Ukrainian band among 42 world music bands prepares for TD Sunfest


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A musical powerhouse from war-stricken Ukraine will be among the headliners at this year’s TD Sunfest.

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Ohaka Braka will make his fourth appearance at Sunfest in Victoria Park from July 7-10, headlining the main stage on July 9 and the beer garden stage on the closing night, although times have not yet been announced. not yet been confirmed.

They will be among 22 international and 20 national musical groups performing on five stages over the four days, the lineup announced at a press conference Thursday.

“We booked (Ohaka Braka) long before the conflict started and we didn’t know what was going to happen because they are based in Kyiv, but they confirmed,” said Alfredo Caxaj, founder of Sunfest and co-artistic director. with his daughter, Mercedes. .

“It will definitely be a very meaningful performance because when they have been here before the whole community has embraced them, so I expect it will be very special for everyone given the very unique circumstances. But this festival is all about the music that always brings people together.

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Upcoming national artists include Sunfest stalwarts Lazo, Toronto reggae star also known as Mr. Sunfest for appearing in all but a few years since the festival began in 1994, Samba Squad, whose percussion Extremely entertaining and highly energetic Brazilian-based music never fails to delight audiences. London’s Eagle Flight Singers will also be back. There are several Juno nominees and winners in the lineup, including Laila Biali, Ammoye, Djely Tapa, Lazo and Zaki Ibrahim,

Noticeably absent from the lineup are Five Alarm Funk, the wacky and fun Vancouver crew that have become a Sunfest staple and one of the country’s most popular world music groups. But they will come to London on July 29 for a concert at the London Music Hall.

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Another highlight of this year, Caxaj said, is the presentation of four musical acts from Spain’s Canary Islands:

Alba Gil, described in promotional materials as “the rebellious saxophonist, flautist, singer and songwriter” who sparked worldwide festival interest for his fusion of jazz, improvisation, electro, hip-hop punk rock and of Canarian folk.

Yone Rodriguez, who plays the five-string temple and is considered one of the instrument’s leading experts.

Olga Cerpa Y Mestisay, considered the most important singer of the islands and twice nominated for the Latin Grammy.

Hirahi Afonso, also a timple player and composer who explores a number of genres including jazz and pop mixed with traditional Canarian music.

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Co-Artistic Director Mercedes Caxaj noted that the lineup, both domestic and international, is dotted with new rising stars in world music that should appeal to all audiences, but especially younger audiences and those who are curious about the future.

Among the exciting new acts, Mercedes Caxaj said, are

The Ghetto Kumbe from Colombia, who bring their Afro-Caribbean rhythms mixed with sometimes haunting African house rhythms.

Brazil’s Grammy-nominated Francisco El Hombre, whose militant sentiments flow through his music to condemn economic and political oppression, especially as it relates to the country’s LGBTQ2 community.

Quebec City’s Funk Lion, featuring singer-songwriter Francis Brisebois whose music is described as “rock steeped in Afrofuturism, nigger spiritual song and voodoo funk.” . . best described as a psychedelic carnival.

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Sonido Pesao, a Montreal band “dedicated to original urban Latin music. . . a powerful mix of styles and sounds encompassing cumbia nueva, reggaeton, hip-hop, electronic music and a touch of old school.

“Younger audiences are going to appreciate these acts, which bring super high energy, new sounds and create new genres,” said Mercedes Caxaj, who described Funk Lion as “gritty and edgy” while noting Sonido Pesao “will really draw people in.” to jump.

London Brewing Co-operative’s Sunfest beer was also unveiled on Thursday, a hisbiscus lime gose-style beer, which will be available for sale at the end of June.

Visit the website for a full description of the musical acts.

Beyond the music, the festival will see over 225 food, craft and visual arts exhibitors spread throughout the park, with food including an array of ethnic delicacies to help celebrate the music that comes from Europe, Asia, South America, Caribbean, Central America and points in between.

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After two years of organizing virtual festivals, Alfredo Caxaj said it was good to be back in the park.

“This festival is a celebration of life returning to normal after two and a half years of the pandemic,” said elder Caxaj.

“We have lost so many people, we need to celebrate that we are alive and continuing our love of music. Sunfest has always been a powerful vehicle to bring people together. Music heals the spirit.

If you are going to

What: TD Sunfest, with 22 international and 20 national acts of world music and 250 exhibitors of food products, crafts and arts.

When: July 7-10.

Or: Victoria Park.

Tickets: Admission is free, although donations are accepted.


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