Press release: FINA 2016 - Festival Nuits d`Afrique
From July 12 to 24, 2016, the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique celebrates three
decades of world music!
Montréal, May 25, 2016 – It’s been 30 years already! This year, Montréal’s Festival International Nuits
d’Afrique is celebrating its 30th birthday – a historic edition to mark three decades of world music in a
Just think back to 1987, at the Festival’s first edition, on Saint-Laurent Boulevard in front of the
Balattou. What if Touré, the Festival’s president and founder, had been told his endeavour would
become one of Montréal’s major events and a global benchmark, and that audiences would keep
growing larger, with more than 550,000 festival-goers in 2015, would he have believed it? Yes, for
sure, because Touré is a visionary. Right from the start, he understood the extent to which Montréal, a
city open to the world, was the perfect place to establish an event of this kind.
Today more than ever, the Festival is the North American gateway for music from Africa, the
Caribbean and Latin America, 30 years of bringing audiences to discover top international artists such
as Youssou N’Dour, Amadou and Mariam, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Papa Wemba.
For this anniversary edition, the Festival holds in store for you an even bolder, more diversified and
more innovative program. It will reflect the breakout of current musical trends and will also present
the top legends of world music who have marked these last three decades. Among them are Algerian
musical icon Rachid Taha, Haitian musical monument Tabou Combo and Cuba’s emblematic Orquesta
And to embody the spirit of this 30 th edition, the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique pays tribute to
Manu Dibango, an emblematic artist who has marked the history of world music and of the Festival,
playing the role of godfather many times.
Herby Moreau, the most loyal of friends, will be the spokesperson of this 30th edition, rolling out the
red carpet for the world music top artists.
July 12 to 24, 2016, will be 13 days of festivities, of original concepts and of special events that await
the public. More than 700 artists from 35 countries. More than 110 concerts and activities, eight
series of shows featuring every trend in world music, at six venues in downtown Montréal. Not to
mention, from July 19 to 24, six days of concerts and free activities in the heart of the Quartier des
***For this historic edition, the Festival is innovating***
For the first time in its history, the Festival will issue the Prix Nuits d’Afrique pour la
francophonie, to Manu Dibango. Through his career and his personality, the father of world music
presents a unifying vision of the French-speaking world and of the cultural diversity shared by the
Festival. This award, created specially for the 30th birthday, will be recurrent and will be issued to an
artist in each future edition.
At each edition, the Festival welcomes artists who stand out for their voices. This year, a new
series is dedicated to them: “Voix du Monde” (Voices of the World).
Marking three decades, three Stars. The Festival is adding three extra concerts to the series
“Les Étoiles Nuits d’Afrique” (Stars of Nuits d’Afrique).
With 30 candles on the cake, Les Disques Nuits d’Afrique will be issuing not one but two
compilations of pieces by Festival artists. It’s a matter of keeping the highlights of this edition – and of
earlier editions – alive all year long!
Another big new feature: on its 30th birthday, the Festival will be adding a sixth day of free
activities and concert events, outdoors on the Parterre of the Quartier des spectacles. For the
occasion, the Village des Nuits d’Afrique has been expanded and enriched. The public can discover the
new ESPACE AGOR’AFRIQUE on the adjacent Îlot Clark (at Clark and de Maisonneuve), offering tons of
activities for the entire family, including the SPHÈRE NUITS D’AFRIQUE – more than 40 daytime
activities and an original immersive experience delving into the Festival’s history in the evening.
From July 12 to 24, 2016, Montréal will shake to the beat of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique!
EIGHT SERIES OF INDOOR SHOWS CELEBRATING ALL WORLD MUSIC TREND
The “GRANDS ÉVÉNEMENTS” (Great Events) series, presented by ICI Musique, welcomes the top stars
of world music. It gathers artists who have left a significant mark on world music history and no longer
need presenting, with their fame on the international stage.
At the Metropolis, officially opening the Festival on July 13, celebrate 30 years of raï with
Rachid Taha; on July 16, Haitian kompa mainstay Tabou Combo; at the National on July 18, the
interpreter of the “New Soul” phenomenon, Franco-Israeli artist Yael Naim.
