Nuits d’Afrique Brings the Best Worldbeat Music to Montreal

Pierre Kwenders Photo © Cindy Voitus Pierre Kwenders Photo © Cindy Voitus

Nuits d’Afrique is one of the best ways to satisfy your love of music after Jazz Fest for those who love an international sound. Each night offers multiple shows that include reggae, blues, and calypso alongside the music of djembes, doundouns, and the kora. Many shows are free at Place des Arts, while some are held in venues instead. Here are some picks for the festival’s remaining week.



Ben L’Oncle Soul

Award winning French musician, Benjamin Duterde, moved from singing with the gospel group Fitiavana to releasing solo albums. He has performed at the Montreal Jazz Fest, Franco Folies, and the Montreal High Lights Festival. (July 17, Le National, 8 p.m., $35, HERE)


Ilam is one of the hottest worldbeat musicians around. Hailing from Dakar, Senegal, he was traiend as a guitarist at the Écolde nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Conservatoire de musique, giving him a grounding to allow for music that is both joyful, diverse, and skillful. (July 18, TD-ICI Musique Stage at Place des Arts, 8 p.m., FREE)

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80

Fans of Afro-beat will know Fela. His son, Seun Kuti follows in his father’s footsteps by taking the funk-jazz into new, powerful places. He has been performing with Egypt 80 since the age of 9, and took his father’s place as lead singer in 1997. Brian Eno has had a hand in producing the works of this political and musical voice that fights against inequalities. (July 19, TD – ICI Musique Stage at Place des Arts, 9:30 p.m., FREE)


Veeby of Camaroon and now Quebec blends African sounds with urban music. She has a big voice and a very charismatic presence as she sings about love, peace, and respect. She makes social issues central to her music and her identity. (July 20, Sphere TV5, 9:00 p.m., FREE)


This Latin American duo (not to be confused with the music of the same name) combines the sounds of two well respected musicians from Mexico (Mamselle Ruiz) and Brazil (Bia). Together, they compose songs that draw on the Latin musical tradition. (July 21, Fairmount Theatre, 9:00 p.m., $25.50. HERE)

Nuits D’Afrique continues until July 23. For shows and tickets, click HERE. 




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