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Okavango African Orchestra at Hugh’s Room, 296 Broadview Avenue

Multiple instruments, ten languages and seven countries define Okavango African Orchestra, winners of the 2017 JUNO Award for World Music Album. Okavango African Orchestra is an ambitious musical ensemble created by Batuki Music Society, a non-profit African arts organization based in Toronto. Artistic Director Nadine McNulty assembled a cast of accomplished African-born musicians who now live in Toronto and Montreal: Daniel Nebiat (krar, vocals), Kofi Ackah (percussion, vocals), Tichaona Maredza (nyunga-nyunga, guitar, hosho, vocals), Sadio Sissokho (kora, tama, djembe, vocals), Ebenezer Agyekum (bass guitar, vocals), Assane Seck (guitar, vocals) and Mabinty Sylla (dance).

 The orchestra takes its name from the Okavango Delta, a basin in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, where many different animal species come together to feed and find water. Predators and prey are forced to coexist and share the meager resources because of the harsh environment around them. Similarly, Okavango African Orchestra brings together the traditional music and instruments of several major African cultures that historically have had little or no interaction. The musicians of Okavango have created a common meeting place for these disparate cultures and a new musical language that harmonizes their different tuning systems, rhythms and timbres. The musicians and instruments of Okavango represent a continuum of traditions and cultures from time immemorial to the present day. The multicultural spirit of modern-day Canada bridges ancient African solitudes. This show is presented in collaboration with Ontario Creates on Friday May 10.

296 Broadview is not yet a fully wheelchair accessible venue, with stairs between all levels. Our goal is to fix that, and we need your support to do so – please consider making a donation towards our goals to make HRL the best listening room in Toronto!

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