Voices of Freedom Festival: November 7-9, 2019

Bravo Niagara!'s Voices of Freedom Festival was born out of a desire to give voice to underrepresented histories and peoples. Since 2015, the Voices of Freedom Festival has commemorated and celebrated the cultural contributions of people of African descent. In recognition of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), the Festival highlights Niagara's significant Black history, fosters intercultural dialogue, and highlights the ongoing journey to freedom through the arts. The annual Festival includes inspiring musical performances and interactive outreach for youth. Past Voices of Freedom Festival artists include Richard Bona, Measha Brueggergosman, Wycliffe Gordon, and more. Read more about the festival here.

2019 Artists & Participants


2019 Voices of Freedom Festival Highlights

November 7, 2019

Laura Secord Secondary School (Time TBA) - FREE EVENT

  • Local youth will have an exciting opportunity to participate in workshops with GRAMMY-winning artists: legendary South African bass player Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon) and drummer Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy).

November 8, 2019

Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines (7:30pm)

  • The Voices of Freedom Concert features an all-star lineup of artists including a headlining performance by jazz piano legend Monty Alexander. Monty Alexander has established himself as one of jazz music’s most diverse and globally recognized piano titans. Monty brings the sounds of music from his birthplace of Kingston, Jamaica to the place he calls home, America. With an opening performance by GRAMMY-winning drummer Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy) and his band, along with special guest GRAMMY-winning South African bass player Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon), this concert will take listeners on an exciting journey blending jazz and Afro-Caribbean music. Students from the Laura Secord Secondary School will join Kumalo for a special performance of iconic Paul Simon music.

    Artistic Producer: Céline Peterson

November 9, 2019

Film House, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines (4pm) - FREE EVENT

  • Bravo Niagara! and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre co-present a screening of the award-winning documentary film Crescendo: The Power of Music, followed by a discussion with special guest speaker Stanford Thompson, Founder & Executive Director of the El Sistema-inspired organization Play On, Philly!.

More Festival details coming soon!