Manu Dibango meets the new generation on July 18, at the Théâtre
Fairmount. The father of world music passes the torch to Montréal’s new
artistic generation. On stage, artist-ambassadors Veeby, Élété and Rookie
Rook will perform new world music sounds and will pay tribute to him. Manu
Dibango will be the guest of the Syli d’Or 2016 grand prize winner, the Cuban
group Proyecto Iré. A unique evening event reflecting this 30th anniversary!
The “RÉVÉLATIONS” series features the new ambassadors of world music. Talented artists, among the
most promising, are coming from the four corners of the world to present the effervescence and new
colours of world music.
At the Théâtre Fairmount, the public can discover the vintage Afro-funk of Vaudou Game
(Togo) on July 12; an atypical meeting of cultures offered by BKO Quintet (Mali) on July 13; the
young winner of the 2015 Prix Découvertes RFI, Elida Almeida (Cape Verde) on July 14. At the
Club Balattou, the pairing of desert blues and Mississippi blues with Faris (Italy/Sahara) on July
19 and the 2016-2017 Révélation Radio-Canada, Ilam (Senegal/Québec) on July 21.
The “PRESTIGE” series at the Gesù is imbued with charm and elegance. In a special place, the audience
is conveyed to a genteel world to experience magical moments, where emotion rubs shoulders with
Spectators will be beguiled by the intriguing Ana Alcaide (Spain/Mediterranean) on July 23; and
by the age-old musical heritage recited by Morikeba Kouyaté (Senegal), a seventh-generation
griot, and Zal Sissokho (Senegal/Québec) during the Nuit de la Kora (Night of the Kora) on July
The “URBAN AFRICA” series is dedicated to deconstructing myths associated with this far-away
continent. Blended pop and percussive hip hop showing these artists’ ability to appropriate the beats
Africa has inspired, with flair and personality!
On the program: At the Club Balattou, the progressive maloya of Grèn Sémé (Réunion) on July
12; the percussive hip hop of A2VT (Somalia/Tanzania/Congo) on July 13; and the uninhibited
African reggae of Dakka (Côte d’Ivoire/Québec) on July 18. At the Théâtre Fairmount, the
return to sources of the sparkling Inna Modja (Mali) on July 15.
The “NUITS D'AFRIQUE SOUND SYSTEM” series, presented by CISM, will be taking over the Sala Rossa.
It shows just how much world music is an infinite source of creation. It forms the Montréal hub of world
As headliners: Canicule Tropicale joins the famous British DJ and Soundway Records (UK)
founder Miles Cleret on July 16; and Montréal reggae-sphere benchmark Pull-Up Selecta, will
bring together Krak in Dub (France), Dirty Dubsters (Ireland), The Goods Soundsystem
(Québec) and the Pull-Up Selecta Crew (Québec) on July 23.
The “ÉTOILES NUITS D’AFRIQUE” (Stars of Nuits d’Afrique) series is the night-time concert get-together
at the Club Balattou starting at 11 p.m. Nine events, each one-of-a-kind, centred around three host
artists and their guests. Exclusive gatherings, a blending of cultures. Free concerts for all festival-goers
holding a ticket to a Nuits d’Afrique show.
Three decades, three Stars! On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Festival
offers a third series of Stars, to be celebrated well into the night!
Salamate Gnawa (Morocco/Québec), July 12, 13 and 14. African origins with Salif Sanou,
known as “Lasso.” From Morocco to Algeria with Abdelhak Benmadjbari. Salamate Gnawa &
Gotta Lago (Côte d’Ivoire/Québec), July 17, 18 and 19. Nations tribales with Maxime Éthier.
Acoustic Africa with Sadio Cissokho. Zouglou Ambassade with Bobo William.
Senaya (Guadeloupe/Senegal/Québec), July 20, 21 and 24. Urban groove with Drê-d and Élété.
Afro with Seydina N'Diaye and Zal Sissokho. Caribbean-Africa with Vovo Saramanda and JeanChristophe Germain. This will put a fine end to the Festival on Sunday, July 24.
“VOIX DU MONDE” (Voices of the World) series, at the Club Balattou
In solo, duet or trio performances, their voices are the instrument of their art.
