The future of Africa on the Montreal music scene

Tuesday is the first day of a week of free outdoor concerts in Montreal celebrating African music. The Nuits D’Afrique Festival is celebrating its 32 years. Dozens of bands from all over the world come to perform in the largest pan-African music festival in North America.

You can find the full program of Nuits D’Afrique here.

A unique part of the festival is the emphasis on local acts. Montreal is a melting pot of cultures, and this is reflected in the new music being made all over the city.

AfrotroniX is one such group, mixing influences from across the African continent with powerful electronics and messages, and summoning other musicians to make genre music. AfritroniX plays Friday night at 9 p.m. at the Ministry in Montreal.

Caleb Rimtobaye on stage. Photo provided

The founder of the group, Caleb Rimtobaye, moved to Montreal from Chad 16 years ago. He says his music is rooted in “Afro-Futurism” – a future based on African values, “including other cultures and also inclusive of nature to present the new face of Africa,” he says. .

NCPRCaleb Rimtobaye on AfrotroniX and people’s perceptions of Africa

Rimtobaye says that Montreal is the ideal place to develop this future through music. “Montreal is a laboratory. It’s crazy what I’m learning here, he said. “I travel six months a year on tour, and when I come back it’s like coming back to school. You always have someone who offers something surprising from their homeland to always bring something fresh . “

Click listen above to hear Rimtobaye’s conversation with David Sommerstein, and to hear music from AfrotroniX and music from Rimtobaye collaborators in Montreal.

Nuits D'Afrique has hosted hundreds of Africa's biggest stars, including saxophone legend Manu Dibango.  Photo: David Sommerstein

Nuits D’Afrique has hosted hundreds of Africa’s biggest stars, including saxophone legend Manu Dibango. Photo: David Sommerstein

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