2016 Global Roots Festival September 19 – 21 2016

The 2016 Global Roots Festival featured Fémina, Maya Kamaty, J.A.S.S. Quartet, Lautari, SK Kakraba, and Palenke Soultribe


The annual Global Roots Festival is The Cedar’s signature event. Each year, it reaches 2,000 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.


View photos from the 2016 Global Roots Festival



Monday, September 19, 2016



2 pm: Festival Kickoff:

The Festival Kickoff featured music from Fémina (Argentina), light refreshments and drinks from the Cedar Coffeescape, served by Brian Coyle Center’s Triple C youth crew


7:30 pm: Evening Performances:

Fémina (Argentina) is a trio of female Patagonian singer songwriters, whose diverse songs are characterized by show-stopping harmonies and a magical on-stage chemistry reminiscent of Ibeyi mixed with smooth hip hop flow a la Anita Tijoux. Their live shows are often theatrical and mix a variety of Latin genres such as cumbia, candombe, rumba, boleros, with international rhythms alike such as reggae and funk. A unique and thrilling combo, the trio has toured internationally in Mexico, Europe, released two albums and are currently working away on their third full-length LP to be released in 2016.


Winner of the ‘Music of the Indian Ocean’ prize, Maya Kamaty (Réunion Island) wins hearts with her island blues melodies and halting ternary rhythm of Maloya, a style unique to her homeland of Réunion. Despite being cradled by the stories told by her mother, and the music and poetry sung by her father Gilbert Pounia and his band Ziskakan, she did not take to music as her calling until she left Réunion Island to study in France. Distanced from Creole culture, she sought out her roots and explored her identity through music. Maya Kamaty is breaking down boundaries as one of the few popular female singers to sing Maloya, a style traditionally sung by males. She transcends its boundaries to create her own intimate folk style of music by blending it with French chanson, Indian, and African influences.



Tuesday, September 20th, 2016


11 am: Daytime program for youth

With J.A.S.S. Quartet (India/LA)


7:30 pm: Evening Performances: 

Members of the band Lautari met in 2000 and performed together until 2008, playing modern ethno-jazz rooted in the traditions of Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe and Caucasus. During that time they produced two well-received albums: Azaran and Muzica Lautareasca Nova. Their latest release, in the summer of 2015, is the live recording Vol. 67. Here, Lautari is reunited after several years to produce their first project fully dedicated to Polish folk music. Lautari has long been dedicated to restoring the splendor of Polish folk music: from playing in crudo, to accompanying dancing as our rural predecessors did, to participation in avant-garde music projects. They have performed at barn dances, in jazz clubs, and in large concert halls in Poland and abroad. Firmly believing musical notation to be an inadequate means of recording folk music, they have made a point of learning their repertoire directly from village musicians.


J.A.S.S. Quartet is a collaboration deeply rooted in Indian classical/folk and jazz/hip hop. Having trained with master artists in Indian classical and jazz, this group seeks to find a space for the classical and the contemporary worlds to come together in a unique and unified soundscape. A dynamic and exciting blend of Carnatic Raga, North Indian folk, and classical rhythms, and jazz’s harmonic structure create a distinctly evocative sound that maintains the Indian classical and jazz aesthetic while pushing the boundaries of these traditions to create a refreshingly new sound.




Wednesday, September 21st, 2016


11 am: Daytime program for youth:

With Palenke Soultribe (Colombia)


6 pm: Minnesota United FC Closing Night Pre-Performance Party:

Featuring a meet-and-greet with players from Minnesota’s Major League soccer team, Minnesota United, a Minnesota United photobooth, appearances by the West Bank Athletic Club, free snacks and appetizers, and a 7:00 pm set by Breck Academy’s marimba band, BATO BATO



7:30 pm: Evening Performances: 

SK Kakraba was born in Saru, a small farming community in the northern region of Ghana, an area known for its many great xylophone players. His uncle, Kakraba Lobi, was one of the first gyil players to tour, lecture and record internationally. Sk Kakraba undertook traditional training in xylophone from a young age. Later, he was brought by his uncle to Accra to work as a performer and instructor at the International Center for African Music at the University of Ghana. In the year 2000-2001, SK began touring internationally to share his culture, performing in Jordan, Switzerland, and seven African countries. In 2002, he released his first recording Gandayina: Xylophone Music of Ghana (Pentatonic Press). In 2012 SK relocated to Los Angeles and began working with local musicians to create a new blend of traditional and modern music.


Live electronic production collective Palenke Soultribe (PST) are taking electronic music to new heights by deconstructing Afro-Colombian rhythms and blending them with modern beats, catchy bass lines, and synthesized arpeggios. Based in Los Angeles, Palenke Soultribe puts on energetic shows, and are consistently releasing albums and remixes that push the envelope visually and conceptually. They represent a new generation of Colombian musicians ready to break all the rules.



All performances were MC’d by Minnesota-based Somali musician Dalmar Yare and Cedar Booking Coordinator Grace Evenson. During a two-and-a-half year residency at The Cedar, Dalmar is focused on performing and guiding programs to provide an entry point to global music for Minnesota’s Somali immigrant community and expose Cedar audiences to live Somali music.