The inaugural AMW (African Music Week) launches in Toronto on June 9th and marks the first time an African music conference and festival is being held in North America to raise awareness and draw attention to the diversity and richness of African music, while paying attention to the business structure behind the new African music movement. Africa’s first non-continental music conference and festival will feature some of the most sought after producers, executives and performers from Africa and throughout the diaspora, all of whom will converge in Toronto, arguably one of the most multicultural cities in the world, for this momentous occasion.
African Music Week was created by the AIM 2 Impact non-profit organization to heighten the Canadian public’s understanding of African music through a series of concentrated events in Toronto. The lineup for the debut year of the AMW festival includes a who’s who of local African musical talents including
Stonebwoy, Femi Abosede & Culture Force, Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble, Kobena Acquaah-Harrison, Waleed Abdulhamid, Trinity Mpho, Ruth Mathiang, Slim Flex and many more! Hosted by G98.7 FM’s MC Bonde (“The African Groove”)
“African Music Week represents “African Music Week is a new annual conference staged to help develop the African music industry in North America. The Afrobeats concert on June 12th will be a celebration of the best of the continents local, national and international popular music makers brought together on one scorching hot stage,” says President/Founder, Julius “Julz” Ossom.
From emerging African-Canadian musicians to mid-career and seasoned veterans coming in from Africa, the US and abroad, AMW has created this week long platform to highlight multi-genre Afro-diasporic musical sounds; from Highlife to Reggae, Afrobeat to Hiplife and Afro Pop to Hip Hop. AMW aims to educate and expose both local and international African artists to the networks that will assist them in creating or maintaining their careers in the global music industry. African Music Week Festival highlights include:
June 10: Movie Night featuring the documentary Is It Sweet about Reggie Rockstone, the Godfather of the Hiplife music genre (blends traditional Ghanaian highlife music with hip hop). Limited Space Available Advance Tickets $10 Venue: Blakbird / Pero Lounge, 812 Bloor St W, Toronto. Time: 8:00 PM-11:00 PM
June 11: EMPOWERING WOMEN IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FORUM
To expose local and international female artist of colour to the information, sustainable networks and platforms while providing long-term mentoring to launch and to maintain careers in the global entertainment industry. Tickets are at Eventbrite Venue: Blakbird / Pero Lounge, 812 Bloor St W, Toronto. Time: 4pm-8pm
June 11: Ladies First Showcase, an all-African line-up of multi-genre female talents including Sweet Maria, Trish, Empress Ebony, celebrating female empowerment through music. Tickets are at Eventbrite Venue: Blakbird / Pero Lounge, 812 Bloor St W, Toronto. Time: 9pm-2am
June 12: Afrobeats Concert night showcases a vast array of A-list African musicians across countries and genres including Femi Abosede & Culture Force, Stoneboy, Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble, Kobena Acquaah-Harrison, Waleed Abdulhamid, Trinity Mpho, Ruth Mathiang, Slim Flex and more. Tickets are $20 at Eventbrite. Phoenix Concert Theatre. Doors open at 8pm.
June 13: AIM Music Conference features a who’s who of music industry trend setters including Universal Music Canada A&R Rich Castillo, leading entertainment lawyer Eb Reinbergs, Peter Toh from Music Africa (producers of Afro Fest), G98.7 FM’s MC Bonde, Ontario Arts Council’s Popular & World Music Officer Micheal Murray, Remix Project’s Gavin Sheppard. Moderated by David Hayman (We Are The Super Group). Alliance Francaise (24 Spadina Road). Time: 9am -1:30pm
African Music Week runs from June 10th – 13th at multiple venues throughout Toronto. Events are ticketed and FREE admission. For the full African Music Week schedule and more information please visit: africanmusicweek.ca and follow @africanmusicwk
African Music Week is sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines, Music Africa, Jal Gua.