Harbourfront Centre and CBC Radio/Radio-Canada Collaborate on Concerts Throughout the Summer

Njacko Backo
Njacko Backo
Toronto, Canada – Harbourfront Centre and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio/Radio-Canada begin an extensive summer collaboration involving Canadian and international music artists. This partnership will highlight to audiences in Toronto and nationally the unique free admission concert events being offered during Harbourfront Centre Summer Festivals.

Concert events and broadcasts include the first CBC Radio One Roots Worldwide festival (June 14), the Franco-Fête 2003 Saint Jean-Baptiste Day concert (June 24), national broadcasts on both the English and French Radio networks during the Francophonix festival (July 25-27) and a weekly CBC Radio One 99.1 Toronto Here & Now live band performance preview for Harbourfront Centre Summer Festivals beginning June 20, 2003. Full concert schedule below.

On Saturday June 14, CBC Radio One presents the premiere Roots Worldwide festival. Featuring a diverse range of internationally acclaimed World music talent from Toronto and Ottawa, portions of the concerts will be aired nationally on CBC Radio One’s Here & Now on Canada Day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST. CBC Radio One hosts Jowi Taylor (Global Village), Bill Stunt (Bandwidth) and Avril Benoit (Here & Now) will host the concerts. The concerts will also be heard on upcoming broadcasts of CBC Radio One’s Bandwidth, Global Village and Definitely Not The Opera.

Featured performers include award winning Toronto Trinidadian soca/calypso artist David Rudder; Ottawa-based Rwandan Roots performer Mighty Popo; acclaimed Toronto Cuban salsa act Alberto Alberto y Quimica Perfecta as well as Toronto’s The Sounds of Wave, who perform Brazilian samba and bossa nova. Other Roots Worldwide acts (not recorded for broadcast) include Toronto’s Nubah – which features Radio Nomad band leader Waleed Abdulhamid providing funky Sudanese rhythms in a nine person Hip-hop fusion project and the quintet version of the David Buchbinder Ensemble (on Sunday June 15). David Buchbinder, first as a member of the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band and in his current group, fuse Jazz with flourishes of klezmer, classical and John Zorn.

On Tuesday June 24, Harbourfront Centre becomes the centre of Toronto’s Saint Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations with the welcome return of Franco-Fête. This free concert (from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.) features one of Quebec’s top music talents as well as Francophone artists from Ottawa and
Toronto. Franco-Fête 2003 is produced by a number of leading French arts organizations as well as Société Radio-Canada.

Featured music performances include the first Toronto appearance from Quebec music icon Daniel Bélanger. This year’s Juno Award winner for Best Francophone Album (for Rêver Mieux) has sold more than 500,000 albums since 1989. His folk-inflected Pop/Rock releases are sophisticated and mature, both rhythmically and lyrically, while his latest album is a more introspective offering embracing electronica and the warm sounds of 60’s style love songs.

Franco-Fête 2003 also features Franco-Ontarian singer-songwriter Véronic DiCaire, whose Pop songs combine country and Rock sensibilities. Her first self titled album won numerous awards while her international profile has increased with the announcement of her winning the lead role of Roxie Hart in the French version of the musical Chicago. Toronto artist Njacko Backo rounds out the Franco-Fête 2003 festivities with a West African flavor. This Cameroon born percussionist and storyteller has performed throughout North America, Europe and Africa as a solo act and with his group Kalimba.

Highlights from Harbourfront Centre’s Francophonix festival (July 25-27) will be heard nationally from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST during a live bilingual broadcast on both CBC Radio One and Radio-Canada‘s La Chain Culturelle networks. Jowi Taylor of Global Village (CBC Radio One) and Andre Rheaume (Radio-Canada’s La Chaine Culturelle) will
co-host. There will also be an interactive web component on artscanada.cbc.ca. The first Francophonix festival explores French influences in North American, Arabic, African and Caribbean cultures.

Francophonix presents first Toronto appearances by genre-bending Algerian singer-songwriter and guitarist Souad Massi as well as by Congolese vocalist/guitarist So Kalmery and American performers Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys.

Canadian acts include Montreal outfit Dobacaracol and Slim & Donne (featuring Madagascar Slim). More Francophonix festival events and concerts to be announced in June.

Beginning Friday June 20, CBC Radio One‘s Here & Now program will have free weekly live performances and interviews as a preview to the weekend’s Harbourfront Centre Summer Festival. All performances run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Lakeside Eats. Confirmed performers include Toronto acts Wade O. Brown, The Brothers Cosmoline, Jack de
, Swamperella, Moses Revolution, Lal and Montreal’s Dobacaracol in addition to Edmonton group Bomba.

For information on all of the Harbourfront Centre Summer Festivals the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit online at www.harbourfrontcentre.com. Harbourfront Centre Summer Festivals take place at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. All events are free admission. Full concert schedule below.

For CBC Radio information, check toronto.cbc.ca and for Radio-Canada check radio-canada.ca/regions/toronto.

Concert Announcements:

CBC Radio One Roots Worldwide: June 14 and June 15
June 14 – David Rudder (2 p.m.), Mighty Popo (3:30 p.m.) – CIBC
June 14 – The Sounds of Wave (8 p.m.), Alberto Alberto y Quimica
(9:30 p.m.) – CIBC Stage
June 14 – Nubah (11 p.m.) – Brigantine Room
June 15 – David Buchbinder Ensemble (2 p.m.) – Ann Tindal Stage

Franco-Fête: June 24
Daniel Bélanger, Véronic DiCaire, Njacko Backo (7:30 p.m.
to 11 p.m.) – CIBC Stage

Francophonix: July 25 through July 27
July 25 – Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys (8 p.m.), Slim & Donne
(9 p.m.) – CIBC Stage
July 25 – So Kalmery (9:30 p.m.) -CIBC Stage
July 25 – Late Night NOW presents Dobacaracol (11 p.m.) – Brigantine Room

July 26 – Mamadou Diabate (2 p.m.) – CIBC Stage
July 26 – Blou (3:30 p.m.), Tao Ravao & Tany manga (8 p.m.) – CIBC
July 26 – Souad Massi (9:30 p.m.) – CIBC Stage
July 27 – Allakomi (2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.) – CIBC Stage

CBC Radio One’s Here & Now at Lakeside Eats:
Live performances Friday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
June 20 – Wade O. Brown – Sol Soulstice
June 27 – The Brothers Cosmoline – Anthems & Icons
July 4 – Jack de Keyzer – Labatt Blues Festival
July 11 – Swamperella – World’s Fare: The Americas Now
July 18 – Bomba – World’s Fare: The Americas Now
July 25 – Dobacaracol – Francophonix
August 1 – Moses Revolution – Guinness Island Soul
August 8 – Lal – Masala! Mehndi! Masti!

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.