Jubba Midnimo Residency May 14 – 27, 2016

Jubba was born Abdulkadir Omar Yusuf in Somalia in 1962. He began singing as a teenager in Mogadishu under the stage name “Jubba” and was recruited to the legendary Waaberi Group after winning a popular singing competition at the age of 19. Waaberi Group was Somalia’s government-sponsored music and dance troupe which included the best and most talented singers, musicians, and dancers in the country. With more than 300 members over its 30-year existence, the group was a source of national pride and toured the world multiple times. With Jubba at the helm as one of the group’s foremost singers in the 1980s, Waaberi toured China and the U.S. and performed in Oslo, Sweden; United Arab of Emirates; Doha, Qatar; Djbouti; and at a meeting of the United Nations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Following the overthrow of Dictator Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia plunged into a tribal power struggle and warfare: The country was no longer safe, especially for artists. “We split up when the civil war happened and we were all scattered,” Jubba says. “Some died but most went into exile. They are all around the world, wherever they could find asylum.”

The war had a devastating impact on music culture. Instruments and recordings were looted or destroyed, and a wave of conservatism proclaimed music as haram – forbidden. These factors, combined with a lack of resources, meant that Somali musicians both at home and in the diaspora have had to start from scratch. Jubba is now based in Toronto, Canada, where he has re-established his career as a singer, musician, and producer.

“We keep in touch and we try to help each other”
– Jubba, speaking about the former Waaberi musicians.

In the current Somali music scene, there is no bigger marker of success than an artist’s performance on the Internet platform YouTube. The emergence of YouTube in the early 2000s allowed Somali artists to share their music publicly, freely, and throughout the world, without the need for a market-based industry to record and distribute their work. With more than 400,000 – 1,400,000 views on many popular YouTube channels, Jubba is an international star. He continues to tour internationally, and recently, among other honors, wrote and performed a song for the Queen of Norway.

View photos from Jubba’s Residency

Monday, April 25th 2016
Living Room Concert with Dalmar and Bob’s Band
6pm, Private Residence

Bringing in international artists is not without hurdles – Jubba’s original residency had to be rescheduled due to visa delays! We had a great Living Room Concert on the calendar, and didn’t want to cancel, so we booked our current Artist-in-Residence, Dalmar Yare, to fill in. Performing live with Bob’s Band, he got the whole crowd moving and excited for Jubba’s pending arrival.

Saturday, May 21st 2016
Art-A-Whirl Family Day with Jubba Mini-Performance
2pm, PNA Hall
As part of Art-A-Whirl, the Learning for Leadership Charter School is presenting a day of hands-on arts activities, quirky games and prizes, and live music with a special Jubba performance from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday, May 21st 2016
Art-A-Whirl Family Day with Jubba Mini-Performance
2pm, PNA Hall
As part of Art-A-Whirl, the Learning for Leadership Charter School is presenting a day of hands-on arts activities, quirky games and prizes, and live music with a special Jubba performance from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Monday, May 23rd 2016
Workshop and Discussion: “What Music Means To You”
6pm, People’s Center Theater
On May 23, Jubba visited the People’s Center Theater, an 80-seat theater in the middle of People’s Center Health Services, to discuss his favorite topic – music. What does music mean to you?

Tuesday, May 24th 2016

Living Room Concert
6pm, Private Residence

Thursday, May 26th 2016
Education Program
1pm, The Cedar Cultural Center
On May 26, Jubba performed an Education Program for 400 students from Seward Montessori School, Anne Sullivan School, South St. Paul High School, and Cedar Community School. Students learned about Jubba’s artistic process, inspiration, and cultural background, and finally… they danced!

Friday, May 27th 2016
Jubba Residency Finale Concert with Danami and the Blue and DJ Jeylani
8pm, The Cedar Cultural Center

Jubba (May 2016)

Jubba at the May 27th Finale Concert

Midnimo is Supported By:
FUNDING BLOCK-MIDNIMO-PROGRAM-PAGE-WEB-72dpi (2)