A look at the 2017-2018 season shows how Montreal’s musical diversity is evolving. There’s now a wide range of shows and discussions focussing on world music with its amazing artistic cross-pollinations and fusions. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.
Nuits d’Afrique: reggae, mande and … Canicule Tropicale!
or autumn 2017, Productions Nuits d’Afrique offers a very diverse program including reggae, West African Mande music and vintage vinyl DJ sets. The new generation reggae roots band Danakil from France return to Montreal with their new album La Rue raisonne on September 29 at Théâtre Fairmount. On October 13, the Trio Da Kali from Mali continue the heritage of a long line of African griots with a show at Club Balattou. And not forgetting the Nuits d’Afrique Sound System in the company of the Canicule Tropicale DJs. Hailing from Quebec, Africa and the Caribbean, they play an explosive mix of African, Latin and Caribbean sounds. You might remember them as the artists who helped fire up the 31st Festival international Nuits d’Afrique in July this year. www.festivalnuitsdafrique.com
The Gateway to World Music: Mundial Montréal!
North America’s world music summit takes place November 14 to 17. Offering shows, conferences and networking activities, this event annually attracts dozens of world music artists and industry professionals from all over the planet. It acts as a “springboard for the national and international careers of its performers,” says Sébastien Nasra, executive producer and founder of Mundial Montréal, speaking to La Scena Musicale. Mundial Montréal is an annual hub for the promotion and showcasing of world music. It gives artists visibility in the largest North American market, New York’s APAP; at Europe’s world music celebration, Babel Med Music in Marseilles; and at the World Music Expo WOMEX, which holds its 2017 edition in Katowice in Poland, October 25 to 29. www.mundialmontreal.com
Jeunesses Musicales Canada… New Talent and World Music!
Ladom Ensemble is performing a concert to watch out for: “Without Borders” is a cross-cultural voyage from Persian music to Balkan folklore, with a fresh look at some of the classics. It takes place on October 25 in the Joseph-Rouleau concert hall at Jeunesses Musicales Canada House. On April 25, 2018, the same hall will host an important concert and discussion entitled Aux sources des musiques du monde (in French only). www.jmcanada.ca
Another key cross-cultural event this fall is the 18th Festival du Monde arabe, October 27 to November 12. Programming focusses on music, especially the interchange between East and West. www.festivalarabe.com