SeunKutiSeun Kuti & Egypt 80 are on tour again with the release of the new album A Long Way to the Beginning and, when they pull in to Toronto on July 12, the show promises to be ecstatic, off the wall, and energetically purifying. You may think this sounds like hyperbole but the last time Seun Kuti was in Toronto in 2008 it was 2 hours of dancing bliss that left the crowd screaming for more. What is more, this past week in NYC, Seun killed it at the Highline Ballroom. Don't take my word for it, read what the New York Times said about it.Brian Harkin for The New York TimesSeun Kuti has been performing on stage since he was nine years old. He started his career as a backup singer in Egypt 80, the band fronted by his father Fela, the king of Afrobeat. Seun had already started taking piano lessons and teaching himself to play saxophone. But on stage with his father he only ever sang, adding his child's voice to the chorus of male and female backup singers that included his mother, the collective response to Fela's persistent call. When Fela died in 1997, Seun, then just fifteen, was ready to take over. Since then, he has led Egypt 80 as lead vocalist and saxophonist, the focal point of a band that his father had forged into one of Africa's most legendary ensembles. No one else represents and carries the soul and vibe that is the Afrobeat movement like Seun Kuti does. Like the tattoo across his back proclaims :"Fela Lives!"Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 at Harbourfront in Toronto in 2008.Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 will be in Toronto on July 12 for a night of musical upliftment at the Phoenix Concert Theatre. Opening up for the man and putting us into the proper state of being will be the Asiko Afrobeat Orchestra, the Luvmenauts, and Groove Institute (sSolid Garage) will hold it down and keep us dancing. throughout. Presented by NuFunk.ca & Uma Nota Culture 

Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. 9 pm doors. Tickets $30.00 ($26.50 + HST) & service charge available at Ticketweb.ca Eventbrite & hard tickets at Soundscapes (572 College St.), Rotate This (801 Queen St. W.), Play de Record (357A Yonge St.) & African Drums & Art Crafts (618 Dundas St. W.) Facebook event 


Uma Nota: Hot Spring edition April 26, 2013


Yes yes yes ...

Springtime is upon us, and to welcome the season we draw from the wellsprings of three musical sources: Dub style reggae, Afrobeat and Brazilian popular music. Our featured guests are Aline Morales, Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble and K-Zar Dubwise; General Eclectic anchors the DJ lineup. We bring a rejuvenating Brazilian-style party to the Great Hall, and we have AlienInflux to pump up the sound system.

Think of this edition as the thaw when we come out of the cold and bathe in our hotsprings of music, dance, community and artistry. Uma Nota, a combination dance party, multimedia live show and cultural happening, is about the shared experience more than it is about any one artist. It's a “no spectators, no pretensions” event, at which the dancers in the crowd help create the positive, unified vibe as much as the live and DJ music that keeps everyone moving.

Uma Nota: Hot Spring edition

Friday April 26

Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W. at Dovercourt

Doors 10 p.m.

Advance tickets $12 online only via Eventbrite.

$15 at the door

>>>>>    BUY TICKETS    <<<<<


Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble

Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble at Uma Nota Festival in 2012. It was a wicked wicked show

This nine-piece band led by heavy hitter Foly Kolade tore it up at our 2012 Uma Nota Festival and kept everyone in the room dancing till late. Foly is the real deal when it comes to Afrobeat: Born in Nigeria, he also played in the late ‘90s/early 2000s Brooklyn scene with members of Antibalas before they formed under that name. Foly’s band, Asiko, performed for years in New York before he moved back to Nigeria and then settled in Toronto, where he’s remounted the project with local players. Asiko is a dance party band -- comprising a full horn section, percussion, drums, keys, bass, guitar and vocals -- and they perform full-length sets of original Afrobeat tunes. Prepare for an incredible dancefloor experience. Our previous blog post on Asiko.

