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May 2011 News


Here is the provisional programme for this year's Africa Day events in Cork City:
FRIDAY 27th MAY - Opening Ceremony Cork City Library 1.30 pm
Raj Padam & Unity Drums will be there as always along with the ARK volunteer group from Kinsale Road Asylum centre. This year we hope to take this ceremony outside the library and onto grand parade (weather permitting) If it looks like rain on the day we'll move inside the library and use the library foyer.
This year Patricia Gosch TD has kindly agreed to provide the opening speech.
FRIDAY 27th MAY - Conference Lord Mayor's Chambers, City Hall. 2 - 5pm
With speakers TBC
SAT/SUN 28th & 29th MAY - Fota Wildlife Park Cork 12 - 4.00 pm
Drum Workshops with Unity Drums (For people of all ages)
Plus Children's arts & crafts and facepainting with the Animal Antics crew
SUNDAY 29th MAY - The Pavilion Cork (downstairs) 2pm - 11.00 pm
Music from: 2 pm
The Lace. Ireland's first ever African band
Guest acts & DJs
African Clothes boutique with Salim
Arts & Sculpture exhibition from Blessing Sangyana (from Zimbabwe) Blessing also runs Sculpture workshops at Sample Studios, The Old FAS building O'Sullivans Quay.
Updated schedule will be sent by email later this week and posted on the website
If there are any musicians out there who would like to give a short performance at The Pavilion on the 29th May in the afternoon/evening please get in touch as soon as possible so we can finalise our schedule. And if any of you would like to contribute something towards this years Africa Day events in Cork City please reply to this mail.

We are still awaiting the decision to our funding application from Irish Aid in preparation for the 2011 Festival of Africa in Cork City, so I am not able to confirm the programme as yet. I do know, however, that we are facing massive cuts to our previous budget and that instead of the usual events happening all over the country, this year there will only be four, in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick, and this year we are all subject to the same budget ceiling. We have reserved the dates of 27th - 29th of May for this years series of events. To maintain the quality of our festival I feel that we may have to charge an entry fee to one or two of these events (unless a suitable commercial sponsor steps up!) we will however try to keep any entry fees to the bare minimum and just to cover the costs.
Some events that we are hoping to stage at this years festival (subject to our funding allocation & confirmation) include:
  • Opening ceremony at Cork City Library
  • Conference at City Hall 'The Challenges Facing African Development During a Global Recession'
  • Concert from Mose Fanfan & Somo Somo (from DR Congo)
  • Concert from Chengetai (Afro Soul Diva from Zimbabwe)
  • Concert from Malika Zarra (North African cha‚bi, Berber and Gnawa' - world-jazz)
  • Revue from Usifu Jalloh & 'Africa's Cowfoot' (storytelling, call & response comedy, music and mayhem)
  • And we hope to include as much local talent in-the-mix as we can cram.
We recently discovered that our web publishing software was 'out of date' and no longer supported by our web hosters, we are now getting to grips with some new software (which was a bit like stepping out of a trusty old Morris Minor and stepping into the cockpit of a jumbo jet!) so apologies if some of the info on our site is a bit dated, we'll be trying to get it 'up-to-speed' over the next few weeks.
Veteran Congolese guitarist Mose Fanfan has asked us to arrange for some Cork based assistance to help him put the finishing touches to his latest album to be released in the next few months. As a world renowned African musician I feel this is a great honour and a sign of Cork's level of cultural diversity, and pool of diverse musical talent, that such a musician should choose Cork as his city of choice for this task. Mose Fanfan last visited us in 2004 when he facilitated a week long masterclass of Congolese Rumba at The Triskel Arts centre, so he was already aware of what musicianship was available. I'll make sure we get a shout on the album cover!

FESTIVAL OF WORLD CULTURES DUN LAOGHAIRE: We were informed late last year that the 2011 festival was cancelled, for a number of reasons, by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council. This will be a huge disappointment to fans and musicians alike and will, no doubt, leave a massive vacuum in Ireland for 'World Music' styles and international food, dance and everything else that went on there. We have been lucky enough to be involved, in one way or another, for about 8 years. If you would like to sign an online petition to save the festival click here

There was a chance that Ireland was about to get another 'World Music' festival when 'THE INDIE'GO WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL' in Carlow opened on 6th August (with camping and all sorts of workshops & sideshows) only to implode the following lunchtime due to shortfalls in ticket sales. Any communications sent to Indie'Go get redirected to their solicitors.

If you don't mind travelling to Wales for some 'World Music Festival' action you could try the Small Nations Festival in Cilycwm which runs from 8 - 10th July and will feature some old friends Mose Fanfan with his veteran Somo Somo band, Kerekes and our Cork friends Raj & Tonynho's Bangsambra. This festival takes place at Glangwenlais Farm, half a mile from Cilycwm/Llandovery, in mid Wales and has been going since 2002.

Also, check out our local acts on the Ireland Based Acts page and listen to their audio samples.
Hope to catch up with you all on the circuit - Phil B