The Value of a Festival Circuit
With a network of authentic African musicians, griots and sonic warriors and healers travelling the world sharing the spirit, soul and sunny side of Southern African music and with generations of international travellers visiting the beautiful destinations of Southern Africa for festivals and general entertainment, our music centred creative economy is in a vibrant space.
Music embodies the power of the now and the spirit of ubuntu, In Africa it is music that stopped the war in Casamans and it is music that stopped the spread of disease in Senegal. Music is one of our most powerful weapons toward ourselves and a vision of ourselves as sharing, peaceful beings of ‘higher' intent. And music is blessed mostly by the support it receives to get instruments to those that require, rehearsal spaces, performances spaces and collaborative learning experiences all the way round. Networks of families, friends, organisations and governing bodies sharing in the joy and laughter that music inevitably creates through funding and support is helping us all express the beautiful music within
African music is not so much an art or aesthetic, it is the essence and beauty of life – dancing with sound, subtlety and fury and striding rhythmically through the ceremonial spirits of the African people, across the disparate landscapes and fragmented history – from birth, initiation and marriage, to death. Dancing with the Diaspora is an information portal for exciting travel across the diverse and descriptive landscapes. By hanging with the musicians one learns the politics, experiences the difficulties, witnesses the struggle, feels the beauty and celebration for experiences to share and inform. Dancing with the Diaspora is about – facilitating cultural exchange and the freeflow of music across the diaspora to explore its diverse and eclectic tradition, experience its rhythm and reconnect Africa with itself through music. In 2001 as guest of ministry of Arts and Culture Zimbabwe and Congo Brazzaville, afribeat.com attended the music festival of FESPAM. The festival had previously intervened during a war across borders. When the arms were dropped they were never lifted again : President Sassou Nguesso spent two weeks hiding in the roof of his palace during the unscheduled invasion from Kinshasa across the river (20KM).In 2002 with support from SAA, afribeat.com attended MASA biennial festival and music market in Abidjan. It is at the cultural crossroads of West Africa, and the convergence of Pan-African performing arts. The beautiful city is transformed into a place where musicians from all over this diverse and fascinating continent can come together in showcasing their expressions with dignity and pride. After building much content in Cape Town around the goema music of the Western Cape, Douglas continued to Durban where he built many cultural experiences around the Zulu tradition and the historic cultural meeting points of Durban. He also continued his long term exploration into Mozambiquean music establishing partnerships and friendships with Marrabenta, Timbila and One Ocean festivals. afribeat.com produced the Cape Town Maputo Festival in 2002 at the OudeLibertas ampitheate in Cape Towto spread the magic of music through cultural exchange. It was a once-off with a huge vision to link Cape Town to Maputo, Cape Town to Cuba, to the Caribbean and to unite the city locally with Cape Town to Table Mountain, Cape Town to the Cape Flats, Cape Town to the Carnival, and so on. A body of recordings were made at the Cape Town Maputo festival featuring Chico Antonio, Isaq Matuz, Zolani Mahola and the Goema Captains of Cape Town. In 2000 with the support of British Airways, Douglas travelled to Europe for a month to explore the jazz festival network operating between Denmark, Holland and London. In 2017 with support of the German visitors programme Struan Douglas travelled to Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen to explore the musicians, festivals, initiatives and developments and exciting new trends in music and artitsic sustainability, history, architecture and exposure to the Eureopean Jazz festival collaboratives and networks.