|Date: 26-27 April 2015|
26 April – Gala Concert, Opera Theatre, The Playhouse
27 April - Sibusisiwe Community Hall & Lovelife Centre, Mandeni
|Ticket Price: R150.00|
As a fitting finale to the Celebration of 20 years of Freedom and Democracy in South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, in partnership with Awesome Africa Festival Productions, is set to host the Awesome Africa International Arts Festival featuring a host of world-renowned performers across a number of genres. The festival will take place over two days in different venues, kicking off with a Gala Concert at The Playhouse on Sunday, April 26 and followed by a full day at the Sibusisiwe Community Hall and Lovelife Centre in Mandeni, iLembe District on the North Coast on Monday, April 27.
For the Playhouse concert, doors open at 5pm and the concert begins at 6pm. Headlining the festival is the legendary Salif Keita from Mali, the “Golden Voice of Africa” whose place in the pantheon of African music has been well documented and revered. He performs with his dynamic 13 piece band from Dakar.
The award winning South African hip hop artist Kuli Chana together with MuzArt will also grace the Playhouse stage. Kuli is a multitalented musician well known for his ‘Motswako’ rap style which includes street-talk and highly influential messages in Setswana, English and other South African languages. MuzArt is a five piece musical collective that has collaborated with noteworthy musician. The group was nominated for South African Music Awards, Metro FM Music Awards and UK’s Soul Survivor Awards
Awesome Africa has become known for its unique collaborations in the past, and this year’s festival is no exception. The “Freedom Suite” collaboration, which will perform at both venues, brings together the extraordinary talents of South African living legend Ray Phiri together with the “Jimi Hendrix of the kora” N’Faly Kouyate from Guinea in West Africa, who besides fusing storytelling, jazz, dance and traditional griot music is also known for his collaborations with the Afro-Celt Sound System which blend Irish Celtic music with that of West African countries. The powerful and trance-like Drummers of Burundi from Central Africa will also form part of this unique collaboration.
Other featured artists are Christine Salem, the maloya superstar from Reunion Island, award-winning guitar maestros Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery, the alluring maskandi duo Qadasi and Maqhinga Radebe, and a 72nd birthday homage to Steve Fataar who will perform with master Cape Town guitarist Errol Dyers. Pride of the Zulu will also serenade the audience with their accapella styled traditional melodies.