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You’re invited to THE official event of South Florida’s AfroRoots World Music Festival — taking place for the first time at The Studios of Key West!
This concert is the highlight event of this year’s festival, and celebrates 20 years of AfroRoots. It’s a very special evening of Caribbean and African music performed by Jude Papaloko and Morikeba Kouyate. They’ll bring together songs of the drum and virtuosic playing of the Kora, a traditional 21-string instrument from West Africa. Get up close and personal in our intimate venue.
Now in its 20th year, the Afro Roots Music festival features more than 50 international and local acts from all over the world and runs from January through June 2018.
For the first time ever, the festival will spread its reach throughout South Florida, from as far north as the town of Jupiter in Palm Beach County, all the way down to the southernmost city of Key west.
Jude Thegenius (a.k.a. Jude Papaloko) draws much of his inspiration as a painter and musician from his youth in Haiti. “In Haiti, if you spoke out against the government, the police could come into your house at night, take you away, and you’d disappear forever,” says Thegenius. Despite the high risk, Jude and a group of musicians and activists formed an organization called Sunshine and put on performances that were critical of the government. “The music was about revolt,” Thegenius explains. – Miami New Times, Best Haitian Band
Master Kora Musician & Griot
Morikeba’s story is a legend that began more than 700 years ago with his Ancestors. The Griot is the “Carrier of the Oral Tradition” and composed of Griot families among the Mandinka people. First of these families was the Kouyate family. Those histories were passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. There are very few families left, but they can be recognized by their last names. To truly be a Griot, you have to be born into a Griot family.
Morikeba Kouyate is known throughout West Africa for his electrifying performances and virtuosity with the traditional the Kora. The Kora is a 21- string instrument from the West African countries of The Gambia, Senegal, and Mali . It is an ancient instrument that is part of Africa’s rich spiritual music tradition. Morikeba began his training at the age of eight and was performing professionally by the age of fourteen. He became successful and well-known for his expert storytelling and Kora playing. As a result of his success, Morikeba was given the opportunity to have his own radio program in Dakar, Senegal. His show was aired throughout Senegal and several other African countries. He also made numerous appearances on Senegalese television. Morikeba Kouyate has played before African royalty and the Presidents of several countries, including Senegal and The Gambia. Morikeba Kouyate is a recipient of a 2002 Illinois Arts Council grant for the Master-Apprentice Program; a 2003-2005 Illinois Arts Council Arts tour artist; and a recipient of a 2003 City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) grant. Additionally, Morikeba has given workshops around the country and has taught/performed at Harvard, DePaul, Northwestern, Xavier, and many other universities . Mr. Kouyate performs year-round throughout the United States and currently resides in New Orleans.