to Jun 9

Seattle International Film Festival

Seattle International Film Festival has a number of African films and films whose subject matter relates to Africa.

Check the Film Guide for titles, descriptions, venues, etc.

African-based films:

Woman Who Loves Giraffes, Yomeddine, Before the Vows, Another Day of Life, The Mercy of the Jungle, Kifaru, Fig Tree, EXT. Night, Urgent, Sakawa, Sew the Winter to My Skin

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World Rhythm Festival 2019
11:00 AM11:00

World Rhythm Festival 2019

The Seattle World Percussion Society presents World Rhythm Festival 2019 at the Seattle Center (Armory and Mural Amphitheatre) 11am – 10pm.  On the Armory main stage and in the workshops, there will be many different African groups including:  Anzanga Marimba, Ati Sanna (Kenya), Iroko Percussion (West Africa), Djely Boka Kouyate, and Naby Camara.  Free admission.

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Mdou Moctar
to Apr 15

Mdou Moctar

In the crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, Mdou Moctar stands apart from his peers. Playing in
the repertoire of desert guitar popularized by groups like Tinariwen and Bombino, Mdou is
pushing the boundaries of the genre with a unique personal sound. With versatile compositions
and genre defying albums, Mdou’s music has been an underground success with an
international following, set on redefining the sound of the desert.
Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in the Azawagh desert of Niger, a remote region steeped
in religious tradition. As a child, he taught himself to play the a homemade guitars, cobbled
together out of planks of wood. It was years later before he found a “real” guitar, teaching
himself in secret. In an area where guitar music was all but prohibited, he quickly rose to the
status of local celebrity amongst the village youth.
In 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album “Anar.” A psychedelic reworking of the
Tuareg sound, the electronic tracks featured innovative pitch bending synths, drum machines,
and autotune. In 2010, he teamed up with the label and collective Sahel Sounds, releasing his
first international album, “Afelan.” In 2015, he co-wrote and starred in the first ever Tuareg
language film, “Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It,” a Saharan remake of Prince’s “Purple
Rain.” In 2017, he again shifted gears to another sound with “Sousoume Tamachek,” a mellow
blissed out recording evoking the calm desert soundscape, tackling religion, spirituality, and
matters of the heart.
In the past years, Tuareg rock music has gotten faster. There is a preference for this new style,
both in the raucous weddings of Agadez and in Berlin rock clubs. The wavering guitar solos,
rapid fire drums and heavy distortion has become characteristic of the contemporary sound.
Mdou takes on this challenge, but with an ear towards tradition. Rooted in traditional, with
borrowed polyrhythms of traditional « takamba » and lyrics sung in the style of old nomadic
poets, his guitar playing is wild and unrelenting, equal parts nomadic bard and Eddie Van Halen.
Mdou Moctar and his band have toured Europe and North America, playing sold out shows from
small DIY rock clubs in Portland to New York City’s Lincoln Center. His music has been featured
in the BBC, The Guardian, Pitchfork, New Yorker, L.A. Weekly, NPR, Rolling Stone, Les
Inrocks, and his film continues to be screened at film festivals around the world. From
underground star of Niger to international film star, Mdou Moctar has undoubtedly one of the
quickest rises to success.

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Kijiji Night
6:00 PM18:00

Kijiji Night

Seattle Art Museum and One Vibe Africa are proud to present Kijiji Night. Kijiji Night brings together storytellers, poets, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, and community members of African descent residing in the Pacific Northwest as part of the Black History Month celebration. The 4th Annual event features a special album launch and tribute to Samini from Ghana. Gabriel Teodros from Seattle will also present a special performance. The evening will also feature storytelling by Nana Kibibi, and unlimited supply of authentic African food from various countries. Free entry, 6-9pm at SAM, 1300 First Avenue, Seattle.  RSVP here:

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African Dance: Etienne Cakpo (Benin) - 3 nights
to Jan 27

African Dance: Etienne Cakpo (Benin) - 3 nights

  • Katharyn Alvord Gerlich Theater (Meany Hall) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The UW Department of Dance presents its annual Faculty Dance Concert, showcasing original work by nationally and internationally recognized faculty members Rachael Lincoln, Dr. Juliet McMains, and Alethea Alexander. This year's concert will also feature a collaborative new piece for large ensemble by Kawasaki Guest Artist Etienne Cakpo, and new work by internationally known choreographer Brian Brooks.

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