It will be held in Florence from 27 September to 11 November, the new edition of the Festival Musica dei Popoli. The event – as readers of this column know by now – is one of the best and most successful cultural policies of our country, and is characterized by the selection of music and entertainment of the highest quality, but also for the inclusion of these in a program defined in accordance with balance and caution. This year the theme of the event – organized by the Centre Flog Traditions under the artistic direction of ethnomusicologist Leonardo D’Amico – will have as its theme “Africa. The diaspora” and will alternate on the stage of the Auditorium Flog artists of international reputation, not only in Africa. Saturday, October 11 will perform, in fact, the group of Salento Officina Zoe, with Baba Sissoko and Kalifa Kone. The title of the show captures the spirit of the event: “Taranta black Salento meets Africa”. As you can read in the official program: “The voices such as communication and expression, as well as the songs of the griots are the historical memory of the people of the savannah singing the feats of the epic Mandingo, the work songs of the women of Salento scan the hard work in the fields. The drum beat of life as the earth and ceremonies as well as African drums serve as a vehicle of communication and trance in ritual ceremonies, the beat of the tambourine punctuates Salento since time immemorial ceremonies of healing from the bite of the tarantula and bring up to us the rhythms of the Dionysian rites of Magna Grecia”. The program, however, also pays homage to the many musical traditions of Africa that have been successful in influencing and directing the course of international music. In this context, it is proposed the concert Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, scheduled for October 18. The son of Fela Kuti – “one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century” and inventor, along with drummer Tony Allen, the famous Afro Beat – Sean follows the tradition Nigerian rhythm, bringing together the political content so dear to his father, the innovations of the more enthralling and international contemporary styles, from black music to rap to a new soul. Among the artists who will perform and who will have the task of representing contemporary Africa and the profile of the multi-faceted musical expressions through which it is expressed, it is important to point out: Baloji, an artist from the Democratic Republic of Congo and resident in Belgium, which has grafted onto the metropolitan French rap and hip hop some of the styling of its land of origin; singer, dancer and percussionist Dobet Gnahoré of Ivory Coast, whose concert is scheduled for October 25; Mulatu Astatke, percussionist, vibraphonist, composer and star of Ethiopian jazz; Fatoumata Diawara, one of Africa’s most famous artists in the world. She released her debut album in 2011 with the World Circuit and is touring the world non-stop “giving” – as you can read in the presentation notes of her concert – “a decidedly African perspective to the concept of singer-songwriter.”
The final program of the festival can be found here.
This article is available also in: Italian