Andrew Gomez was one of many Calgarians gathered in the middle of Eau Claire Market yesterday to hear musician Karamoko Kouyate kick off the weeklong celebration of Afrikadey! 2009.
Gomez said that he keeps coming back to Afrikadey! year after year because of the unique music the festival has to offer and all the cultural events.
“The rhythms that they come up with in African music are so incredibly complicated that they’re always mind-blowing,” said Gomez.
Afrikadey!, in its 18th year, is a way to promote cross-cultural exchange and understand other cultures while celebrating Africa said artistic director Tunde Dawodu.
“The idea is to bring Africa to Calgary and at the end of it to understand what we all have in common,” said Dawodu.
Dawodu said that people should come to the events throughout the week because there is a piece of Africa in everyone, which shows through things like music, which is very lively and they are trying to bring more of that to Calgary.
This year, the festival is celebrating African women voices including Miriam “Mama Afrika” Makeba, a singer and political activist who died last year.
Other Afrikadey! events including poetry readings, concerts at noon at Olympic Plaza and a movie screening.
The week finishes off with the main event on Aug. 8 on Prince’s Island Park with African village, music and African food.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Children under 12 and seniors over 65 are free.
For a complete list of events and tickets visit afrikadey.com