Extraordinary voices for an original series!
To be discovered: Nano Stern on July 14, the “top young Chilean songwriter-composer of his
generation,” according to Joan Baez; Kareyce Fotso (Cameroon) on July 17, the spiritual
daughter of André-Marie Tala; and Daby Touré (Senegal) on July 20, taking an insightful,
authentic, sincere and touching look at Africa.
Rendez-vous Mandingue with Adama Daou and special guests (West Africa
/Québec), on July 16 at the Théâtre Fairmount – The full power of Mandinka
identity will explode on stage in a fireworks of energetic drums, hypnotizing
instruments, frenetic dances and ancestral costumes, led by storyteller,
percussionist and balafon player Adama Daou.
THE NUITS D'AFRIQUE VILLAGE: SIX DAYS OF
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES AND SHOWS, FREE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!
From July 19 to 24, the Parterre du Quartier des spectacles and the Îlot Clark will come to life and take
on the look of an Africa village, with an additional day and a new family-oriented space that festivalgoers are sure to appreciate!
The Nuits d’Afrique Village, on the Parterre du Quartier des spectacles, has
been expanded and enriched. A sixth day of outdoor activities and concert
events, free of charge. A unique atmosphere and an explosion of activities are
on the program.
The days will move to the sound of world beats. More than 450 singers, dancers and musicians will
take turns on the LOTO-QUÉBEC big stage.
Early in the day, OPEN-AIR WORKSHOPS offer an array of activities, oriented to learning traditional
instruments as well as African and Latin dances.
Audiences and families take over the grassy areas, savour tropical-flavoured ice cream and enjoy food
and drink with tastes from around the world. Some will do business at the fabulous TIMBUKTU
MARKET, where merchants compete in inventiveness to seduce the public with flamboyant clothing,
jewellery, musical instruments and other treasures from distant origins. Not to forget DISQUES DU
MONDE, the only shop in town offering an exclusive selection of world music albums.
At the heart of the Nuits d’Afrique Village, the public can discover the new
ESPACE AGOR’AFRIQUE on the Îlot Clark (at Clark and de Maisonneuve). This
oasis, specially designed to celebrate the Festival’s 30th birthday, comes to life
between each show on the big stage and provides for unique gatherings with
artists, storytellers, singers, musicians and dancers.
Exclusively this year, the Nuits d’Afrique Sphere will bring together a quantity
and variety of activities unmatched until now. More than 40 activities – stories,
songs, mini-concerts, ICI Musique DJ sets with Catherine Pépin & Samito,
participatory workshops, a retrospective exhibition and an invitation to travel
by TV5. And in the evening, “Nuits d’Afrique 360,” an immersive multi-sensory
experience resembling a time machine, will enable the public to relive the
passion of earlier editions of the Festival.
The Children’s Village, with its renewed formula, will provide an enlarged area
dedicated to families. It will give toddlers their own world beat experience,
with activities suited to them, including highly acclaimed make-ups by Allison.
On the LOTO-QUÉBEC big stage, artists who have been part of the Festival
over the last 30 years: Jab Jab (Trinidad/Québec), Jah Cutta (Jamaica/Québec),
K’Koustik (Guadeloupe) and Lorraine Klaasen (South Africa). The Groupe
Musical Cour des Grands (Dem. Rep. Congo/Québec) will pay a special tribute
to Papa Wemba. The cream of Congolese musicians in Montréal, under the
direction of Getry Mavambu, Tabu Ley Rochereau’s drummer for 20 years, will
pay tribute to the flamboyant nightingale, the global ambassador of Congolese
In the evening, the TD Great Events, presented in collaboration with ICI Musique, will take centre
stage, featuring world-class artists.
On the LOTO-QUÉBEC big stage, starting at 9:30 p.m.:
July 19, Mexican Institute of Sound (Mexico) will mix cumbia and chachacha classics with vocal
samples and modern scratches.
July 20, Afrique en Cirque – with Les Productions Kalabanté (Guinea/Québec) will display the
broad diversity of African arts through rhythmic sequences, daring acrobatics and explosive
July 21, Les Ogres de Barback (France) – Their concerts are great celebrations, with Gypsytinged alternative rock, warmly imbued with world beats.
