Our 'little' festival is all grown up! Nuits D'Afrique is turning 21 this year and since it has now reached 'legal' age worldwide it is really able to celebrate. The celebration that will go on for 11 days will be in high-energy style.
It has always been the goal of this festival to tear down all the impediments that divide us as human beings and show that the different cultures of the world are not all that different. This is not to say that what goes on at the festival is by any means the same old same old. Every year the rhythms, colours, beats, and dancing that happen are fresh and innovative. Nuits D'Afrique is a celebration of the music of that large continent as well as that of the Caribbean, Antilles and Latin America and an opportunity for us on this side of the world to appreciate and learn about it. Don't think it is all serious stuff though; there is plenty of partying to be had here!
At this year's festival there are 20 planned indoor concerts, which fall into the four categories of Main Event, Discovery, Premiere, and Selection. A wide variety of artists including Sylvie Desgroseilliers (double-duty as festival spokesperson), Ousmane Touré, Vieux Farka Touré, Gabriela Mendes, and Kandara Diabaté will be on hand to perform their wonderful music. The music of the countries of South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Haiti, Cuba, and the USA amongst others will be represented. From the 19th until the 22nd of July at Place Emilie Gamelin there will be a ton of free outdoor shows with acts from The Republic of Congo, Quebec, Cameroon, Trinidad, and others.
Like in previous years the festival does not forget those of you that have families and want to participate, so they have programmed events especially directed towards you. Once again outdoors Montreal Multicolore has different workshops, foods, spices, and artisan goods available.
I know you might lose this festival amidst all that goes on in Montreal during the summer. Sometimes it is admittedly a little overwhelming, but it would be a shame. Nuits D'Afrique is not just another festival as it was rated one of the Top 5 music events in Montreal. It also was awarded the 2007 prize from the Grands Prix du Tourisme Québécois for festival with an operating budget under $1 million. If this festival does not get you into full summer mode then something is wrong with you!
-Venues: Spectrum (318 Ste. Catherine West)
La Tulipe (4530 Papineau)
Kola Note (5240 Park Ave.)
Club Ballattou (4372 St. Laurent)
Metropolis (59 Ste. Catherine East)
Place des Arts (175 Ste. Catherine West)
L'Olympia (1004 Ste. Catherine East)
Medley (1170 St. Denis)
Centre Pierre Peladeau (300 de Maisonneuve East)
Lion D'Or (1676 Ontario East)
Le National (1220 Ste. Catherine East)
-Tickets: Nuits D'Afrique Box Office (5240 Park Ave.)
www.ticketpro.com (for shows at Metropolis or Olympia)
www.admission.com (for other shows) or (514) 790-1245
-Information: (514) 499-FINA