Celebrate the incredible community of musicians from across the world and around the block who make Toronto sing and dance! Luminato’s closing weekend features a FREE music festival with surprise collaborations and musical conversations between incredible locals and international stars. Curated by Alex Bordokas, David Pecaut Square will be transformed as we take you around the world and back home again, with food and drink, creative activities for all ages, and all the magic of downtown Toronto.
Come groove with us on Saturday afternoon to the sounds of Moneka Arabic Jazz, then stick around for the resplendent Yaya Bey’s soul, jazz and RnB with a cheeky edge. Polaris Music Prize winner Congolese-born Pierre Kwenders launches the evening with Afrobeats, followed by a double bill of Indigenous hip-hop from Snotty Nose Rez Kids, and Latiné New Yorker Princess Nokia.
Come back down on Sunday to witness the local premiere of Lakota multi-disciplinary artist Mato Wayuhi, travel the Black Atlantic with Lusophone ensemble Ayom, rejoice to the funk, soul, hip-hop and everything-in-between NOLA vibes of Tank and the Bangas, and dance the night away with the crown prince of Samba, Zeca Pagodinho.
June 17, 1:00pm-11pm
June 18, 1:00pm-10pm
With Assistance from
The McLean Foundation
Moneka Arabic Jazz reflects the life and journey in art from Baghdad to Toronto of founder Ahmed Moneka, showcasing melodies from his homeland Iraq mixed with African groove and rhythm. Jazz and blues bridge these Afro-Arabic traditions with the fascinating musical diversity of Torontonian performers.
Described by Pitchfork as “resplendent,” Yaya Bey blends R&B, soul, and jazz with the powerful specificity of her lyrics. Exploring a range of sounds and emotions, Yaya Bey brings high energy, down tempo beats to your Saturday afternoon.
Congolese-Canadian Polaris Prize winner Pierre Kwenders combines the sounds of Congo and Montreal to create electro-pop with a unique sonic landscape. “His every song summons an international midnight” – The New Yorker.
First Nations hip hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids, rappers Darren “Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce – originally from Kitamaat Village, British Columbia – deliver bold, unapologetic political messages enhanced and elevated by fast-paced rhymes and soaring synths.
New York rapper/singer/songwriter Princess Nokia brings Saturday night to a rousing finish with their signature blend of rap & hip hop, infused with pop culture references and high energy performance.
Mato Wayuhi “Standing Soldier” is a young Lakota artist originally from South Dakota, and is the music composer for the hit show Reservation Dogs. The music is described as unapologetic, not needing permission to exist and made with an urgency — an urgency to move Indigenous artists into a new era. He was recently featured on CBC Radio’s Reclaimed and now brings his RnB/ pop sound to Toronto for the first time.
Ayom are musical seafarers who traverse the Black Atlantic from Brazil to Angola and Cape Verde, bringing with them a distinctly Mediterranean identity. They are an intercultural group from Lisbon and Barcelona and their sound is a mix of Brazilian, Afrolatin and Afrolusitan sounds.
From NPR’s Tiny Desk to Tiktok, Tank and the Bangas have been bringing their New Orleans, Afro-centric soul to people everywhere since 2011. Creating joy is their business in music and performance, and indeed their performance is second to none. They won the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest and were nominated for Best New Artist at the 2020 Grammy Awards. Check them out early Sunday evening.
Luminato 2023 comes to a spectacular close with the crown prince of Samba Carioca, Zeca Pagodinho, performing with 20-piece band. A rare visit by one of the global greats, Zeca’s inimitable sound is steeped in decades of experience performing around the world, representing the incredible musical legacy of samba and pagode. Zeca holds the heart of Rio de Janeiro, the sound of community where everyday life revolves around the joy and lament that is samba. The dreams, fears, aspirations and love for life of all Brazilian people is wrapped in the poetry of samba songs.