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GlobalFEST Announces Its Program for its 2021 edition

Publié le December 21, 2020

The 18th edition of the globalFEST will take place between January 11-14, 2021. As in past years, this edition will welcome a total of 16 artists, including several francophone artists, who will perform online over three days. Each night, three new artists and one alumnus will perform. The premiere will take place on January 11th at 8pm EST on NPR Music’s YouTube page.

Over the decades this festival has become one of the most dynamic global music platforms in North America. Initially organized as a showcase, globalFEST has evolved into a non-profit, catalytic service organization for curators, artists, and the entire performing arts sector. The organization is currently supported by the Andrew W. Foundation. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Among the artists announced this year, several French-speaking artists are honored, including the Tunisian experimenter Emel Mathlouthi and the Malian singer Rokia Traoré.

About Emel Mathlouthi

Present during the 12th edition of globalFEST in 2015, Emel Mathlouthi is a Tunisian singer and performer. From the very beginning of her career, she wrote songs criticizing the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and was quickly perceived as a notorious opponent of the government. This led her to settle in France in 2008, being sure that her career is partially understood in her native country. At the dawn of the Arab Spring, she became a leading figure and a voice of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia with the song "Kelmti Horra" ("My World is Free"). This song elevated her to the status of an international star and brought her to the stage of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015. Now based in New York, she has signed a contract with the independent label Partisan Records based in Brooklyn.

About Rokia Traoré

The second artist, Rokia Traoré has also followed a unique career path. Born the daughter of a diplomat in Bambara, Rokia Traoré is a Malian singer, composer, and performer known for the way she mixes Malian tradition and Western modernism. After having recorded her first songs in Bamako, she started performing on European stages with the "Musiques Métisses" festival in Angoulême and quickly seduced the French public, leading her to win prizes such as the "Découverte Afrique" of Radio France Internationale. She has won several awards around the world and continues to collaborate and record albums. She is particularly involved in the political field and in 2016, became the Goodwill Ambassador for the West and Central Africa region, appointed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

January 11 -14, 2021