From many angles (musical, cultural, etc.) one can argue that we all have African roots. But that's not an argument that I feel qualified to follow up on, especially since I'm a huge Fela Kuti fan and while not having an ounce of his genius in me (that's why I write about music, duh), I feel a certain closeness to music from the continent. And while one could also argue that South Florida suffers a little musical and cultural isolation at times, it's good to know that the Afro Roots World Music Festival continues to get stronger and better every year since its inception in 1999. Boasting a solid line-up of African, Caribbean and American acts, this year's headliners are multi-ethnic-American soneros Conjunto Progreso alongside Guinean group Delou Fatala (who you can check out above) and the "tropidelic afrogalactic" sounds of Nag Champayons.
"Festival of the Drums" kickoff party featuring Jan Sebon + Kazak International, Vodou Lakay, and Nacao Celeiro. 10 p.m. Friday, April 2. Transit Lounge, 729 SW 1st Ave., Miami. Admission is free; age 21 and up. 305-377-4628; transitlounge.us
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Afro Roots World Music Festival, with Conjunto Progreso, Nag Champayons, and Delou Fatala. 6 p.m. Saturday, April 3. The North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is $10; children 12 and under are free. 786-218-6854; communityartsandculture.org
Sounds like a full night? There's more! Kicking off at Transit Lounge tonight will be the festival within the festival, "Festival of the Drum" trucking along with Brazilians Nação Celeiro, Haiti's Vodou Lakay and an album release from our very own Jan Sebon and Kazak International before tomorrow's event. Make a weekend of it and bring the kids! Delou Fatala will be hosting a free drum clinic for children between 11 am and 2 pm at the North Beach Bandshell.
Festival of the Drum. 10 p.m. on Friday, April 2nd. Transit Lounge, 729 SW 1st Ave, Miami. 21+, no cover. www.transitlounge.us or call 305-377-4628.
12th Annual Afro Roots World Music Festival. 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 3rd. North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. All ages. Tickets cost $10. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/100804 or call 786-218-6854.