14th Annual Small World Music Festival – Details

SMALL WORLD’S SIGNATURE PROGRAM CAPTURES THE WORLD IN TEN DAYS THE 14TH ANNUAL SMALL WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL – September 24 – October 4, 2015 – CELEBRATE ‘The BEAT of the GLOBE in the HEART of TORONTO’ w/ Vieux Farka Touré / Ester Rada / 47 Soul / Krar Collective and many more!

small_world_2015Small World Music has announced the 14th Annual Small World Music Festival from September 24th to October 4th, in celebration of the diverse music scene in the heart of Toronto. Small World’s signature annual program is bringing the sounds of Mali, Korea, Cuba, Ethiopia, Palestine, Spain, Estonia and more to Toronto stages. Must-see concerts include VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ, showcasing his killer Malian guitar chops at Revival Bar on October 1st. Soulful and sinuous ESTER RADA makes her Toronto debut September 27th, while Koerner Hall hosts the final appearance by true legends of Cuban music, as the BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB performs on their ‘Adios Tour’.

A free performance by Algerian/French brass band FANFARAÏ on September 17th will act as a festival teaser while opening night sees Small World partner with the Toronto Palestine Film Festival to present 47 SOUL at Lula Lounge. Closing out the run at the same venue will be the local debut of London-based Ethiopian sensations KRAR COLLECTIVE on October 4th. This year, organizers are also pleased to be partnering with Fort York for Small World On Common Ground, for a weekend of exceptional free outdoor programming featuring some of the best Canadian world music sounds in the beautiful setting of the historical site. For more information, tickets, videos and continued updates, please visit www.smallworldmusic.com.


Thursday, September 17th @ 8 pm
Small World Music Centre, 180 Shaw St., Toronto
Tickets: FREE!

Join us at Small World’s home base for a festival preview! Experience the rousing 11-member Algerian/French brass band Fanfaraï, renowned for their manic shows, where a battery of horns, percussion, North African raï, Balkan beats and jazz collide into one big party! http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/pre-festival-launch-party-featuring-fanfarai-toronto-debut/

47 SOUL (Palestine/Jordan)
Presented in partnership with the Toronto Palestine Film Festival
Thursday, September 24th @ 10 pm / Doors 9 pm
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Tickets: Coming soon – Dinner Reservation guarantee seating: 416-588-0307

47 SOUL is a young Palestinian / Jordanian band that was formed in 2012 when four inspiring young solo artists joined forces from different regions: El Fari (MC, darbouka), Z The People (keys, vocals), Walaa Sbeit (MC, daf) and El Jihaz (guitar, vocals). It is rare to see a band gain such a passionate following to rapidly, a testament to their music making and the message behind the music. Laying down Arabic Reggae, Hip Hop, and Mijwez solos overtop of Debka, Rai, and Afrobeat grooves, this is real revolution party music.

Saturday, September 26th @ 1 pm – Sunday, September 27th
Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto
Tickets: FREE!

Fort York & Small World Music present a free weekend of music, arts and community on the grounds of historic Fort York with a superb array of artists. Featuring music from the Turkish folk of Turkwaz to the full-on funk of KC Roberts & the Live Revolution, the Afro-Cuban jazz of Jane Bunnett & Maqueque to eccodek’s unstoppable global dub. A Tribe Called Red’s hoop dancer James Jones will lead powwow Fit sessions, Clay & Paper Theatre explores Animal Nature, Red Pepper Spectacle Arts leads collaborative art making for all ages, and spoken word artists journey to the heart of the soul. Combine with food, beverages, crafts and more for a family-friendly feast of culture.

Presented in association with the Royal Conservatory of Music
Sunday, September 27th @ 7 pm
Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West , Toronto
Tickets: SOLD OUT

One of the most endearing success stories in recent memory, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club says “Adiós” to world stages with their 2015 farewell tour. When Ry Cooder recruited a group of aging, forgotten musicians for a 1997 recording session in Havana, what happened next was a welcome interruption in the politically-challenged relationship between Cuba and the United States. The resulting album won a Grammy Award, the group shot to international fame, and those senior citizens began their storied journey as ambassadors for the music of Cuba.

ESTER RADA (Ethiopia/Israel) – Toronto Debut
Presented in association with the Koffler Centre for the Arts and Batuki Music Society
Sunday, September 27th @ 9 pm / Doors 8 pm
Revival Bar, 783 College Street, Toronto
Tickets: Advance $25 / Door $35 https://smallworldmusic.thundertix.com/events/72519

Ethiopian-born Israeli singer Ester Rada’s cross-cultural sound blends classic soul with African influences of Fela funk and Ethiopiques cool jazz. Singing in English and Amharic, her irresistible voice carries echoes of Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, while standing shoulder to shoulder with contemporary greats like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.

SUM – 숨[SUːM] (Korean)
Tuesday, September 29th @ 8 pm / Doors 7:30 pm
Small World Music Centre, 180 Shaw Street, Studio 101, Toronto
Tickets: Advance $15 / $20 Door

[su:m] mix traditional Korean instrumentation with a dramatically modern approach to produce hypnotic 21st century soundtracks.

