Published Nov 15, 2011The inaugural Mundial Montreal conference, taking place as part of M for Montreal this week, represents a new opportunity for Canadian world music. For the first time, professionals ranging from producers to grassroots organizations to artists will come together in an effort to strengthen Canada's network for sounds from around the world.
The conference is the brainchild of M for Montreal founder Sebastien Nesra. "I want to use my M for Montreal experience to serve the world music community and bring this valuable resource to the forefront of the music industry on a national and international level," he said in a statement.
No doubt the often contentious genre designation will itself be a hot topic of discussion on November 16 at the event's centerpiece "Tout Le Monde! A World Music Forum," which Nesra hopes will answer, among other questions, "how will a new generation of producers reach different audiences and reinvigorate the identity of (world music as) a brand?" The forum will be open to the public, which could make for a vigorous conversation indeed.
Curated by veteran Ontario-based world music programmer Derek Andrews, the conference will see performances by a wide-ranging lineup of cultural expression and genre mashups. Longstanding Montreal world music house Club Balattou will be one of the venues for a series of showcases.
Nesra diplomatically commented that he's looking forward to "all of (the performers), many I will discover for the first time. Derek Andrews booked all the acts and I admire the depth of his knowledge and taste. Personally, I know and much appreciate the likes of (Argentine/Scottish vocalist) Alejandra Ribera, (harmonica quartet) D'Harmo, Colin Stetson, (Senegalese musician) Elage Diouf, (Indian funk fusioneers) Autorickshaw, (Cuban guitarist) Carlos Placeres and (the "Nu-Afro-Latin" sound of) Roberto Lopez. Most of the others will be a discovery for me and I am really thrilled and excited to attend their shows."
One lucky artist will be selected for Galaxie's Rising Star award of $1,500 at the end of the festival.
Mundial Montreal runs from today (November 15) to November 18. Complete details of programming & industry events are available here.