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Local News: Kuumba at Harbourfront Centre Celebrates Black History Month Black Habits Articles TORONTO, January 10, 2007. Kuumba is the Swahili word for creativity and has become synonymous with showcasing the best local and international artists of African Heritage at Harbourfront Centre each year during Black History Month. This year Kuumba presented by TD Bank Financial Group coincides with Jamaica’s 45th Anniversary of Independence, offering a spectacular festival Kick-Off Concert and Soiree to celebrate!

Kuumba presented by TD Bank Financial Group runs from Friday, February 9 through Sunday, February 11, 2007. Unless otherwise indicated, events are FREE to attend. All events take place at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queen’s Quay West). For more information and to purchase tickets for special ticketed events the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

Highlights of Kuumba presented by TD Bank Financial Group include the return of Jamaica to Toronto’s Jay Douglas and the All-Star Band; a hip hop symposium featuring Ego Trip members Elliot Wilson of XXL Magazine and Sacha Jenkins of Mass Appeal accompanied by the launch of from web pioneer McLean Greaves, the former executive producer of CBC television’s ZeD and internet media consultant to stars such as Spike Lee; the Toronto debut of Vieux Farka Touré, son of legendary Ali Farka Touré, live concert and CD release; the North American Premiere of Griots t’ Garage: A Musical History of the African Diaspora from UK trombonist Dennis Rollins; celebrity judges Cicely and Olisa of television’s smash hit “So You Think You Can Dance” and the evening spectacle of the Choreographer’s Ball - Step Up and so much more!

Complete details and full schedule below.

Kuumba is presented by TD Bank Financial Group. Also supported by The Jamaican Consulate General, The Jamaican Tourist Board, Urban Music Association of Canada and Girls Unlimited.


Griots t’ Garage: A Musical History of the African Diaspora
Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11 - 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 13 and Wednesday, February 14 – 8:00 p.m.
Studio Theatre – (all performances) $25 Admission
North American Premiere! Griots t’ Garage is one man’s musical journey inspired by 500 years of Afro-centric music. Part tribute, part do*****entary and part concert, Dennis Rollins’ virtuosic performance is intensified by live visual projections that mix archival film with live-on-the-floor footage. The piece transports us from the rhythms of 16th century West Africa, through the development of blues and jazz, and onwards to the funky, hip-hop and garage grooves of today. This internationally-renowned jazz artist is celebrated for his versatility and unique approach to both performance and the often underrated trombone. Part of New World Stage International Performance at Harbourfront Centre.

Vieux Farka Touré Concert and Debut CD Release
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Brigantine Room – 10:00 p.m.
$15 Admission

On tour for the first time in North America! Vieux Farka Touré is the son of legendary Malian musician Ali Farka Touré. The proverbial torch passed from father to son when Grammy Award winning Ali Farka Touré lost his battle to bone cancer in the spring of 2006. Vieux’s music respects the heritage of his Malian roots and continues in the rich tradition of his father. The debut CD, Vieux Farka Touré, will be released in Canada through World Village and Modiba Records. The album features the very last recordings of the legend Ali Farka Touré and also includes the renowned playing of Grammy Award winner Toumani Diabaté. Proceeds of the CD benefit the fight against Malaria, the leading cause of death in African children. Learn more about Modiba Records’ and Vieux Farka Touré’s commitment to raise awareness of African culture, politics and economic challenges faced by the continent through music.





Join presenters TD Bank Financial Group for The Kuumba Festival Kick-Off Reception in the Marilyn Brewer Community Space on Friday, February 9, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The exceptionally life-like and multiple award winning Polymer Clay sculptures from Jamaican-bred Peni Dyer will be on display to welcome guests throughout the weekend in the North Breezeway.

Cool nights take on a whole new meaning with the increasingly popular DJ Skating Nights at Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink. On Friday, February 9, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., all ages can enjoy soul, funk and house music courtesy of CKLN DJ’s Carl Allen, Nikki Red and DJ La-Z-E spinning live by the lake. Absolutely free! Warm up with complimentary Natrel hot chocolate! Skate rentals, sharpening and private lockers available, as well as a heated and fully licensed restaurant.


