In 2014 we presented three local Somali artists as part of our 6th annual three-day Global Roots Festival. 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.
These “intermission sets” were part of a celebration 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.
Monday, September 15th 2014
La Yegros with Banda Magda
Intermission Set: Somali singer Mohamed Alta and Latin folk band Alma Andina.
Mohamed Alta, described as this generation's "Boqorka Codka," or the "King of Voice," is a Twin Cities Somali singer and songwriter. He performs at Somali weddings and parties, and he recently released a new album Hoobaan.
Tuesday, September 16th 2014
Hassan Hakmoun with Derek Gripper
Intermission Set: Somali singer Deeqa Bilan, and world jazz ensemble Bob's Band, led by Bob Stacke.
Deeqa Bilan is part of the new generation of female Somali singers in Minneapolis. Deeqa was born in Mogadishu and grew up in Minnesota. She started performing publicly in 2004 but has loved singing as long as she can remember. In 2006, Deeqa produced her first album “Nura” and has recorded more than five albums since.
Wednesday, September 17th 2014
Emel Mathlouthi with Feedel Band
Intermission Set: Somali oud player Argos.
Argos is a respected elder, oud player, and storyteller. He has been playing the oud for over 40 years now, usually performing at small events and community gatherings. He played traditional Somali tunes as part of the grand opening of the Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum.
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.