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Thursday, 22 December 2011 09:24

Juno Award-winning super group brings rich and diverse African music to the Empress Stage

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Submitted by Vicki Arndt
Fort Macleod
The Empress Theatre presents a hotbed of diverse and culturally-rich concerts and the super group coming next month to the Centre Stage is no exception, featuring some of Canada’s finest African musicians this side of the globe.
On Jan. 18-19, the energy and multicultural music of African Guitar Summit will take audience members on a musical ride through Africa’s heartland. Colourful and relaxing African guitar music is rapidly becoming a genre all its own and the Empress Theatre is proud to bring this show to its historic stage.

African Guitar Summit exploded onto the world music scene in 2004, when CBC’s Radio On Stage program brought together “the smooth fire of Juno Award winner Alpha YaYa Diallo from Guinea, with his countryman Naby Camara on balafon; from Ghana, the elder master of the guitar, Pa Joe, with golden voice Theo Boakye, and the heartbeat of Drummer Kofi Ackah; from Kenya, the Fiesta guitar of Professor Adam Solomon; from Burundi/Rwanda, the bluesy Mighty Popo; and from Madagascar the quicksilver guitars and harmonies of Donne Roberts and multiple Juno Award winner Madagascar Slim.” (Paquin Entertainment).

Nine musicians united through music formed the super group, African Guitar Summit, with only three days of rehearsal; the group debuted to rave reviews at a concert performed in the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto.

The group went on to record their self-tilted album at CBC Studio 211 and was released on CBC records in November 2004.

The album took home the Juno Award for World Music Album of the Year in 2005. The album also landed in the Top 10 Most Downloaded Songs on iTunes’ Today’s Top Album Chart and in the Top 20 of the World Music Charts, Europe.

African Guitar Summit followed with the release of African Guitar Summit II in 2006. The album received a Juno nomination in 2007 for World Music Album of the Year and was chosen by Afropop Worldwide, the internationally-syndicated radio series, as one of their Top Ten Discs for 2006.

The star-studded group tours Canada to packed houses including the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Ontario, part of a string of benefit concerts held on July 2, 2005 in the G8 states and in South Africa.

More than 1,000 musicians performed for the benefit with broadcasts on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks.

The African Guitar Summit concerts is a unique way to warm up the cold, dark month of January while the musical festivities set the stage for Canada’s Black History Month in February.

The month is used to celebrate and honour the legacy of black Canadians, past, present and future throughout Canada.

Join us at the Empress as we explore yet another exciting musical genre and learn more about Canadian black culture.

Visit the link below to learn more about African Guitar Summit: summit1.

Tickets are $32 each and available online at: or phone1-800-540-9229 or 403-553-4404.

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