Small World Music Festival Launches with Polyphonic Ground Presents

Aug 11, 2017


September 14 marks the launch of the 16th Annual Small World Music Festival and inaugural concert of Polyphonic Ground Presents! We are delighted to host a night of Balkan, jazz and North African grooves with Ashkenaz Foundation at Revival. Turkwaz brings to life the songs of Greece, Turkey and the Middle East; Sandcatchers bridge NYC jazz sensibility with Arabic and American roots, and Montreal’s GROOZ lays Algerian Raï on top of funk and reggae for a rousing dance floor vibe. Over a year in the making, the series pairs two distinct partner organizations to collaboratively program a night of musical discovery, and we hope you can join us for the first show of many.

Polyphonic Ground Conversations are also in the works, and we want to tackle the topics that matter most to you. Please add your voice to the Polyphonic Ground – Diversity & Live Music Conversation Series Survey by Friday, August 11 at 5pm: http://bit.ly/2uyJnR4.

Watch for more Small World Music Festival announcements to come! In the meantime, we are pleased to co-present Open Roof Festival‘s August 16 screening of one of the most acclaimed docs of the year; ‘Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World.’ The film reveals how Native American influence is an integral part of music history. We hope you can be there, and have a pair of free tickets to give away – respond to jess@smallworldmusic.com for a chance!

Finally, our fellow Polyphonic Grounders, Batuki Music, present the fourth annual Habari Africa Festival, which starts tomorrow and continues through the weekend at Harbourfront Centre. Celebrate the uniqueness, wealth and diversity of African music, dance, film and more with artists including Noumoucounda Cissoko, hailed as the Jimi Hendrix of the kora; Africa Sings, a collective especially curated for the Festival; and Diblo Dibala & Matchatcha, one of the top instrumentalists of modern African music.

Here’s GROOZ first single, “Jambirika,” recorded live at Studio Lakaz.

Polyphonic Ground Presents: GROOZ / Sandcatchers / Turkwaz
> Music for the Culturally Curious

Thursday, September 14th, 9:00pm – Revival

Hong Sung Hyun
> Korean Shamanic Traditions

Friday, September 15th, 8:00pm, Small World Music Centre

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Habari Africa Festival 2017
> Multi-disciplinary Music and Arts Festival

Friday, August 11 – Sunday, August 13th, Harbourfront Centre

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World with Liam Titcomb at Open Roof Festival
> The Big Winner at Hot Docs and Sundance

Wednesday, August 16th, 8:00pm, 99 Sudbury

TEAM SPIRIT

Small World Music supports our community partners and family of world music artists performing around the greater Toronto area. Visit the Small World Music site to learn more about all the great events happening in the city.

Support Small World

Small World Music Society is a charitable organization and presenter of culturally diverse music, supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Toronto Arts Council, as well as community and corporate partners.

Polyphonic Ground – a New Voice for Global Music in Toronto!

Jul 19, 2017

As Small World Music celebrates its 20th year, we’re proud to be part of the greater movement to bring culturally diverse music to Toronto audiences. Going forward, we want to do even more – for audiences, artists and the community. To that end, we’re pleased to join with 11 of this city’s formidable live music presenters through our latest project –  Polyphonic Ground. It’s the promise of more innovative programming, amazing special events, and opportunities to discover.

Polyphonic Ground will launch with an inspiring monthly double-bill series presented by a new combination of presenters each time. We’re delighted to bring you the inaugural event on September 14 to open our 16th annual Small World Music Festival. More details to come soon.

Join us in building Toronto as a place where the music of the world is celebrated and shared – where the bands on stage reflect the diversity of the people who live here!

Connect with Polyphonic Ground on Facebook, follow @PolyphonicTO and #HearToronto!

Mbongwana Star
> Space ipno afro punk rock electro

Wednesday, July 19th, Doors 8:00pm – The Great Hall

#BollywoodMonster Mashup
> The Largest South-Asian Festival in Canada

Thursday, July 20 – 22, Mississauga Celebration Square

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Music That Makes You Move: The Arsenals
> Authentic ska and rocksteady to classic reggae

Saturday, July 22, Aga Khan Museum

TEAM SPIRIT

Small World Music supports our community partners and family of world music artists performing around the greater Toronto area. Visit the Small World Music site to learn more about all the great events happening in the city.

