Afro Roots Festival returns to Gainesville  

The 2024 Afro Roots Fest returns to North Florida on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 for a two-day convening in Gainesville.
The 2024 Afro Roots Fest returns to North Florida on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 for a two-day convening in Gainesville.
Greater Gainesville International Center

The Afro Roots Fest returns to North Florida on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 for a two-day convening in Gainesville, which includes concerts, dance and drum workshops, short music documentaries and a dance party. 

This year’s gathering will focus on the lineage and migration of the religious tradition known as Abakua from Calabar, Nigeria to Cuba, which gave rise to the rumba, one of Cuba’s principal musical traditions. 

Friday will feature events at the UF School of School of Music (130 Music Building) and the Greater Gainesville International Center (1314 S. Main St.), followed by a dance party at Depot Village (404 SE 2nd St.). 

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Activities will include Afro-Latin movie shorts about Cuba and Brazil followed by a lecture and discussion, a master African dance and drum, Afro-Cuban percussion with a focus on clave, sekere, bells, congas, and bata, and a master Orisa and rumba dance workshop. 

On Saturday evening, the Odara Afro Cuban Allstars will perform two concerts at the Hippodrome Theatre (25 SE 2nd Place). The first show at 7 p.m. presents Orisa and Rumba, and the second show at 9 p.m. will focus on the Abakua traditions.  

Featured artists include a group of Afro-Cuban masters and scholars: Lazaro Galarraga, Roman Diaz, Sandy Perez, Barbarito Ramos, Angel Guerrero, and Chief Ivor Miller. The event will also include a film screening of the documentary “Roman Diaz – Como el Agua” by Onel Mulet, which offers an intimate look at the renowned Cuban master drummer and jazz musician. 

Tickets are available at bit.ly/ARF2024Gainesville.  

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