Thursday, October 13, 2016


South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center presents Ifrikya Spirit as part of the Center’s Cabaret Series. The performance takes place on Friday, October 21 at 8:30pm. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on day of show and can be purchased at or by calling 786-573-5300. The Center is located at 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay. MAP

About Ifrikya Spirit

When musicians from 42 African countries converged on the Algerian capital, Algiers, in 2009 for the Pan-African Festival, it was a major event. For the members of Ifrikya Spirit, it proved a major turning point in their creative lives. The visiting musicians went home, but they left a plethora of instruments behind. “There were lots of instruments like the balafon and the kamala ngoni, lots of traditional West African instruments,” recalls Chakib Bouzidi, Ifrikya’s inventive founding member. “We started to play around with them. It went so well, we decided to create a band, and we called it Ifrikya Spirit. Our goal is to play all sorts of music, like salsa, blues, and reggae, but with an African spirit.”

Ifrikya Spirit underpins these musical conversations between African musics and global forms with the spiritual and cultural expressions of Algeria – notably the diwan. The Arabic derived word diwan is an encompassing, all embracing term made manifest throughout North Africa’s Maghreb and Saharan regions. At its simplest, it describes a gathering – of people in a community council, a set of customs, practices or celebrations, a compilation of poems; and the term is inclusive also of the types of expressions created for these gatherings – the music, poetries, foods, religious practices, etc.

In music, rhythms and techniques, percussion tones and responsive choruses, fleet strings and ornamented song are all aspects the sound of diwan, but not completely. With gatherings often held in homes, among family and friends, it proves fertile ground for experimenting, for reimagining. “We take diwan music and approach it in a different way, to make it accessible to as many people as possible,” explains Ifrikiya bassist Samy Guebouba. “We have traditional instruments, but we also have a drummer, bassist, and keys.” Like many performers and composers before them, Ifrikya Spirit is spurring their Berber roots to explore and share new sounds and forms. 

Ifrikya Spirit is making its debut tour in the USA from September 30-October 26 as part of Center Stage with stops in Burlington VT, Washington DC, New York City, Minneapolis and Red Wing MN, Gainesville and Miami FL, and Yakima WA. 

About Center Stage
Center Stage ( invites performing artists from select countries overseas to the United States to perform and conduct engagement activities.

Launched in 2012, by the close of the 2016-2017 season, 24 ensembles from Algeria, Haiti, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam will have toured the United States, focusing on interactive engagements in diverse cities and towns across the country. Each group undertakes independent, month-long tours around the country to perform, interact, begin meaningful dialogues with Americans, and share these experiences with friends and fans at home. Center Stage artists perform and engage with audiences onstage and online providing positive and popular avenues of engagement to build mutual understanding through shared culture and values.

Ifrikya Spirit’s US debut tour continues through October 26. For more information visit

Center Stage is a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, with support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Center Stage Pakistan is made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.

The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Office of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Center is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts to the entire Miami-Dade County community. More information about the Center and its programs can be found at  

It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The facility is accessible and assistive listening devices are available in the Main Stage Auditorium and the Black Box Theater space. To request materials in accessible format, and/or any accommodation to attend an event at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, please contact Stephanie Aponte, 786-573-5314,, at least five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).

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