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Luminato Festival Toronto: Music Weekend

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Zeca Pagodinho
Brazilian singer-songwriter Zeca Pagodinho

Celebrate the incredible community of musicians from across the world and around the block who make Toronto sing and dance! Luminato’s closing weekend features a FREE music festival in David Pecaut Square. See schedule below for the full lineup and times.

Come groove with us on Saturday afternoon to the sounds of Moneka Arabic Jazz, then stick around for the resplendent Yaya Bey’s soul, jazz and R&B with a cheeky edge. Polaris Music Prize winner, Congolese-born Pierre Kwenders launches the evening with Afrobeats, followed by a double bill of Indigenous hip-hop from Snotty Nose Rez Kids, and Latiné New Yorker Princess Nokia. Be sure to arrive early on Saturday afternoon to catch a film screening of Sultans of Strings’ visual album: Refuge Project at 3:30 PM.  

Come back down on Sunday to witness the local premiere of Lakota multi-disciplinary artist Mato Wayuhi, travel the Black Atlantic with Lusophone ensemble Ayom, rejoice to the funk, soul, hip-hop and everything-in-between NOLA vibes of Tank and the Bangas, and dance the night away with the crown prince of Samba, Zeca Pagodinho.

Date & Time: June 17, 1:00pm-11pm / June 18, 1:00pm-10pm
Location: David Pecaut Square / 215 King St W / Toronto, ON M5V 3G2 Canada

Saturday, June 17th Schedule

Selectress Sunshine 1:00 PM
Selectress Sunshine loves Early Reggae, Rocksteady, and Soul, and she would go dance to it as often as possible.  A few years ago, she began to DJ with a stack of albums and seven forty fives, when invited to do so by a friend running one of her favourite Reggae nights.  That night she fell in love with playing for others, and also fell in love with 45’s. Her collection has grown significantly since then, and it now includes Rocksteady, Ska, Early Reggae, Roots, Dub, Soul, Motown, Funk, Blues, and a variety of other 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s music.  

Diar 2:45 PM
Diar is a Syrian band dedicated to reviving and preserving traditional Syrian and Arabic songs by infusing them with a flamenco touch. Our aim is to cultivate and celebrate the rich Arabic heritage through our music, using easy rhythms so everyone can appreciate and enjoy it. The term “Diar” refers to the open space of a courtyard in Damascus’ traditional houses (also known as “Ard Diar).

Sultans of String – film screening 3:30 PM
This ambitious and passionately political film puts world music supergroup, Sultans of String, face-to-face with a VIP roster of global ‘ambassadors,’ some of whom are recent immigrants and refugees to Canada and the U.S., as well as essential Indigenous voices.

YouTube Video: Moneka Arabic Jazz: Aman

Moneka Arabic Jazz 5:00 PM
Moneka Arabic Jazz reflects the life and journey in art from Baghdad to Toronto of founder Ahmed Moneka, showcasing melodies from his homeland Iraq mixed with African groove and rhythm. Jazz and blues bridge these Afro-Arabic traditions with the fascinating musical diversity of Torontonian performers. 

Yaya Bey 6:35 PM
Described by Pitchfork as “resplendent,” Yaya Bey blends R&B, soul, and jazz with the powerful specificity of her lyrics. Exploring a range of sounds and emotions, Yaya Bey brings high energy, down tempo beats to your Saturday afternoon.

Pierre Kwenders 7:35 PM
Congolese-Canadian Polaris Prize winner Pierre Kwenders combines the sounds of Congo and Montreal to create electro-pop with a unique sonic landscape. “His every song summons an international midnight” – The New Yorker.

YouTube Video – Pierre Kwenders: Heartbeat

Snotty Nose Rez Kids 8:35 PM
First Nations hip hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids, rappers Darren “Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce – originally from Kitamaat Village, British Columbia – deliver bold, unapologetic political messages enhanced and elevated by fast-paced rhymes and soaring synths.  

Princess Nokia 9:45 PM
New York rapper/singer/songwriter Princess Nokia brings Saturday night to a rousing finish with their signature blend of rap & hip hop, infused with pop culture references and high energy performance.

YouTube Video – Princess Nokia: No Effort

Sunday, June 18th Schedule

Selectress Sunshine 1:00 PM
Selectress Sunshine loves Early Reggae, Rocksteady, and Soul, and she would go dance to it as often as possible.  A few years ago, she began to DJ with a stack of albums and seven forty fives, when invited to do so by a friend running one of her favourite Reggae nights.  That night she fell in love with playing for others, and also fell in love with 45’s. Her collection has grown significantly since then, and it now includes Rocksteady, Ska, Early Reggae, Roots, Dub, Soul, Motown, Funk, Blues, and a variety of other 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s music.  

Sister Ray 3:15 PM
Sister Ray, the project of Edmonton-born songwriter Ella Coyes, was conceived out of necessity; a self-designed vehicle built to examine trauma with unflinching honesty. Raised on the prairies of Sturgeon County, Sister Ray’s music is heavily influenced by a diverse range of cultural styles, including gospel bluegrass, 90s country, and traditional Métis music. 

YouTube Video – Sister Ray: Good News

Mato Wayuhi 4:15 PM
Mato Wayuhi “Standing Soldier” is a young Lakota artist originally from South Dakota, and is the music composer for the hit show Reservation Dogs. The music is described as unapologetic, not needing permission to exist and made with an urgency — an urgency to move Indigenous artists into a new era. He was recently featured on CBC Radio’s Reclaimed and now brings his RnB/ pop sound to Toronto for the first time.

AYOM 5:20 PM
Ayom are musical seafarers who traverse the Black Atlantic from Brazil to Angola and Cape Verde, bringing with them a distinctly Mediterranean identity. They are an intercultural group from Lisbon and Barcelona and their sound is a mix of Brazilian, Afrolatin and Afrolusitan sounds.

YouTube Video – AYOM: Me Deixe Ser

Tank and the Bangas 6:50 PM
From NPR’s Tiny Desk to Tiktok, Tank and the Bangas have been bringing their New Orleans, Afro-centric soul to people everywhere since 2011. Creating joy is their business in music and performance, and indeed their performance is second to none. They won the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest and were nominated for Best New Artist at the 2020 Grammy Awards. Check them out early Sunday evening. 

YouTube Video – Tank and The Bangas: No ID

Zeca Pagodinho 8:30 PM
Luminato 2023 comes to a spectacular close with the crown prince of Samba Carioca, Zeca Pagodinho, performing with 20-piece band. A rare visit by one of the global greats, Zeca’s inimitable sound is steeped in decades of experience performing around the world, representing the incredible musical legacy of samba and pagode. Zeca holds the heart of Rio de Janeiro, the sound of community where everyday life revolves around the joy and lament that is samba. The dreams, fears, aspirations and love for life of all Brazilian people is wrapped in the poetry of samba songs.

YouTube Video – Zeca Pagodinho

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