Groove to world music at Mundial Montréal

Robyn Fadden

Discover the best in new world music at Mundial Montréal, November 14-17, pairing Montréal's musical and cultural diversity with the world's. Concerts, presentations, social events and a whole lot of letting loose on the dance floor make North America’s world music summit one of a kind.

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Nation by nation

Mundial Montréal shines the spotlight on an array of talented musicians while also drawing attention to the global socio-political climate at the summit's keynote talks and networking events. Fittingly, the theme of this year’s edition is Immigration Nation, acknowledging music as essential to an inclusive society and highlighting crucial new voices in the Indigenous Sounds series. Tuesday's Opening night welcomes Inuk singer and her band Nive & The Deer Children from Greenland, joined in a celebration of feminine and gender non-binary energy by Louisiana's Leyla McCalla singing in cajun and creole, Kaia Kater, Inuk and Ojibwe-Métis Juno winners Quantum Tangle and the eastern Mediterranean folk songs of quartet Turkwaz.

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Two floors of fun

Party at both Café Campus and Petit Campus on Wednesday night, just steps away from downtown, with a showcase that runs the gamut of world music, from local talents Moroccan-born artist Rebel Moon, Ghanaian singer-songwriter Kae Sun and the Arabic song and Turkish classical repertoire of Lamia Yared et l'Ensemble Zaman to the traditional dance meets electronic music of Italy's Kalàscima, French-Colombian rapper and producer Rocca and prolific French band Lo'Jo.

Free afternoon shows

Spend an hour or three listening to new music at Mundial Montréal's Free Afternoon Showcases, starting November 15 at Petit Campus with Toronto supergroup New Canadian Global Music Orchestra, Gordon Grdina's Haram, Korean percussion group Noreum Machi and Toronto's Rakkatak. At Divan Orange on the afternoon of November 16, see Juno-winning Peguis artist William Prince, soulful Six Nations musician Lacey Hill and the roots-pop Americana of Métis singer-songwriter Amanda Rheaume in an Indigenous Spotlight concert. And on November 17, hear Burkina Faso genre-mixer Bonsa, the traditional Zimbabwean sounds and funk of Vancouver's Zimbamoto, the soul, jazz and blues vocals of Dominique Fils-Aimé and Jazzamboka's blend of Congolese rhythms, jazz, hip hop and more at Monument National downtown.

Alternating artists

On Thursday, November 16, spend the night at the Back and Forth Showcase listening to a steady stream of music at paired venues La Sala Rossa and Casa del Popolo on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. Jamaican-Canadian reggae artist Exco Levi kicks off the evening, followed by Egyptian revolutionary singer Ramy Essam, the folk harmonies of Halifax's The Bombadils, bluesy-folk Italian guitar-ukulele duo Ilaria Graziano & Francesco Forni, Laetitia Zonzambé's soulful pop meets traditional songs from Central Africa, the rising star power of Ethiopian-Israeli singer-songwriter AvevA and swing jazz band Christine Tassan et Les Imposteures. Friday evening features a screening of documentary film The Africa Express, based on Damon Albarn’s 2012 Africa Express project, and Friday night's all about letting loose with the exciting Afro-latin sounds of Kobo Town and Roberto López at Groove Nation plus an RPM Live after party closing out this year's Mundial Montréal in style.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden, blogger

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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