Celebrate Jamaican Music, Art and Culture with an array of live entertainment at the Kick-Off Concert and Soiree commemorating the 45th Anniversary of Jamaican Independence. Comedic sensation and rising star Jay Martin performs his hilarious stand-up comedy, followed by the return of Jamaica to Toronto’s Jay Douglas and the All-Star band, surely not to be missed. Featuring a special tribute to Jackie Mittoo. Acclaimed Jamaican recording artists Anthony Malvo, Humble and DJ Empress Divine round out this amazing line up. Hosted by Alan Jones of Jones and Jones Productions. Brigantine Room, Friday February 9, 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Supported by the Jamaican Consulate General and the Jamaica Tourist Board. Free.



Cameroonian artist Njacko Backo, “The Kalimba King”, teaches kids how to construct and play drums and shakers, as well as the fine art of singing, dancing and storytelling. Zoom Room, Saturday and Sunday, February 10-11, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free.


Ponytailz (Stacy Simpson) will be hosting a hip hop, creative movement and freestyle class for beginners. With over 10 years professional dancing experience, 35 victories in dance competitions and appearances in over 23 music videos featuring artists including Sean Paul, P Diddy, DMX and Rihanna; film credits that include “Honey”, “Take the Lead” and “Step”; plus Ponytailz has also been a guest on BET’s 106 and Park as well as performed for MTV. Ponytailz is not only recognized as one of the best hip-hop dancers worldwide, but is also a celebrated choreographer and records her own music. Learn from one of the best in Lakeside Terrace, Saturday, February 10, 2:00 p.m. Free.

James Williams will be demonstrating over two decades worth of perfecting the fusion of jazz, hip hop, Afro-Cuban, Latin and modern dance. Professional credits include working with Patti Labelle, Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera among many others. Lakeside Terrace, Saturday, February 10, 3:30 p.m. Free.

Ballet Creole will shed light on their original “creolization” of dance by fusing the traditional and contemporary performing arts of Caribbean and African origin. A dynamic new artistic movement. Lakeside Terrace, Saturday, February 10, 5:00 p.m. Free.

Fans of the immensely popular television program “So You Think You Can Dance” won’t want to miss two of the show’s celebrity judges, Cicely Bradley and Olisa Thompson of Nu-Stylz, in a Harbourfront Centre exclusive workshop. As Nu-Stylz, Cicely and Olisa have received tremendous accolades for their original choreography working with Missy Elliott, G-Unit, Tweet, The Fugees and Whitney Houston, just to name a few. With an incredible roster of clientele and abundance of professional experience, Nu-Stylz have taught their unique variety of hip-hop dance to thousands. Join the duo for their workshop in Lakeside Terrace on Saturday, February 10, 8:00 p.m. Supported by Girls Unlimited. Free.

Urban dance will be the focus of the Choreographer’s Ball – Step Up, a special gathering of Toronto’s finest dancers from “urban” genres. Performers will be showcasing the full range of African dance, from grassroots traditional to contemporary hip-hop, dancehall and everything in between. Experience solo, duets and group performances in a tribute to Shawn Cuffie of DLM Dance and Entertainment Company, one of the most sought after professional talent agencies. Lakeside Terrace, 9:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Free.


SISTA GOD, directed by Yao Ramesar, Trinidad and Tobago. 2006. The critically acclaimed first feature in a trilogy about the coming of a black female messiah in the future, during a period known as the Apocalypso - a global holocaust that she alone survives. Studio Theatre, Saturday, February 10, 1:00 p.m. 72 minutes. Free.

DEAD PREZ: IT’S BIGGER THAN HIP HOP, directed by John Threat, USA. 2006. Canadian debut. More than just a concert do*****entary; it brings attention to the inadequacies of the public education system, minority entrepreneurship, and social revolution. Taped in San Francisco, this do*****entary is an analysis on the state of Black America. Featuring interviews with Fred Hampton Jr. (Black Panthers) and Davy D. Winner of the 2006 Atlanta Hip Hop Film Festival “Revolutionary Spirit Award”. Studio Theatre, Saturday, February 10, 2:30 p.m. 60 minutes. Free.