July 22, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (Sierra Leone) – A musical style proudly anchored in
their roots, open to the world, driven by a message of love and peace.
July 23, Orquesta Aragón (Cuba) – THE institution of Cuban music. THE benchmark in Latin
* Grand closing concert * July 24, Meiway & Zo Gang (Côte d’Ivoire) – An original brew of
various folklores from southern Côte d’Ivoire dressed up in modern sounds, Meiway’s zoblazo is
a percussion-based beat that is danced to … with a white handkerchief. You better believe it!
LES DISQUES NUITS D’AFRIQUE
Unlike other years, Les Disques Nuits d’Afrique is putting two original compilations on the market this
year, to relive the highlights of this edition of the Festival … and of previous ones!
2016 compilation – Vintage Afro-funk from Vaudou Game, fiery cumbia from Mexican Institute of
Sound, progressive mixed Mandinka from BKO Quintet and the haunting, luminous voice of Yael Naim
will stand alongside Tabou Combo, the legendary group from the Pearl of the Antilles, as well as the
Cubans forming the emblematic Orquesta Aragon, and much more!
Retrospective compilation – Many of the artists presented during the
Festival’s 30-year history have become legends. Tiken Jah Fakoly, Rokia Traoré,
Youssou N’Dour... This retrospective compilation will bring three decades of
festivities and discoveries back to life, through the successive generations that
have shaped world music.
TOOLS FOR THE FESTIVAL-GOER (APPLICATION, WEBSITE, PACKAGES)
Find essential tools on all Nuits d'Afrique digital platforms. Download the Nuits d’Afrique mobile app
for iPhone and Androïd. Learn more about the Festival at the festivalnuitsdafrique.com website, on the
Twitter feed and on the Productions Nuits d'Afrique Facebook and Instagram pages. Remember to tag
us #nuitsdafrique and @nuitsdafrique in all your comments on the Web.
Show packages – Advantageous packages are available for world music fans wishing to attend several
shows. Discover the world without visas or jet lag using Nuits d’Afrique Passports. Combine the shows
of your choice!
Hotel packages – You don’t live in Montréal? Not to worry! We’ve put together hotel packages that
are sure to please any type of traveller…. And why not get the gift kit, a great way to maximize the
Nuits d’Afrique experience by combining concert tickets and exclusive privileges?
The Festival International Nuits d’Afrique thanks all its precious sponsors and partners for this 30th
Official presenter – Loto-Québec – “Through its sponsorship program, Loto-Québec supports Québec
events that bring social and economic benefits to the community and that are in tune with our
responsible marketing approach,” states Lucie Lamoureux, Corporate Director, Sponsorships and Social
Commitment, at Loto-Québec. “We thank our partners, including the Festival international Nuits
d’Afrique, that enable us to take part in these collective celebrations occurring all over Québec.”
TD, presenter of the “Grands Événements TD” on the Festival’s outdoor stage
Mega Stage, ESKA Natural Spring Water, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Hôtel Lord Berri, Hôtel Le
Gouverneur - Place Dupuis, Hôtel Travelodge, Greencopper.
Canadian Heritage, Musicaction, Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Conseil des Arts et
des Lettres du Québec, Tourisme Québec, Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine, Bureau des festivals
et des événements culturels - Ville de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, Conseil des Arts de Montréal,
Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles.
ICI Musique, TV5, CTV, La Fabrique culturelle, La Vitrine culturelle, France 24, RFI, La Presse, Journal
Métro, Rouge fm, CJAD, CIBL, Mike fm, CISM, Radio Centre-Ville, CKUT, CJLO, CHOQ.ca, Atuvu.ca,
Camuz, Another Jay’s Movie, Global Réservation.
Nuits d’Afrique also offers warm thanks to all the volunteers who, in their own way, contribute greatly
to the Festival’s fulfilment and success!
For more information on shows, activities, tickets and packages: www.festivalnuitsdafrique.com
* Interviews, press kit and material available upon request.
To access promotional material through the media private room of the website, please contact us.
Communications and Media Relations
Assistant, Communications and Media Relations