Uma Nota Music Festival

Uma Nota starts anew as a three-day music festival

Uma Nota music nights started as a bi-monthly event back in 2007 that highlighted Latin, Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian music ranging from live funk and soul to vinyl-mixed DJ sets. Starting this year, the series will also take shape as a three-day festival, with film screenings and workshops in addition to the usual high-intensity musical fare.

The regularly scheduled events at the Gladstone aren't going anywhere, but you can expect the festival version of Uma Nota to draw even bigger crowds onto the dance floors of the participating venues, which include the Gladstone Ballroom (where everything got started), the El Mocambo, and Lula Lounge. Here's a quick glimpse at what's in store from the inaugural Uma Nota festival.

Friday, Nov. 18th — World Funk (The Uma Nota Flagship)
Headlined by percussion specialists and Uma Nota staples, Samba Elégua, who will be joined by the Kensington Horns, night one of the festival should feel like old times for those who've made it out for one of the music nights in the past. It should also offer a great intro to what the festival is all about for first-timers. I last heard Samba Elégua play on day one of Occupy Toronto, and I was reminded just how visceral their live performances are. Also on the Friday docket are DJs Jason Palma, host of CIUT's Higher Ground show, and General Eclectic, who will inject a bit more modern dance vibe into the proceedings. Admission is $10.

Saturday, Nov. 19th — World Electro (funkété meets Uma Nota)

Saturday is film night (or really evening) at the festival, with a number of short screenings in affiliation with the AluCine Festival of Latin Film and Media Arts. This portion of the festival will take place at the Revue Cinema, and as the title suggests, Brazil will play a central thematic and geographic role. After the films wrap up, the night's musical proceedings will get underway at the El Mocambo with performances by Boogat, a Canadian hip-hop artists with deep influences from world music (see vid above), the Dos Mundos DJs and DJ Jerus Nazdaq, the latter two of whom are bound to spin some electro-tinged funk and dupstep to the dance floor. Saturday night doubles up as the closing party for the film festival, so expect a pack house. Festival admission is $6, while cover at the El Mocambo is $10.

Sunday, Nov. 20th — World Roots (The community cultural fair)
Sunday will begin with a series of workshops and food offerings fram Caju. The cultural fair is supposed engaging but not overly academic. Case in point: there will be lessons on how to make the perfect caipirinha and on how to dance the "Roda de Coco." That latter of these workshops could be a good primer for the final musical performances, which will feature Luanda Jones (Brazilian jazz-fusion), Tropicalia (vintage Brazilian pop), Maria Bonita & the Band (Forró Pe de Serra), DJ David Dacks (dub), and MC Bookshelf (samba/soul). Admission is $5 or PWYC.

For more information, check out the festival website.

Photo by Kevin Jones of Batucada Carioca Samba Group at a previous Uma Nota


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