Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour will play the last of a series of concerts across Spain as part of the month-long Africa Vive festival to celebrate Africa Day on May 25.
N’Dour’s closing concert is on May 29 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands off west Africa, some 2,500 kilometers from Seville, where he headlines a day-long concert today (May 22) called Territorios Africa. The Territorios Sevilla festival runs May 22-June 6.
“It is really gratifying that African music is reaching Seville and the Spanish public at last,” N’Dour said before the Seville event in a city center park.
Africa Vive is organized by public consortium Casa Africa and Fundación Autor, the promotion arm of the Spanish authors’ and publishers’ collecting society, SGAE. It enjoys the active support of associated events such as Territorios Sevilla, Womad in Cáceres, and institutions such as the Madrid city and regional governments, the Andalucia regional government, Madrid’s Complutense University, and African embassies in Spain.
Casa Africa’s main office is in Las Palmas on the Canary Island of Gran Canaria, but it has several regional offices across the Spanish mainland. It is run by the foreign ministry, the Canary Islands regional government, and the Spanish International Cooperation Agency for Development (Aecid).
Africa Vive aims to bring together African and Spanish cultures, and apart from music, the events include cinema, art exhibitions and cultural workshops. “We have to remind ourselves sometimes that Africa is more than an extensive territory that suffers the consequences of hungers and wars, but a continent with great possibilities. The concerts we have arranged also remind us that it is a musical treasure house,” says Africa Vive coordinator Xavier Novaes.
Africa Vive events began on May 6 in Las Palmas, and take in four of the seven Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura), Madrid, Seville, Cáceres, Barcelona, and the wind-surf resort of Tarifa, which is holding a parallel African Film Festival.
Playing alongside N’Dour at the Seville concert are African musicians Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Tony Allen, Rokia Traoré, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Bá, Daara J Family, Suzanna Owiyo, Justin Tchatchoua, Simao Felix, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Smod.
The main Madrid concert is on May 23, when Barcelona-based multi-national band Ojos de Brujo headline at the Madrid university show, which also stars Senegalese rap trio Daara J Family, reggae artist Tiken Jah Fakoly, Smod and Bassekou Kouyate.