Madison Ave at East 120-124th st
New York City, New York

African music will light up Harlem on June 1 as the MAFRIKA Music Festival comes to town for the third year.
The festival in Marcus Garvey Park will feature ten bands, as well as a display of traditional art and dance. Last year’s gathering drew more than 2,000 people.
“This is the real roots of rock and hiphop,” said festival executive director Abdel Kader Ouedraogo. “Africa is the mother continent in so many ways, and one of its gifts to the world is its incredible music. We want to share this gift with New York.”
The festival will be held at the bandshell near the 122nd Street and Mt.
Morris Park West entrance of Marcus Garvey Park from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 1. The choice of location is significant as Marcus Garvey, a black empowerment leader of the early 20th century, was an evangelist for reminding African-Americans about the place where their ancestors lived.
This year’s acts will include:

• The Superpowers. Praised as a “polyrhythmic juggernaut” by music
critics, this vibrant band from Boston combines an African soul with a jazzy base. They have played more than 100 venues in the past year, helping raise awareness of social causes like peace in Darfur, Zambian refugees and fair trade in South America.

• Pink Noise. This art-rock act from Tel Aviv mixes the unexpected within
the mundane. “They are precise almost to a fault, like four musicians playing with a shared brain,” said The Deli magazine. “The result is tight, complex, and fascinating."

• Mai Lingani. One of the most acclaimed vocalists to hail from her native
Burkina Faso, Lingani was a 1990s staple of Zaka, that nation’s premier music club. She has since performed at venues as diverse as the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria; the World Music Meeting in Nijmegen, The Netherlands; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, France; and New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

• Brown Rice Family. Combining roots music with a healthy dose of fun and
playfulness, this world music ensemble from New York uses harmonicas, ukuleles and chekers in addition to guitars, trumpets and drums.

• Devirock. “It’s apt that the band name is the Hindi word for goddess,”
wrote Trifectagram. “The petite, pantheonic powerhouse is one of the few guitarists alive who can actually pull off a long, expressive solo without sounding ridiculously self-indulgent. A master of touch, tone and shading, she’s also a supersonic fret-burner with a deep feel for the blues and writes hauntingly memorable songs.”

• Konny. A native of Burkina Faso, this vibrant artist plays reggae with
an African twist, in the tradition of Alpha Blondy and Tiken Jah Fakoly.
His music calls for peace and reconciliation.

• Funk Face. This gutsy New York combo describes their music in words as
forceful as their sound: “Hard driving grooves uplifting you to melodic chorus peppered with political rants hidden behind sweet come-ons screamed at the top of your lungs.”

• Apollo Heights. The core of this rock act was formed from The Veldt, and
the new lineup “flips hip hop programming on its head to make use of the guitar driven feed-back, adding a down south flavor all its own.” Their debut CD “White Music for Black People” was released last year by Manimal Vinyl.

• The octagon
open-ended, unrequited love.
from The Octagon - "The Narrow Road to Oku". It's a little disoriented, this sandy rock-song. It went wandering into the desert with a bottle of red wine, a Pavement album, and a few hours later is like: what the fuck? Whoever it was supposed to meet with didn't show up; whichever stars it was expecting to see didn't make an appearance. And now its shoes are tied in unfamiliar knots, its hair is filled with grains of unfamiliar minerals, and it's got a catchy song in its head - something it found in a dune, burnished and hopeful and even a little buddhist.
Whereever the hell it came from, The Octagon's gonna carry it around for a while. (Tip o' the hat to former Montreal drummer, Will Glass.)


• Terry Blaine. Jamaica-born with New York style, Blaine came to reggae
music through the Rastafarians and their interest in human rights and the dignity of man. He has toured throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

• Zozo Afrobeat. Their name means “something hot” in the indigenous
languages of Goun and Fon and this 13-piece band from Nigeria and Benin is true to their label. Producing music that “could move a corpse’s toe,”
Zozo mixes a political message with fire and grace. They have played at the Lincoln Center “Out of Doors” Festival, the Brooklyn Museum, and various clubs in New York.

Official Website:

Added by mor on May 13, 2008

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