The Afro Future of World Music is Female!


April 6 Afro Roots Fest Miami Beach Concert a Celebration of Women in World Music  

Community Arts and Culture, MDC Live Arts, and the Rhythm Foundation present Noura Mint Seymali, Fatoumata Diawara and the African Watoto Dance Theatre at the North Beach Bandshell April 6

Miami Beach, FL – January 16, 2019 – The Afro Roots Fest concert planned for Miami Beach will be all about the feminine spirit of world music, featuring a double bill of African chanteuses and a team of local dancers. Mauritanian Griot Noura Mint Seymali and Malian singer / guitarist Fatoumata Diawara will perform at the North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33141) on April 6, 2019, as will the African Watoto Dance Theatre. This is the first official concert of the Afro Roots Fest’s 21st season; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are now available for $28 online through, and will be $35 at the door; all ages are welcome.  

“For 20 years, Afro Roots Fest has brought the finest in traditional and contemporary African music to South Florida,” says Jose Elias, festival founder and executive director of Community Arts and Culture (CAC). “This year, you can add futuristic to the repertoire as the festival will showcase two extraordinary female artists in Noura Mint and Fatoumata. We are excited about having the Watoto dancers present once again.”

Seymali is one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries, and is known for applying the ancient musical traditions of the griot with a savvy contemporary aesthetic. Faithful to her Moorish roots, her sound is led by the raw music of the azawan, a word in Hassaniya that refers to the ensemble of traditional instruments in Moorish culture; the ardinetidinit, guitar, and t’beul. She has recently collaborated with Damon AlbarnBaaba MaalTinariwenSpoekMathamboOumou Sangare and Shabazz Palaces, and appeared at major music festivals throughout the globe.
Born to Malian parents in Ivory Coast, Diawara is also a social activist and actor with an acclaimed movie credit (Timbuktu, 2014). Her music combines electric guitar lines with the ancient African strings of the Kora and kamel ngoni, and a drum kit blended with the timeless rhythms of traditional percussion. She’s touring in support of her latest release called Fenfo (meaning “something to say”), which is Grammy-nominated and features original songs that cover such timeless subjects as respect, humility, love, migration, family, and how to build a better world for our children. The release made the New York Times and President Barack Obama’s “Best of 2018” list, as well as the year-end lists in MOJOThe GuardianThe Sunday Times, and fRoots. She has also enjoyed several recent high-profile collaborations (Albarn, Herbie HancockSnarkyPuppyLed Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones) and festival appearances.  

The African Watoto Dance Theatre is comprised of dancers from many genres of the African diaspora. The company’s repertoire includes original choreography in traditional West African dances, and Afro-fusion of modern and contemporary, Haitian folklore, Caribbean, Congolese Soukous, and storytelling. The company promotes the African arts specifically for the local communities that do not have access to an authentic cultural experience.

This event is being co-presented with MDC Live Arts and the Rhythm Foundation, and is made possible with the support of Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, the Doris Duke Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council.

High resolution images and videos are available. For more information, please visit or call 305.672.5202.


Incorporated in September 2002, Community Arts and Culture, Inc. (CAC) is a Miami-based non-profit organization that fosters an appreciation and understanding of a vast assortment of arts and cultures through workshops, lectures and artistic performances in local communities for individuals of all ages and social backgrounds.
In addition to the joint venture with the Little Haiti Community Center called Let the Children Have Music, and the ongoing World Music Tuesdays series at the Wynwood Yard, CAC co-produces the Roots in the Schools program, which brings music to Miami-area schools.
For more information, please visit
Miami Dade College (MDC) is proud to be the home of MDC Live Arts: Miami’s most eclectic performing arts series. Created in 1990 as Cultura del Lobo, MDC Live Arts has a celebrated history of bringing extraordinary national and international performing artists to Miami. The annual series presents today’s most exciting artists and designs meaningful engagement between these artists, the students of MDC, and the greater community. MDC Live Arts seeks artists from across the globe who push boundaries and honor traditions relevant to Miami’s diverse community, and aims to offer audiences opportunities to discover new ideas, perspectives and forms of expression
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Founded in 1988, The Rhythm Foundation, is a not-for-profit cultural organization that is a foremost presenter of international music in the US. The Rhythm Foundation has presented concerts, festivals and events featuring over 800 established and innovative artists from around the world. Special focus is given to those cultures connecting to South Florida audiences. In 2015 The Rhythm Foundation began year-round management of the North Beach Bandshell amphitheater for the City of Miami Beach.
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Michael Mut