The 2014 Global Roots Festival featured La Yegros, Banda Magda, Mohamed Alta, Alma Andina, Hassan Hakmoun, Derek Gripper, Deeqa Bilan, Bob’s Band, Emel Mathlouthi, Feedel Band, and Argos.The annual Global Roots Festival is The Cedar’s signature event. Each year, it reaches 3,000 audience members with performances, educational programs, and workshops featuring established and emerging international musicians. The only world music festival in the state, the festival attracts audiences of all ages and backgrounds from all over the region and speaks to the heart of our mission by presenting unique and innovative artistic voices from diverse cultures to further intercultural appreciation and understanding. Our daytime educational programs for K-12 students combine performance elements with discussion, Q&A, and instrument demonstrations that provide context and a deeper understanding of the artists’ work and culture and foster a lifelong appreciation for the arts. Since 2011, all festival events have been entirely free.
In 2014, we featured special “intermission sets” featuring Somali artists each evening to celebrate of the kick-off of The Cedar’s new Midnimo program. Named using the Somali word for “unity,” Midnimo consists of multi-week residencies with Somali artists from Minnesota and around the world that promote intercultural appreciation and build knowledge and understanding of Somali culture through music.
For these sets, we commissioned two collaborations between local Somali singers and non-Somali bands to present full live performances. Mohamed Alta was backed by popular Latin band Alma Andina and Deeqa Bilan was backed by “Bob’s Band,” a group of Augsburg students and alumni, led by Augsburg Music Department Chair Emeritus and Midnimo Music Director, Bob Stacke. We also presented a solo performance by local singer and oud-player, Argos, with storytelling by his daughter, artist and actor, Ifrah Mansour. For most of the 1,500 audience members in attendance – both Somali and non-Somali – it was their first time experiencing Somali music performed live with a full band.
Monday, September 15th 2014
La Yegros with Banda Magda
Somali singer Mohamed Alta and Latin folk band Alma Andina.
Tuesday, September 16th 2014
Hassan Hakmoun with Derek Gripper
Somali singer Deeqa Bilan, and world jazz ensemble Bob’s Band, led by BobStacke.
Wednesday, September 17th 2014
Emel Mathlouthi with Feedel Band
Intermission Set: Somali oud player Argos.
Thursday, September 18th 2014
Music and its Message: Saado Ali Warsame’s significance as an outspoken artist
6pm at Brian Coyle Center
Saado Ali Warsame was a beloved female Somali singer-songwriter and politician dedicated to political and social justice. She was tragically assassinated by warlords in Somalia in 2014. In this session held at Brian Coyle Center, 35 elder Somali women and other members of the community gathered to discuss Saado’s legacy through her lyrics and their meanings in a safe and intimate setting.