A benefit concert and art showcase presented by One Vibe Africa and EMP to empower Kenyan youth.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
One Vibe Africa and EMP Museum present the 2nd Annual Madaraka Festival, a night of music and purpose. Madaraka Festival is a creative collaboration among Seattle artists in support of One Vibe Africa’s Music and Art Program, based in Kisumu, Kenya.
Don’t miss spectacular musical performances by Owuor Arunga (One Vibe Artistic Director and trumpeter for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis), Blitz the Ambassador, Sauti Sol, and others, as well as an art sale featuring original work by students and teachers from Kisumu. All proceeds go directly to One Vibe Africa and youth in Kisumu.
Now more than ever, youth in Kenya are in need of the artistic encouragement and experiences offered by One Vibe Africa. Madaraka Festival provides the resources for these vital artistic exchanges. Hundreds of youth are now participating in One Vibe Africa’s programs in Kenya as a direct result of the collaboration between Seattle artists involved in Madaraka Festival.
The successful 2014 festival initiated international cultural exchange between Kenya, and Seattle while achieving unanticipated benefits, including:
• Inspired creative collaboration between Africans and African-Americans in Seattle.
• Showcased the best African-oriented concert dubbed: “a night to remember” by Northwest Music Scene, “a premier African-influenced festival” by YES Magazine, and a “globally-oriented event” by Humanosphere.
Owuor Arunga is a legendary trumpeter, One Vibe Global Ambassador, and Madaraka Festival Artistic Director. Arunga went to The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York where the musicians he admired acted as mentors. You may recognize him as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ trumpeter.
The award-winning African Band Sauti Sol from Kenya won an MTV EMA Award as Best African Band in 2014. Comprised of Bien-Aime Baraza, Willis Austin Chimano, Polycarp Otieno, and Savara Mudigi, this foursome mixes their soulful voices with vocal harmonies, guitar riffs, and drum rhythm. Sauti Sol blends warm resonant pop with traditional Kenyan influences. Their mélange of energetic rhythms has promoted the group to become one of Africa's most celebrated and East Africa's pioneers of a fresh sound that has inspired the sprouting of many other bands in the area.
Sauti Sol's two albums, Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosoia (2011), have received high acclaim on Kenyan charts and gained international attention with shows in Africa (including their 2011 celebrated concert performance in Kenya with Ladysmith Black Mambazo), Europe and the U.S., as well as television appearances and various nominations. In 2012, Sauti Sol released Sauti Sol, a self-titled EP and collaborative effort with South African avant-garde innovative rapper/producer Spoek Mathambo. The band is currently in the itianal stages of producing their anticipated third album, Live and Die in Afrika, set for release this year.
BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR
Blitz the Ambassador is a musician, composer, and filmmaker born in Accra, Ghana. He was introduced to hip-hop music through the sounds of Public Enemy, KRS One, and Rakim. Blitz moved to the U.S. to study at Kent State University where he began releasing mixtapes and EPs. After being offered what he considered to be inadequate recording deals from established labels, he formed Embassy MVMT through which he has released Stereotype (2009), Native Sun (2011), and most recently, the ambitious Afropolitan Dreams (2014). Blitz is currently finishing up his new album Diasporadical, which is due out in 2015. He has performed at some of the world's biggest music festivals including Roskilde (Denmark), Solidays (France), and Mawazine (Morocco), sharing the stage with the likes of The Roots, Sting, and Public Enemy. In 2009, Blitz was chosen as one of “50 Emerging Artists” by Beyond Race magazine, and in 2013 Blitz the Ambassador was awarded the distinguished Vilcek Prize, an award established to recognize outstanding immigrant contributions to American society in the Arts and Sciences.
JusMoni soothes you on a trans-dimensional experience with heavy-hitting bass and bright synths. Very seldom held in one genre, JusMoni also known as Mother Sister or Saffroniaa calls her music “Future/Electronic/Soul.” As a singer/songwriter and occasional beat maker, JusMoni has had many notable collaborations with artists such as THEESatisfaction (Seattle), and StarRo (Tokyo). Most recently she released a deluxe edition of her EP Queen Feel in collaboration with long time Seattle DJ and producer WD4D. Queen Feel is an EP that transcends the ideas of how electronic music plays with R&B.
Emerging with the heart of a lion, Dax Lion, a Roots Reggae artist is unabashedly clear on his mission to convey world-reaching messages while embracing Rastafari in a solid, bass-driven Reggae groove. Dax Lion hails from Kingston, Jamaica, where he made appearances on numerous high profile live shows, and has toured the U.S. performing on the East Coast in New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, and over to the West Coast in Las Vegas.
Aisha Fukushima is a public speaker, educator, singer, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist). RAPtivism is a global hip-hop project spanning 10 countries and four continents, highlighting the ways culture can contribute to universal efforts for freedom and justice by challenging apathy with awareness, ignorance with intelligence, and oppression with expression. As a leader of the ‘RAPtivism’ project, Fukushima has engaged in hip-hop communities across the U.S. and from France to Morocco, Kazakhstan, Japan, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark, and beyond.
