$35 – $45

Black Arts Fest & West End Cultural Centre Present:Thomas Mapfumo

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West End Cultural Centre

586 Ellice Avenue

Winnipeg, MB R3B 1Z8

Canada

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Event description
The ‘Lion of Zimbabwe’ and living legend Thomas Mapfumo brings his distinctive vocals and slow-moving style to Winnipeg!

About this Event

GO ON…

Black Arts Fest Concert Series & West End Cultural Centre present an evening with globalFest Artist Award winner Thomas Mapfumo. Together with The Blacks Unlimited, Mapfumo is a force to be reckoned with; his gruff baritone voice is an instrument as lyrical or as fierce as he wants it to be. It’s a voice that can be doubted. His singing/chanting cries of protest are backed by the music that can only be heard as richly joyful. Though modifying his style from traditional African to more contemporary, one can hear the influence of reggae and more readiness to incorporate the “high life” jazz sounds of African pop music. Mapfumo is a man of joy in a world of sorrow and his electric and continually evolving African music is as infectious to dance to as its lyrics are intellectually challenging.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Live music gig with international artist Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited, with special Winnipeg musical guests, Leonard Sumner, Ismaila Alfa, Guerrillas of Soul, who'll kick off with a collaborative set. Pre-show intimate Meet & Greet with Mapfumo & Blacks Unlimited!

WHO’S INVOLVED

Black Arts Fest Canada showcases African and Black diaspora art and creatives who are re-imagining, revolutionizing and producing brilliant work in music, film, theatre, literary, culinary and visual arts by hosting artistic and educational events throughout the year. The BAF Concert Series features musical artists of the African and Black diaspora.

West End Cultural Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization and music venue that promotes local, national, and international artists by fostering artistic development. WECC presents, enables and encourages live music and artistic expression and provide a meeting place for artists and the community. Performers appreciate the intimate nature and superb sound of the theatre, as well as the dedicated audience and devoted volunteers. A few of the performers to play the WECC have been: Neko Case, The Weakerthans, Feist, Tanya Tagaq, Lyle Lovett, Gordon Lightfoot, Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi, and Measha Brueggergosman.

Thomas Mapfumo, ‘The Lion of Zimbabwe’, is one of Africa’s greatest and most important composers and bandleaders and one of the greatest, most iconic musicians living in America. Known for merging ancient African traditions with modern styles, Mapfumo’s courageous, politically charged music he created and popularized called chimurenga (music genre that blends traditional Shona mbira music with modern electric instruments and lyrics characterized by social and political commentary) has changed the landscape of African music forever, morphing him and his band, The Blacks Unlimited, into a symbol for the struggle against injustice. His music alongside a fierce and proud independence continues to inspire around the world.

Mapfumo has played The World Music Festival at the Concord Music Hall (Chicago), Brave: The Festival of Risk & Failure (Toronto) and WOMAD (UK). He’s shared a stage with everyone from Winky D, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi, Bob Marley & The Wailers to Bonnie Raitt and the Kronos Quartet. Afropop-influenced indie bands like Vampire Weekend, Franz Ferdinand, and Tune-Yards admire his sophisticated arrangements. And equally hip record lables, such as Analog Africa, expend great effort to unearth early “forgotten” recordings connected to him.

He was inducted into the Afropop Hall of Fame in 2012 and performed at the historic Carnegie Hall in New York City because of his historical contributions to the fight of freedom and social justice in Zimbabwe. More recently, he was honored with the 2018 globalFEST Artist Award in NYC. Mapfumo holds an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Ohio University.

April 2018, Mapfumo returned to Zimbabwe for the first time since 2005 to perform a concert that saw over 20,000 fans of three generations turn out to welcome him home.

Leonard Sumner is a Anishinaabe singer-songwriter from Canada, whose music blends aspects of country, folk and hip hop music. He is most noted for his 2018 album Standing in the Light, which received a Juno Award nomination for Indigenous Music Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2019.

Ismaila Alfa is best known as the host of Up To Speed on CBC Radio One, is also pioneer in the Winnipeg hip hop scene, where he continues to be major music force. Born in Nigeria and a world traveller, Ismaila’s global experiences help weave music created for a big world. Having toured Canada and the United States as an artist, he’s opened for The Roots and Wu-Tang. When he’s not on stage tangling words, he’s interviewing many a notable people, including Anderson Cooper, Valentina Kuryliw, and Justin Trudea.

Brendan Kinley is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator, and performer, currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As an MC, drummer and/or band leader, he has toured and performed across Canada, Europe, and Central America. Brendan’s current projects include leading the eight-piece live hip hop band Super Duty Tough Work, as well as holding down the drumming duties for beat music duo Ali Atwell. Over the last 10+ years, Brendan has worked as a sideman in the Winnipeg music scene, rising to be a first-call performance, session, and touring drummer for most groove based acts, including Ojibway trumpeter Chuck Copenace and RnB vocalist/pianist Marisolle Negash. In addition to playing, Brendan has taught extensively in the non-profit sector, running music programs and workshops in community centres and schools since 2006.

Guerrillas of Soul creates a compelling blend of folk, funk, indie-rock, and Afrobeat- underpinned by jazz and blues - that will inspire the hearts in most. This music is rooted in a love of human stories that define us all. The Guerrillas of Soul casts these stories through their music, as the band’s name suggests, with a worldwide concern for equality and social justice. TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival & Rainbow Trout performers, they’ve opened for Lee Fields & The Expressions and were invited by Sol Kanee Lecture to give the musical tribute to Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela.

Partners & Sponsors

Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada

Assiniboine Credit Union

Global College, The University of Winnipeg

Leartify

Manitoba Arts Council

Manitoba Music

Mauro Institute, University of Manitoba

UMFM

Winnipeg Arts Council

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

As Bob Marley is to Jamaicans or Fela Kuti is to Nigerians, Thomas Mapfumo is to Zimbabwe. – Portland Monthly

He’s one the greatest, most iconic musicians living in America- NPR

It’s important to support something that lets the rest of the world know where rock ‘n roll, R&B, jazz- where it all started from- Bonnie Raitt

Pre-show Meet & Greet with Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited

Show: 8:00 PM Doors: 7:55 PM Meer & Greet: 7:15 PM

Tickets: Advance-$55 VIP: $10 Door: $60

Wheelchair accessible. All ages.

For questions, comments, Access tickets, Sponsorships/partnerships contact noma@blackartsfest.com

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Date and Time

Location

West End Cultural Centre

586 Ellice Avenue

Winnipeg, MB R3B 1Z8

Canada

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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