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AWESOME AFRICA MUSIC FESTIVAL (article first published : 2004-08-11)

One of the key events on the KZN cultural calendar is the sixth The Standard Bank Awesome Africa Music Festival running from September 24 to26. This will be held for the second time in Durban’s Albert Park after last year’s festival was applauded by organisers, the public and the community alike as being the best ever.

For the second year South Africa’s primary Pan-African Festival will be held in the beautiful green surroundings of Albert Park as an example of eThekwini Municipality’s commitment to their Urban Regeneration Management Programme (iTRUMP). The Festival forms the anchor for the cultural component of the exciting Celebrate Durban Week.

Last year’s event was 100% incident free with the nearly 7,000 music lovers enjoying a feast of international and South African music in absolute safety in the most beautiful park setting. The Festival has developed a unique multi-cultural pan-african musical identity which includes unusual marriages of different genres and styles. The general theme of the music focuses on collaborations with artists from the African continent and beyond - and represents a massive cross-cultural fusion of energy that attracts musicians and music lovers both nationally and internationally. This year there will be more of a focus on multi-disciplinary collaborations involving visual art, film, dance, music, cuisine and the spoken word.

This Year’s festival focuses on leading artists from countries who supported our struggle for freedom and include Tanzania, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Chad, Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, DRC, Singapore, France, Uganda, Reunion, Italy, Brazil, India and the United States. In addition, a massive contingent of local artists includes a selection of well-established favourites and rising young forces on the music scene!

As in previous years there will be a rich selection of satellite events in the time leading up to the festival in areas in and around Durban featuring Awesome Africa participants performing with emerging and established artists. In previous years, some of the most boundary-breaking collaborations have been established in the curtain-raiser events.

Among the 2004 Themes & Special Highlights and Drum of Freedom, an international drumming group who will be joined by international & South African percussionists who will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for continuous drumming of 28 hours and 30 minutes. Essence of the Bow is an exploration of the ancient bow instrument in a collaboration between South America and Africa.

KZN Living Legends Series Tribute 2004: On the anniversary of South Africa’s Ten Years of Democracy, a KZN born statesman of South African jazz and traditional music will be honoured in a massive concert with special guests. Joy of Jazz Stage features artists and collaborations from Pan-African, international & local jazz and world music. The Ten Years of Democracy Stage will showcase the finest local indigenous talent in Durban and KZN. While the Youth Culture Stage will host the ultimate in international and local rap, hip-hop, kwaito and rock.

Fringe & Outreach Provincial Events include five special community based events in Heritage and Tourism sites.There will be free Educational Music Workshops which offer an extensive programme of “hands on” workshops with many exciting topics. Flavours of Durban Food Court will be a culinary delight featuring delicacies from all corners of KZN.

A multi-dimensional parade will make its way through the City Streets with the Awesome Africa theme. The tourist package will offer prices “affordable to everyone”. Film Festival: Movies relating to artists and themes taking place at the Festival.

As usual the Awesome Africa Music Festival will provide a safe, secure family atmosphere with great food, arts, parking, a children’s play area and excitement for all!

For more information and details watch the daily press for details or visit the website on www. awesomeafricafestival.co.za. Booking for the Awesome Africa Africa Music Festival will be open through Computicket. For more information contact 031 206 2494.




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