International Nights of Africa Festival | Electro-eclectic Africa

The sounds of the world will resonate in Montreal from July 9 to 21 for a new international Nuits d’Afrique Festival. Anchored, as always, in diverse African traditions, the event listens more than ever to modern variations of its musical roots.


Published at 6:30 p.m.

The events: Bombino, L’Entourloop and Queen Omega

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PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL NUITS D’AFRICA

Queen Omega, reggae singer from Trinidad and Tobago

We have seen Bombino several times since the release of his album Agadez, in 2011, which quickly placed him among the most interesting representatives of Assouf music, a Tuareg variation of rock from the desert. The electrifying guitarist from northern Niger, however, has never headlined a major concert presented outside. We expect him on July 16, at 9:45 p.m., supported by three accompanists with whom, logically, he will focus on the captivating pieces of Sahel, his stunning album released last year. The spell will also be there on July 13, at the MTelus, during the double program reggae, dub and dancehall during which the powerful pulsations of L’Entourloop and the vindictive songs of Queen Omega & The Royal Souls will follow one another.

We are intrigued: Kirá, son of Manu Chao

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PHOTO BELLA MONTIEL, PROVIDED BY ZN PRODUCTIONS

Kirá is the son of Manu Chao.

Having a well-known last name can’t always be easy, but it’s still an asset: it attracts attention. We are obviously very curious to discover the songs of Kirá, the son of Manu Chao, who draws from a variety of Brazilian and Latin American styles (maracatu, carimbo, pisadinha, pagodao baiano, salsa, cumbia and bolero, it is said) and seeks to revalorize them. Last year he released his first solo effort, Olho Açude, essentially acoustic, which reveals a soft voice and manner, far from the punkish impulses of his illustrious father. Kirá Chao sings, according to what we have heard so far, only in Portuguese. Pesa Luapiece that opens Olho Açude, is a collaboration with two figures of current Brazilian music: Anna Moura and Letícia Fialho. Kirá Chao will be at Balattou on July 9. Also note: Les Aunties, a female ensemble from Chad. These singers and musicians (they accompany themselves by banging on calabashes) campaign in particular for women’s rights. They will be heard on July 20, at 7 p.m., on an outdoor stage.

And also: electro without borders

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PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL NUITS D’AFRICA

Ibibio Sound Machine

We will happily find Bïa & Maracuja in a show dedicated to the popular Brazilian repertoire (July 11, at the Fairmount Theater) and the Guinean Alpha Yaya Diallo (on the 13th, at Balattou), who launched his first solo album last year in 13 years. We will be happy to discover Los Gaiteros de Oveja, an ensemble combining flutes and traditional percussion from Colombia. However, what tickles the ear in the 2024 program of the Nuits d’Afrique Festival is the abundance of proposals where the musical traditions of Africa or Latin America flirt with electronic sounds. Sepopo Galley, director of programming for the event, confirms her desire to “follow current trends” in order to modernize the sound. One thing is certain, it will groove indoors and on outdoor stages with Ibibio Sound Machine (Nigeria/England), Rumba de Bodas (Italy), Kizaba (DR Congo/Quebec), Zar Electrik (Morocco/France), Sofaz (Reunion/ Morocco/Burkina Faso), Boogat (Mexico/Quebec) and Pahua, from Mexico, whose song Poirier remixed Espantapajaros.

Consult the complete program of the Nuits d’Afrique International Festival

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NEXT Valady. Jean Couet-Guichot and Gaya Wisniewski, two artists in residence within the region