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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba Festival explores what it means to be black in the 21st century


TORONTO, ON (January 5, 2016) – Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce the 2016 edition of its annual Kuumba celebration, February 5–7, presented in partnership with TD Bank Group.

Under the theme of ‘Black Like We’, the festival will investigate race politics and the shared experience of Blackness in today’s society through spoken word, panel discussions, music, comedy, film, and more. Kuumba offers fun, free activities for everyone.
Kuumba 2016 will host panel discussions, led by activist and journalist Desmond Cole exploring the experience of being Black, with a specific focus on youth, and renowned DJ Mel Boogie will lead a discussion around misogyny in hip-hop.


Jalal Nuriddin, founder of the Last Poets and grandfather of rap, will be joined by Malik Al Nasir, protégé of Gil Scott Heron, and other local poets and musicians to explore the words and rhythms of the streets. This group of artists will perform a variety of spoken word that speaks to both spirituality and modern day issues; please note this is a ticketed event. This program is hosted by Northern Griot Network and presented in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum.
Sergio Elmir, Artistic Associate of Kuumba, comments, “as one of the city’s longest-running Black History Month events we are thrilled to continue celebrating this vital month with all Torontonians. Our goal is to initiate dialogue, create awareness, share a multitude of voices and unite the community.”

Kuumba Highlights:
  • Spoken Word: Dispatches from Tomorrow
    A very special performance focusing on the legacy of spoken word from the streets.
    Participating Artists – Jalal Nuriddin, Malik Al Nasir, Just Jamaal, Ian Keteku, Yusara Khogali, Waleed Abdulhamid and other musicians.
    Tickets: $20
  • Music: She Got Next: Women in Hip-Hop
    Celebrate Canadian women in the hip-hop industry with special guest, Michie Mee, Toronto’s first lady of hip-hop.
    Participating Artists – Michie Mee, Adria Kain, pHoenix Pagliacci and DJ Mel Boogie
  • Comedy: Black Like She – Women in Comedy Showcase
    This all-female comedy showcase takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the experience of being a Black woman in Canada.
    Participating Artists – Keesha Brownie, Zabrina Chevannes, Coko & Daphney and Amani
  • Film: Hustler’s Convention
    An exclusive advance screening, followed by a special Q&A with Jalal Nuriddin and Malik Al Nasir.
  • Visual Arts: Kuumba Lounge – Live Painting
    Artists from different walks of life come together to create a beautiful mural depicting the festival’s themes.
    Participating Artists – Shirley Mpagi, Jae Stewart and Adrian Hayles
For full festival details, visit harbourfrontcentre.com/kuumba/ or call our information desk at 416-973-4000. Now that the Queens Quay revitalization is complete, please visit harbourfrontcentre.com/gettinghere for updates on how to access the site.

ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE
Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto’s central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe.

ABOUT TD BANK GROUP
TD salutes the contributions of members of the black community to Canada by proudly sponsoring the Then & Now series of cultural events.
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