FELA KUTI: MUSIC IS THE WEAPON, directed by Jean-Jacques Flori, Stéphane Tchalgadjieff, Nigeria. 1982. Screening of provocative do*****entary that celebrates Fela’s contribution to African music and politics. Part One of Harbourfront Centre’s year-long “Felabration” to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the King of Afrobeat’s passing. Studio Theatre, Saturday, February 10, 4:00 p.m. 54 minutes. Free.


Urban X-Posure: Hustle and Flow is a hip hop symposium and showcase that will concentrate on helping aspiring performers to learn how to present their music as commercially viable and export ready for international audiences. Featuring a listening salon for demos and a “live” artist showcase. On hand will be special guests from Ego Trip: XXL Magazine Editor-in-Chief Elliot Wilson and Sacha Jenkins of Mass Appeal. Fresh from their immensely popular VH1 television series Ego Trip’s “Race –o-Rama” and the latest Ego Trip offering “The White Rapper Show”, the street-wise group poignantly dissects established notions of pop culture, race and music. Urban X-Posure: Hustle and Flow will also include the “live” webcast and Canadian launch of, the next big thing from McLean Greaves of Nimble Company whose pioneering works as a web guru have earned him Emmy and Gemini nominations for CBC’s ZeD and a diverse clientele that includes Spike Lee, P Diddy and Al Gore. Co-produced with Urban Music Association of Canada. Brigantine Room, Saturday, February 10, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free.

Griots t’ Garage: A Musical History of the African Diaspora. See description above. Studio Theatre, Saturday, February 10, 7:00 p.m. Admission $25.

Vieux Farka Touré concert and CD launch. See description above. Admission $15. Brigantine Room, Saturday, February 10, 10:00 p.m.



BLACK HAIR, directed by Aron Ranen, USA. 2006. Canadian premiere of the controversial do*****entary that reveals the silent take over of the black hair industry by the Korean community. The do*****entary will be aired in its entirety and features a panel discussion with Ruth Smith of Strictly Roots, Buster Berkeley of Amorphous Hair Group, Natashia Palmer of Discount Beauty Supplier and Asha Mcleod of Jazma. Studio Theatre, Sunday, February 11, 1:00 p.m. Free.

SEQUINS, SOCA AND SWEAT: THE HIDDEN HEART OF NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL, directed by Stephen Rudder, UK. 2006. A progressive look at Carnival culture behind the masquerade of Europe’s largest street festival. A great warm up for the Trinidad Carnival and Harbourfront Centre’s own Carnivalissima festival in June of 2007! Panel discussion about Caribana’s future and what role elders and youth play in carnival culture. Studio Theatre, Sunday, February 11, 3:30 p.m. Free.


The Pan African Jamboree is a chance to celebrate excellence in the African Black Diaspora, with East and West African displays, drumming, steel pan and spoken word with William Doyle Marshall, Henry “Cosmos” Gomez, Professor Camille Hernandez-Ramdwar and Brigantine Room, Sunday, February 11, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free.


Snackin’ with The Fish Shack’s Melvin Laidlaw and his trademark Caribbean and British-style fish and chips, veggies and natural juice beverages. Lakeside Terrace, Sunday, February 11, 2:00 p.m.

Creolin’with Chef Ismat Jivani from Big Daddy’s Crabshack and Oyster Bar. Enjoy New Orleans and Cajun style cuisine from the chef whose colleagues include the world renowned Chef’s Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Lakeside Terrace, Sunday, February 11, 3:30 p.m.

Celebrity chef du jour Roger Mooking of Kultura Restaurant will be on hand to demonstrate his globally inspired culinary delights. The former Juno Award winner is equally talented as a Chef, having been featured on The Food Network and HGTV, as well as in Toronto Life magazine. Lakeside Terrace, Sunday, February 11, 5:00 p.m.


Griots t’ Garage: A Musical History of the African Diaspora. See description above. Studio Theatre, Sunday, February 11, 7:00 p.m. Admission $25.


Celebrate the rich African Diaspora communities from around the world. The West Arcade will offer arts and crafts and the Marilyn Brewer Community Space will offer food all weekend. Friday, February 9, 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday, February 10. 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 11, 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Posted on Thursday, January 11 @ 12:49:39 UTC by jcohen

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