[su:m], or in English – A Rythmic Space / a Pause For Breath – consist of two young and talented artists who happen to be sisters. Jungmin Seo and Jiha Park are classically trained and have been together producing modern music on ancient instruments since 2007. They use an impressive list of exquisite-sounding Korean instruments in their work: piri (bamboo oboe), saenghwang (mouth organ), yanggeum (dulcimer), 25-string gayageum (zither) and the steel string gayageum.

Wednesday, September 30th @ 8:30 pm / Doors 7:30 pm
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Tickets: $15 Advance / $20 Door – Dinner Reservation guarantee seating: 416-588-0307

From Spain, Picadillo provides a cultural shortcut between New Orleans and Havana. When Cuban musicians Hector Agüero Lauten, Rey Rodriguez and José Luis Rodriguez met Sol Ruiz in Madrid in 2010, they entangled their musical baggage to create a sound that represents the best of multiple worlds. Picadillo is geographically unthinkable at first sight. Four musicians from different places, generations, and artistic backgrounds converge to express themselves in a very local Cuban code. Rhythms they fuse include blues, ragtime, soul, son and rumba.

Like the religion they’re named for, Santeria’s propulsive music is a mystical blend of old and new world influences – tribal rhythms expressing themselves in the gospels of popular song. Flamenco guitar runs along with electric bass while congas, cajon and timbales transport the rhythm to Afro-Latin locales. Sultry vocals breathe out Bossa Nova tales that teasingly take each song to a mysterious musical place occupied exclusively by Santerias. This Toronto sextext brings the influences of their diverse backgrounds (Chilean, Venezuelan, Dominican and Canadian) to the forefront of their sound in a way that has them often compared to Spain’s Ojos de Brujo. This festival show celebrates the release of their new full-length album Oye Mira!, Santerias are set to expand the success resulting from their debut 2010 release Demonios.

VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ (Mali/New York) – Featuring Julia Easterlin
Presented in association with Batuki Music Society
Thursday, October 1st @ 9 pm / Doors 8 pm
Revival Bar, 783 College Street, Toronto
Tickets: $25 Advance / $35 door

Vieux Farka Touré is known for dazzling crowds with his speed and dexterity on the guitar, as well as his palpable charisma and luminous smile, both of which captivate audiences around the world. “Vieux’s mesmeric, curling grooves and dazzling fluid phrasing are an earful of fresh air.” — The Times (London)

Son of Malian music legend Ali Farka Touré, Vieux has transcended his family legacy to become a true world music superstar in his own right, forging a singular identity as a singer, guitarist, and composer whose influences range far beyond his homeland. Touré’s new album, aptly titled Touristes, is a collaboration with New York-based singer Julia Easterlin. Mixing traditional Malian songs and the sounds of ancient Africa with blues and rock, Vieux Farka Touré creates world music for the 21st century.

MAARJA NUUT (Estonian)
Friday, October 2nd @ 8 pm / Doors 7:30 pm
Small World Music Centre, 180 Shaw Street, Studio 101, Toronto
Tickets: Advance $30 / Door $35

Estonian fiddler and singer Maarja Nuut is fascinated by the tunes of old village musicians, traditional dance tunes, songs and stories. She takes these elements and creates something exquisitely unique and contemporary using live electronics. Her approach is gentle, subtle and sensitive, yet she exudes a quiet confidence as she gradually builds up a shimmering sonic poem from a single violin motif, deftly looping it and adding harmonic layers with voices and violin improvisations.

“ … a striking solo violinist rooted in local folk but taking it closer to the psychedelic. A transfixing performance.” ~ (Mojo / The Arts Desk)

FOCUS ON FLAMENCO – EVISCERART (Spain) – Toronto debut
Presented by the Aga Khan Museum
Saturday, October 3rd @ 8 pm / Doors 8 pm
Aga Khan Museum Auditorium, 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto
Tickets: $45 – $60

EviscerArt premiered at the Chicago Flamenco Festival to standing ovations. The fiery trio of Vanesa Aibar (dance), Eduardo Pacheco (guitar), and Cristian de Moret (piano & vocals), unite traditional flamenco with jazz to capture the heart and soul of the audience. The evening culminates with a performance of El Silencio, whose extraordinary choreography was honoured at the XXI Flamenco Choreography Competition of Madrid.

Presented in association with Batuki Music Society
Sunday, October 4th @ 9:00 pm / Doors 7:30 pm
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Tickets: $20 Advanced / $30 Door

Krar Collective will serve up mind-blowing Ethiopian grooves on their Toronto debut. Armed with their krar, kebero drums and stunning vocals, they have created Ethiopia Super Krar – a sound rooted in tradition and emblazoned with attitude.

“unlike any other music from Africa in recent years. It’s at once accessible, beautiful, and energetic.”
~ All Music Guide

The unstoppable trio, dubbed ‘the White Stripes of Ethiopia’ for their minimalist rock sound, are favourites on the London scene and increasingly so, on the international live circuit as well. They are renowned for their dynamic performances which include stunning dance moves, and an instrumental line-up featuring the krar and bass krar lyre, kebero drums, a one stringed masenqo fiddle and a washint flute accompanying the band’s distinctive vocals.

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