
Africa Oyé will take place Saturday, June 17th and Sunday, June 18th, 2017 at Sefton Park in Liverpool (UK). Admission is free.
Along with the main stage, the Oyé Village will be providing the public a variety of global foods, workshops, dance classes, merchants and DJs and more. The festival will also provide child-friendly entertainment so festival-goers can bring the whole family.
“It’s amazing to be able to look back at the last 25 years and pick some of our favorites to return for this celebration,” says Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney. “The festival this year will be the centerpiece of a whole year of gigs and events and I couldn’t be happier with the first acts that we’ve announced.”
The festival is funded by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.
World music act Mokoomba is based in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The band’s six members, Mathias Muzaza (lead vocals), Ndaba Coster Moyo (drums, backing vocals), Trustworth Samende (lead guitar, backing vocals), Donald Moyo, (keyboards, backing vocals), Miti Mugande, (percussion & backing vocals) and Abundance Mutori (bass, backing vocals) grew up as friends in the Chinotimba township.
While the majority of Zimbabweans are part of the dominant Shona ethnic group or the large Ndebele minority, the members of Mokoomba hail from a variety of different ethnic groups represented in this border town, including the Luvale, Nyanja, and Tonga peoples; and it was the Tonga who gave mighty Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall, its original name: “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (the smoke that thunders).
Living in a border city that attracts tourists from all over the world gave Mokoomba’s music an international perspective from the beginning, incorporating everything from soukous to ska and salsa along with local musical traditions.
The members of Mokoomba started playing music as teenagers, with the help of a local bandleader, the late Alfred Mijimba, who gave the young musicians the experience they needed by hiring them to play local concerts with his band. Even though he was never an international star, Mijimba was a respected local musician, and the members of Mokoomba gained substantial experience under his direction.
The group’s members began playing together in 2001, and Mokoomba was officially formed in 2008. Their first major success came that same year, when they won the Music Crossroads Inter-Regional Festival Competition in Malawi.
In 2009 Mokoomba recorded its first album, Kweseka — Drifting Ahead, produced by Dutch DJ Gregor Salto, as part of the Stand UP anti- poverty campaign funded by AfricaUnsigned. The album generated a local hit “Messe Messe”, and the group’s first European tour. Mokoomba recorded a second EP, Umvundla, with Salto in 2011. But their big break came in 2012, when the band released Rising Tide, produced by pioneering Ivoirian bassist Manou Gallo (Zap Mama, Kiyi M’Bock) for the Belgian label ZigZag World.
The success of Rising Tide led Mokoomba to tour over 40 countries worldwide in 2012, 2013 and 2014, including performances at Denmark’s Roskilde festival, the UK’s WOMAD festival, Belgium’s Couleur Cafe´ festival, and Morocco’s Gnawa festival.
Mokoomba has become one of Zimbabwe’s most popular bands, playing with such icons as Hugh Masekela and Baba Maal at Zimbabwe’s annual Harare International Festival of the Arts.
Mokoomba was the subject of a documentary called Mokoomba: From One River Bank to Another, by Frank Dalmat and Francis Ducat. The film tells the group’s story in the context of the relationship between culture and economic development in the global south.
In 2015 Mokoomba recorded its self-produced third album Luyando, a stripped down, mostly acoustic album that balances the group’s love of pan-African and international sounds with the local and traditional sounds they also grew up listening to.
Luyando translates as “Mother’s Love” and takes its inspiration from the Makishi masquerade ritual practiced in parts of Zimbabwe and nearby Zambia, which the members of Mokoomba participated in as boys.
The Makishi masquerade is performed at the end of the Mukanda, an initiation ritual for boys between the ages of eight and twelve, when young boys leave their homes and live for one to three months at a bush camp away from their villages. It’s a fundamental and often lonely time in a boy’s life, when they learn the self-assurance required of young men in their community, while still often yearning for the tenderness of their mother’s love. The end of the Mukanda is marked by a joyous graduation ceremony called Chilende, full of colorful masks, music and dancing.
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