Just a little before 8PM on August 8th, we pulled up to North Beach Bandshell in Miami Beach, for the closing of the 2015 Afro Roots World Music Festival, a three-day festival which celebrates the evolution of African culture.  The weather, having cleared its mood, seemed like it would allow us to enjoy the night without chunky droplets of rain.

As we approached the entrance, the sound of Haitian music could be heard playing.  I came to later find out that it was the doings of DJ Le Spam. Not at all crowded, some festival attendees were relaxing and taking in the tunes, others dancing towards the stage, others still… grabbing cocktails.

Soon after, headliner Hassan Hakmoun appeared onstage with his sintir, “a three-stringed lute with a body made of camel skin stretched over nutwood” and began to play.  Accompanying him were drummers Chikako Iwahori and Alioune Faye, along with bass guitarist John Lee.  The music was beautiful, spirited — a mix of old world and new.  Each individual, talented in their own right, were presented the opportunity to showcase their skill set and made the most of the occasion — passionately strumming strings or beating drums.  Good times, good vibes.

Missed the event? Stop by A Day at the Beach which will take place the third Saturday in January 2016.

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