Zack Okello’s alluring voice initiates the stories narrated in his music that depict his upbringing in the rich culture of the Lakeside City of Kisumu, Kenya. Okello taught guitar and vocal classes at One Vibe’s Music & Art Program before he moved to Lansing, Michigan in 2014. Okello takes listeners through a cultural journey using music. "Kisumu," his first single, talks about Kisumu City’s growth, and the creativity of the fishermen and women who use natural resources around Lake Victoria to make a living. "Bet e dala" is the title of Okello's second single and educates listeners to not be like the proverbial “Oyundi” that just sits there passively, he encourages his audience to do something tangible instead. Okello is determined to continue dropping educative and fresh traditional songs fusing Benga with jazz, blues, and a variety of rhythms.
Babaluku (aka Silas Balabyekkubo) is an award-winning musician, producer, community youth advocate, and social entrepreneur. Born and raised in Uganda until the age of twelve, Babaluku's creative spirit is driven by his desire to honor and highlight his musical roots while creating unique, fresh, and relevant music which inspires unity and directs attention to the power of the spiritual. Babaluku has shared the stage with many globally acclaimed artists, including Michael Franti, Shad K, Okai, and KRS-ONE.
A founding member of Uganda's legendary hip-hop group, Bataka Squad, Babaluku is known for introducing Luga Flow to Uganda's creative scene. This unique and powerful indigenous rooted style of positive hip-hop music has inspired youth in Uganda to embrace and celebrate their native languages, culture, and tradition. Babaluku is dedicated to changing lives and giving hope to young people from the ghetto slums of Kampala to Northern Uganda and other rural regions. Through the Bavubuka Foundation, Babaluku supports projects that are calling forth the spirit of Ugandan people in creative arts, youth empowerment, education, community development, sports, fashion, journalism, and community-building events.
Positive, conscious lyricism. Intelligent, honest wordplay. A spirited, passionate desire to stand up for human rights, for equal rights, and for WHAT is right. All characteristics of the emcee, recording artist, producer, and songwriter known as JaWaan LaRue, hailing from the great city West Coast city of Seattle, WA.
PROJECT LIONHEART is a live hip-hop band based out of Seattle, WA. Frontman/MC Caleb Cunningham, who is grounded in hip-hop music, has recruited a small group of players with backgrounds varying from gospel and reggae to West African percussion in order to create a truly unique form of hip-hop music. Their albums, The Art of Resistance, Shoebox Radio, The Urban Circus EP, and Civilian, reveal a sound that blends live instrumentation and electronic sampling with conscious and passionate lyrics.
YIRIM SECK (Senegal/Seattle)
Known for his searing lyricism, impassioned performance, and for forging hip-hop with traditional Senegalese dance music, Yirim Seck bridges the illustrious musical legacy of Seattle’s Central District with his family’s African heritage.
NAOMI WAMBOE (Kenya/Seattle)
First generation Kenyan-American singer Naomi Wamboe broke into the music industry with the release of her single “Niaje,” which pairs her vocal prowess with the power of Macklemore’s acclaimed trumpet player, Owour Arunga.
Tamao George Yasutake aka DJ Sureal has been an area DJ, beatmaker, and hip-hop enthusiast in Seattle for over 20 years. Coming from a diversely talented family, George decided to follow in his oldest brother’s footsteps (DJ Hardcut) to become a DJ. As a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, George has had the pleasure of rocking along with some of hip-hop’s most important pioneers. Presently, when not working with the youth in the community, George loves being onstage as DJ Sureal backing up local MC hero Yirim Seck or spinning breaks for the B-Boys and B-Girls.
Curated by Seattle-based Ethiopian artist Yadesa Bojia, the Madaraka Festival art sale features original work by students and teachers from Kisumu, and select pieces from renowned Pacific Northwest artists. The artwork will be on sale by the entrance to the Sky Church.
Born in Ethiopia, Yadesa Bojia immigrated to the United States in 1995. Bojia’s first exposure to art was as a child gazing at murals often found in Ethiopian Orthodox churches, famous for communicating religious histories to their audiences.
In Seattle, Bojia studied art at Seattle Pacific University and Seattle Central Design Academy. In 2010, Bojia won a worldwide competition to design the flag of the African Union, where a panel of experts chose Bojia’s design out of 106 worldwide entries. Bojia’s exposure to both African art and Western art provides him a unique perspective, and he believes his work is the by-product of the cultural differences he enjoyed while living in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and in Seattle, Washington. He also believes artists have a very unique opportunity, as well as responsibility, to work for justice and equality and communicating it to their respective communities.
Date and Time
May 31, 2015
8:00pm-10:30pm (doors 7:30pm)
325 5th Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98109
$25 general admission ($100 VIP admission)
Madaraka 2015 offers an exclusive opportunity to support youth empowerment from the comfort of a private VIP experience at the Blue Lounge. The dazzling and unconventional Blue Lounge includes:
• Private elevator access to a bird’s-eye view of Sky Church with soft seating
• Hosted bar with beer, wine, and light snacks
• Meet-and-greet event with performing artists
• Networking with Seattle-based corporate executives whose work has global impact
• Silent auction of exclusive artwork
• Goodie bag full of surprises from Africa!