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@UmaNotaCulture - The Human Rights Reggae Concert as part of Uma Nota Fest #Toronto

2014 Uma Nota Festival unites local talent, international guests and many communities

TORONTO – The fourth annual Uma Nota Festival of Tropical Expressions brings fresh bands, more DJs, more Brazil and more global citizenship.

Four years in, the festival’s program continues the distinct, tropically eclectic curations of a small, independent collective: 

  • Afro-Brazilian dance company The Dance Migration perform Terra Brasil, a captivating theatrical dance piece performed to live music by local and visiting Brazilian aces.
  • Brooklyn DJ Ushka and Montreal’s El Poirier spin global bass, remixed Latin beats and more in a co-production with The Music Gallery’s X Avant Festival. Surprises TBA.
  • The Human Rights, the new formation of the 10-piece local roots reggae outfit previously fronted only by Friendlyness, now includes co-lead singer Tréson. Sharing the bill are Montreal’s Heavy Soundz, who blend Latin grooves like cumbia with hip-hop, funk and reggae; and killer “street beats” from Brussels DJ duo Rebel Up!
  • Quebec-based, Brazilian-born singer Flavia Nascimento and her trio open the festival, which is presented together with the Brazilian Festival of Film and Television.
  • And this year’s Community Cultural Fair celebrates all things Brazil and samba with a special 10-year anniversary show by Batucada Carioca, led by young samba master Maninho Costa, a veteran of Rio’s samba schools, and featuring guests Tio Chorinho, Louis Simao (accordion) and Chris Butcher (trombone, Heavyweights Brass Band).
  • The Sunday fair also features Brazilian-Canadian guitarist Wagner Petrilli and his band playing music from his CD Confissão; a roda de samba, in which the samba musicians sit at a table, surrounded by the crowd; Brazilian food and drink; kids’ activities; an artists’ market; ping pong; the premier of The Encontro, a 10-minute short film recorded at the first-ever meeting of Toronto’s samba percussion groups, with over 100 players; and the BRAFFTV awards.
  • Not only is the festival presented in conjunction with BRAFFTV, their “Bra-zoo-kah” film program includes the premier of a documentary about Batucada Carioca, which follows Maninho Costa and, by extension, Toronto’s Brazilian percussion scene. Sounds of the Drum and the Maestro by Natasha Pravaz is highly anticipated. (Trailer:

“Uma Nota Festival is unique among many festivals in TO because it is based on style rather than an ethnic identity,” says festival artistic director and lead programmer Alex Bordokas. “It is about a certain way in which people engage with the music, in a no-holds barred and unadulterated expressive fashion, something very indicative of music and parties from tropical climes.

“People have called us Brazilian because we have a lot of Brazilian programming, but really it is because so much of Brazilian music carries the creativity, danceability and expressive nature that allies with our crowd of world citizens. People from everywhere enjoy Uma Nota events, because we bring good music and no pretensions. Whatever we do, we do it in a funky style.” 

Festival at a glance

Thursday, October 16

Festival & BRAFFTV launch party

Flavia Nascimento trio (Quebec City/Brazil)

Live forró & Brazilian tunes
Touche Martini Bar, 669 College St.
Doors 9:30 p.m.

Friday, October 17

The Dance Migration: Terra Brasil

Live Afro-Brazilian dance and music performance
Fleck Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queen’s Quay W.
Showtime: 8 p.m.

Friday Night Jamboree

Reggae, Latin Urban Music and fine digital and vinyl selections
The Human Rights
Heavy Soundz (Montreal) with special guest Ogguere
DJ General Eclectic (Uma Nota resident/co-founder; also Footprints, Shindig!)
DJs Rebel Up! (Brussels)
El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Ave.
Doors 10 p.m.
$10 advance, $15 at the door

Saturday, October 18

Digital Tropics

Sweaty sounds from the transglobal underground 2.0
DJ Ushka (NYC)

El Poirier (Montreal)

Special surprise guests
Remix Lounge, 1305 Dundas W,
Doors 10 p.m.
Co-presented with X Avant Festival (The Music Gallery)
Tickets: $15 regular / $10 Music Gallery members, student or arts worker (at the door)
$12 advance at Soundscapes or online via

Sunday, October 19

Community Cultural Fair

Batucada Carioca 10-year anniversary party
An afternoon to evening event, featuring:
Batucada Carioca led by Maninho Costa
With special guests Tio Chorinho, Louis Simao and Chris Butcher
Roda de samba (Brazilian “hangout music”; roots samba)
BRAFFTV closing awards
Film short premiere: The Encontro
Brazilian feijoada and tapioca
Arts and food marketplace
Cultural talks
Kids activities including face painting, mini ping pong
The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. West
Doors 2 p.m.
Film screening & BRAFFTV awards
Batucada Carioca 8 p.m.
$10 at the door (from 2 to 6 p.m.), $15 after 6 p.m.

About Uma Nota Culture

Uma Nota is a reference point for world citizens and lovers of music and culture. It is a unique Toronto-based event series focusing on Afro-Brazilian, Latin, Caribbean, funk and soul music provided by both live acts and DJs.

The original Uma Nota series began in 2007 and took place every two months in the Gladstone Hotel ballroom. In 2011, Uma Nota expanded to an annual multi-day festival. The third annual Uma Nota Festival of Tropical Expressions took place October 17 to 20, 2013 in Toronto and was the largest and most successful of Uma Nota’s events to date. Uma Nota’’s 2014 productions include: CD release concerts by Pedro Sá Moraes (Rio de Janeiro) and Souljazz Orchestra (Ottawa), along with local funk band Yuka; a DJ Skate Night at Harbourfront Centre; a special party with DJ Uproot Andy; block parties and co-productions with The Human Rights, Dub Connection Soundsystem, Maracatu Mar Aberto and Dundas West Fest; and Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 making their Toronto tour stop at the Phoenix.

Uma Nota Culture continues to produce and co-present a number of shows, concerts, parties and cultural programming around Toronto and publishes original online content, providing cultural context and depth in multimedia forms, along with the signature live music and DJ events.

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