Aline Morales


Aline Morales is an artist and percussionist and a powerful performer who stands out anywhere she plays -- in Toronto, Brazil or beyond. A versatile and perceptive bandleader with a soaring, memorable voice, she can do it all: rock a party, lead thundering percussion troupes, sing in a small combo or deliver a multi-layered show. The music that she and composer/producer David Arcus make with their band uses Brazilian grooves as a base for an original sound. Already established in Toronto’s musical landscape, Aline’s recent musical highlights include headlining Harbourfront Centre’s Expressions of Brazil festival and a Juno nomination for her debut album Flores, Tambores e Amores.

K-Zar Dubwise


He is a co-founder of the roots reggae, dub versions and bass culture series Dub Connection and Rockers Arena, an original underground jam where rockers (MCs) toast over his heavy beats. K-Zar is also one of the builders of Dub Connection’s formidable sound system. As a selector, he brings the dub and reggae sounds to move the town. We have been wanting to get this man behind the decks at one of our jams for some time. Wait no more: here come joy and upliftment. Check our blog post on Rockers Arena.

General Eclectic

Familiar to fans of everything good, the General delivers the eye and ear candy right and proper. Best known as a core members of the Footprints collective and their rare groove dance parties, he also represents with nights like Shindig! and recent outings like the Os Tropies EP Release Residency and Valentine’s Day Lover’s Rock at Addis Ababa restaurant. For this edition he brings his inimitable mix of MPB, Afrobeat, samba, reggae and tingz.

Special note about sound

We are aware of the sound system challenges at Great Hall. That’s why we rent extra sound equipment from AlienInflux, including bass bins to bring out that all-important low end as well as quality gear to bring out the top end. And that’s not all. We take extra care, including hands-on involvement from the house’s A.V. manager, to ensure that both the live acts and the DJs (and in turn, you!) get the benefit of that additional sound.


Custom visual environmentTreats and tortillas by ChocoSolhttp://www.facebook.com/ChocoSolTradershttp://chocosol.posterous.com/Caipirinhas by Pitú Cachaçahttps://www.facebook.com/pitubrazilhttp://pitu.ca/This event is supported by Dos Mundos Arts & Media as part of Hispanic Heritage Month 2013Presented and produced by Uma Nota CultureFacebook event page 

Afro Connections: Wunmi in Toronto

Africa has long been regarded as ground zero for the beat and the sole birthplace of rhythm. Without exaggeration, it is the very epicentre from which an endless stream of beat-driven music has flowed since day one. But while the continent itself is as varied musically as anywhere else in the world, we tend to use just one single word to describe the many polyrhythmic influences this part of the globe has given us. That word, of course, is "Afro."Now, this word tends to gets tossed around a lot, but nowhere in the world is it more at home than in Brazil, where rhythmical styles like Samba, Maracatu and Batucada trace their lineage from the African experience.This Saturday's show at Revival in Toronto will feature a great musical encounter from these two areas of the world:For one, we'll showcase the one and only Wunmi from Nigeria. She first appeared back in the late '90s, collaborating with the likes of Bugz In The Attic, Masters At Work and Osunlade and helping to kickstart the whole neo-Afrobeat scene that would soon spread across underground movements in both the U.K. and the U.S. Her stage presence, style of musical attack and singing voice are comparable to greats that have come before her (namely Fela Kuti and Victor Oliaya, among others). What's interesting to note is that while she remains true to this long line of Afrobeat legends, she is a woman in an field traditionally dominated by men. This combination of sensitivity and vulnerability coupled with a hard-edged stage presence creates something entirely new to be experienced and is sure to make this weekends show very special indeed. (More about Wunmi on her very nicely designed website.)The other part of this Saturday's show (a co-production with United Soul) is a showcase of our Uma Nota mainstays Maracatu Mar Aberto. Billed this time out as Mar Aberto Percussion, this performance will feature a pared-down version of our beloved super group playing various drums and instruments alongside myself, DJ General Eclectic. Expect to hear a broad cross section of Brazilian music, specifically Afro-Brazilian styles like Samba, Bossa Nova and MPB alongside newer underground beat productions. This will be our first DJs-and-drumbeats type of event since our three-day festival last November, so we're all super excited to create a dynamic showcase and also reconnect with our music-loving community! See more about the event on our Facebook event page.