Afro Roots World Music Festival boasts a bounty of genres

 

Festival traces common musical threads to African roots with a line-up of bands that cross the spectrum.

Suenalo.jpg

By Amy Reyes | areyes@miamiherald.com

Celebrate African music and culture at Community Arts and Culture's signature event, the Afro Roots World Music Festival, a musical blow out that honors the influence of African rhythms across musical genres. The show, taking place on Saturday, features a lineup of local, regional and international acts.

Returning this year is Senegalese performer Morikeba Kouyate, a seventh-generation Jali (griot) who has performed for more than thirty years around the world. Kouyate offers a mix of music and engaging stories which he performs in his traditional Mandingo language, with translations in English and French. His two releases, The Music of Senegal and Mandingo Royals & Warriors Folklore, are traditional and contemporary songs and stories that evoke the 700-plus year history of the Mandingo people.

There are plenty of bands on the roster: Latin funk fusion band Suenalo takes the stage. The local band has been making the rounds in Miami with their unique mash-up of Latin, Afro-Caribbean, funk, hip-hop and R&B influences since 2000 and today defines the “Miami sound.”  They are joined by another jam band, the Resolvers, who coined the phrase "Big Band Reggae" to describe their sound, which combines classic Jamaican roots and lively New Orleans stylings. Brother and sister Ojay and Sahara Smith take turns on lead vocals, fronting the band that features a blistering four-piece horn section. Also, catch The Miami Street Band, a collective of players best known for their on-court performances during Miami Heat games, moving the crowds with everything from pop, Latin, hip-hop, R&B and fan favorites.

For the hip-hop heads there's Colombian rapper Ephniko, whose style has been compared to Mos Def, the Orishas and Damian Marley, performing songs from his 2008 debut Escribo Lo Que Vivo, his 2010 mixtape Dig. Also Andrew Yeomanson, better known as DJ Le Spam, will spin from his vinyl collection that numbers more than 10,000 and covers a broad spectrum of genres from Latin to funk, Afrobeat, hip-hop and R&B.

 

Speak Up!