Upcoming: Music Africa at the ROM
Welcome Black History Month back by heading straight to the Royal Ontario Museum 's (100 Queen's Park) Canada Court on Friday (February 4).
At 6 pm, Music Africa - the producer of Afrofest in Queen's Park - is putting on Africa Sings, a lush musical history tour from Africa to the Americas. A cross-section of Africa is involved in the performance: Kenyan guitarist Adam Solomon , Sudanese vocalist and bongo player Eid Ismail , the Southern Volta Performers , Abdulla Issa Khamis of the Spice Islands of Zanzibar and more.
In the Main Hall you'll encounter a display of traditional African instruments. There'll also be drumming workshops for all age groups and an interactive, informal beat throwdown or two, but it's not all about your ears. Look around the Main Hall and you'll notice evocative artwork by talents like David Kibuuka , Mohamed Hagelamin , Abye Kifle and Audrey Hudson . Topping this all off, Salif Keita will show his film Salif Keita: Destiny Of A Noble Outcast, his story of survival as an albino born into a royal family, searching to fulfill his dreams of stardom.
A consummate black history blitz, this is the first instalment of the ROM's black history series, happening every Friday - and everything's free from 4:30 on.
Upcoming: Winterfolk touches down
This weekend, Toronto's annual cold-weather showcase of talented tunesmiths, Winterfolk , kicks off for its third straight year. Founded by folk-savvy singer/songwriter and impresario Brian Gladstone in 2002, the ever-expanding festival aims to "entertain, educate, enlighten and encourage" the local community about tons of traditional styles of music, and spans everything from acoustic political folk to Delta blues and jazzy pop.
Although the festival has leaned toward the west end of town in previous years, 2005 finds Winterfolk heading east to the Danforth, where over 100 artists will cram six clubs ( Allen's , the Dora Keogh , Stanley's , the Old Nick , the Black Swan and the Willow ) Friday through Sunday (February 4 to 6), for music, workshops, seminars and more. Fans should check out the club listings in this issue or the Winterfolk Web site (www.winterfolk.com) for the full schedule, but here are some highlights: the S'women In Folky-Blues show at Stanley's (129 Danforth), Friday at 9 pm, which features Suzie Vinnick , Josh White Jr ., Michael Pickett and others; the Life On The Road seminar with folks like Gregg Lawless and Linda M. at the Black Swan (154 Danforth) Saturday (February 5) at 2 pm; and Sunday night at Stanley's, which features klezmer crew Beyond the Pale (4 pm), bluegrass damsels Roses in the Snow (5 pm) and alt-pop dynamos Madviolet (6 pm).