Support Small World

Small World Music Society is a charitable organization and presenter of culturally diverse music, supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Toronto Arts Council, as well as community and corporate partners.

Free Benda Bilili! Screening – Q&A with Mbongwana Star

Jul 14, 2017

As we look forward to next week’s Mbongwana Star Toronto debut, we’re pleased to be able to announce an added special event! Join us at the Small World Music Centre the night before, on Tuesday evening, for a FREE screening of Benda Bilili! the documentary about the legendary band that gave birth to ‘the Star.’ And members of the band will be on hand for an insightful Q&A with the audience.

Benda Bilili! is a film about outcasts who defy a system that defines them as marginal. It is not a musical film, but the band’s songs complement the narrative. Every problem encountered by the Staff Benda Bilili group gives rise to a song they then try out on the streets.” – Directors Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye

The film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival Directors Fortnight, and was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2011 César Awards, the national film award of France.

While this event is free, space is limited, so reserve your seat here. And tickets are going quickly for the Wednesday concert, so don’t miss out on the advance price!



Sunday at the Centre, our friend George Koller has assembled a compelling program under the name Songs of Gaia. It starts with traditional songs and chants from the Sakha Republic of Siberia sung by renowned Saina, who specializes in the ‘khomus’ (mouth harp) and has sung in 25 different languages. The evening mixes improvisation with traditional elements, featuring a crack quartet of George Koller, Jocelyn Barth, David Restivo & Bruce Cassidy.

Benda Bilili! Free Screening + Artist Q&A
> Celebrating “the Star” in Mbongwana Star

Tuesday, July 18th 8:00pm – Small World Music Centre

Mbongwana Star
> Space ipno afro punk rock electro

Wednesday, July 19th 8:30pm – The Great Hall

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Saina with Songs of Gaia & Victory for Freestyle
> Solo music of the Sakha Republic of Siberia, Ethno + Jazz

Sunday, July 16 – Small World Music Centre

#BollywoodMonster Mashup
> The Largest South-Asian Festival in Canada

Thursday, July 20 – 22, Mississauga Celebration Square

TEAM SPIRIT

Small World Music supports our community partners and family of world music artists performing around the greater Toronto area. Visit the Small World Music site to learn more about all the great events happening in the city.

Support Small World

Small World Music Society is a charitable organization and presenter of culturally diverse music, supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Toronto Arts Council, as well as community and corporate partners.

Mbongwana Star Count Down; Less than 2 weeks!

Jul 06, 2017

We’re counting down to the new sound of Kinshasa hitting Toronto – Mbongwana Star are at the Great Hall in under 2 weeks! Their North American tour includes many of the major festivals and we’re lucky to have them in such an intimate setting. Warming up the dance floor is Small World’s resident ethnomixologist, DJ medicineman, set to unleash a rare-groove set of vintage global beats. Tickets are selling fast for the 19th, so be sure to secure yours for what promises to be the hottest show of the summer! Here is “Malukayi (feat. Konono No.1)” for a glorious reminder of what they are capable of.

This weekend, the embarrassment of musical choices continues following the Canada Day feast! Many of our partner organizations are busy: Afrofest takes over Woodbine Park with two full days of summer sounds, Futuro Libre presents ÌFÉ at the Mod Club, and Bollywood Monster Mashup rocks Mississauga. All this while Sunfest shines brightly in London, and Kultrún Festival conquers Kitchener.

Mbongwana Star
> Space ipno afro punk rock electro

Wednesday, July 19th 8:30pm – The Great Hall

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Sunfest
>London Ontario’s Premier celebration of World Music & Culture

Thursday, July 6 – 9 – Victoria Park, London, Ontario

Kultrún Festival
> Experience Culture Love World Music

Friday, July 7 – 9 – Victoria Park, Downtown Kitchener

ÌFÉ
> w/ Baoba and DJs Firecracker & Juana Go Go

Saturday, July 8 – Mod Club, Toronto

Afrofest 2017
> Presented by Music Africa

Saturday, July 8 – 9 – Woodbine Park, Toronto

TEAM SPIRIT

Small World Music supports our community partners and family of world music artists performing around the greater Toronto area. Visit the Small World Music site to learn more about all the great events happening in the city.

Support Small World

Small World Music Society is a charitable organization and presenter of culturally diverse music, supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Toronto Arts Council, as well as community and corporate partners.