Rhythms of Canada: Performers

Special Performances

Rhythms of Canada: Performers

Date: June 28-July 3

Learn more about the exciting Rhythms of Canada Festival performers. 


Evening Performers


Thursday, June 30


Marta Elena Orchestra
7:30 pm | Park Tent




Singer, Composer, Percussionist and Band leader Marta Elena belongs to a younger generation of Cuban musicians whose work honours the nation's Afro-Latin musical roots while looking for new ways to express the music that courses through the veins of the country. Marta Elena's started performing professionally at the age of 18, singing as part of the famous Cuban chorus Company of Zarzuelas and Operettas. In Canada, highlight performances include her Koerner Hall appearance as a Guest of Hilario Duran and his Latin Jazz Big Band with Horacio El Negro Hernandez. Her new album, 'De la Habana a Toronto' showcases an irresistible collection of danceable and delicious rhythms.


Follow Marta Elena Orchestra on Instagram
Listen to Marta Elena Orchestra on YouTube


Friday, July 1


Zaki Ibrahim
7:30 pm | Park Tent



Described as “a retro-Afrofuturist vision sending listeners on a journey through 40 years of electronic music,” (Nuvo) Zaki Ibrahim’s music brings elements of spoken word, hip hop, soul, house and 70s pop together, to deliver a theatrical, intricate performance like no other. Ibrahim aims to find space for spontaneity within the parameters of structure; in the same way that her music explores non-linear models of time and space designed with fluidity and recombination in mind.


Follow Zaki Ibrahim on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


9 pm | Park Tent



Known for his unique Afro-folk-hip-hop sound, K'naan Warsame, known as K'NAAN, became a household name with the release of his global hit, "Wavin' Flag" in 2010. An energetic lyric-spiller and perennial party-starter, K'NAAN has spent the last decade touring and performing around the world, as well as collaborating with Somalian and East African hip-hop artists in a return to his musical roots where he mixes joy and pain to speak about strength and resilience. 


Follow K'NAAN on Instagram
Watch K'NAAN on YouTube


Saturday, July 2


Meesha Shafi
8:30 pm | Park Tent



A global South Asian pop icon, Meesha Shafi's nuanced explorations of self, society, and artistic expression have given her critical recognition and a loyal fan base around the world. With a growing following in Canada, she has established her status as a desi voice in the global music scene. 


Follow Meesha Shafi on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


10 pm | Park Tent



Formed in Montreal, Canadian music group "JoSH" was founded in the late '90s. Comprised of members Rup Magon and Qurram Hussain, JoSH has been producing, writing, and singing hit songs for over two decades and have performed in over 25 countries. They have released four chart-topping albums selling more than three million records worldwide, most in India and Pakistan. Currently based in Toronto, the duo has become one of the most widely-recognized Indo-Pak-Canadian bands in the world.  


Learn more about JoSH

Follow JoSH on Instagram


Sunday, July 3


Stitching the Beat 
7:30 pm | Park Tent






The first female-owned business in Karachi, Pakistan, Shabi’s was created to celebrate Pakistani fashion. Today, Shabi’s operates North America wide and gives Pakistani and Indian designers a chance to shine in international markets. From fashion shows and pop-ups to its very own location just north of Toronto, Shabi’s has curated a stronghold in the world of Pakistani fashion, featuring fashions from over 20 renowned designers.


Learn more about Shabi's
Follow Shabi's on Instagram and Facebook





Modulated Tabla and electronically processed Violin melodically unite during the Live PA performance of kLoX - Gurpreet Chana “The Tabla Guy" and electronic music producer/violinist, Robert Mason. They focus on creating an experience that explores the vast reaches of dancefloor-oriented electronic music by bringing together their classical training in tabla and violin respectively and integrating it with computer-aided performance technology to create uniquely engineered rhythmic patterns and a sonically explosive soundscape.


Listen to kLoX online


Jadoo Entertainment


Jadoo Entertainment Dance Company is one of the most popular Bollywood dance teams in Toronto. Founded in Philadelphia in 2004, Jadoo moved to Toronto in 2009. Since then, they have received acclaim at numerous festivals and events. 


Jadoo Entertainment will also be hosting a workshop on July 3 at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.


Learn more about Jadoo Entertainment


Choreographed by:


Toronto Fashion Academy



Designed on the basis of perfecting and extolling the true quality of our artist’s within the Fashion Industry, Toronto Fashion Academy (TFA) is the only academy in Canada, which caters to training in High Fashion Modeling, Fashion Styling, Fashion Design, Make-up Artistry and Fashion Photography. These Academies were perfected under one roof in accordance with our industry experts.


Learn more about TFA
Follow TFA on Instagram and Facebook


Daytime Performers

Thursday, June 30


Maracatu Mar Aberto
5 pm | Festival Market



Maracatu Mar Aberto is a Toronto-based community percussion group playing Maracatu de Baque Virado and other rhythms derived from the traditions of Northeastern Brazil. Translated to English as "the open sea," the name represents the aggregated influences that have travelled from Africa to Brazil to Toronto and beyond. Founded in 2010, the group has played on streets and stages across Ontario and Quebec, spreading rhythm, song, and movement. A living tradition of Afro-Brazilian rhythm in a local context, working collectively on the artistry and heritage that is Maracatu de Baque Virado.


Learn more about Maracatu Mar Aberto
Follow Maracatu Mar Aberto on Instagram



Friday, July 1


Retrospect by Little Pear Garden Dance Company
3:30 pm & 4:45 pm | The Ismaili Centre, Toronto



Dancing on drums is an ancient dance form in the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 9 AD, 25–220 AD) in China. Guqin, Xun, Guzheng, and Chinese drums are all traditional Chinese musical instruments with thousands of years of history. Little Pear Garden Dance Company presents their piece, Retrospect in the hope that the audience can follow the artists as they look back at history and classical culture. The piece begins with a storyteller as they lead the audience into the Ismaili Centre, they awaken two contemporary characters who symbolize the modern human that is numbed by the work and pressure that they endure everyday, to the unfolding presentation of classical music and dance that have been encapsulated in clay sculptures made thousands of years ago.


Learn more about Little Pear Garden Dance Company

Follow Little Pear Garden Dance Company on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


Haneen Women Choir
2 pm | Terrace Tent



Haneen Women Choir is a Syrian women's collective established on the voluntary initiative of Rahaf Alakbani in October 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The Haneen Choir aims to preserve the lyrical heritage, and revive authentic Syrian music and identity to enhance the social interaction and the cultural exchange with the host countries of Syrians in their diaspora. Haneen Women Choir believes that singing is one of the most influential approaches, as it can play a role in bringing about community peace. 


Follow the Haneen Women Choir on Facebook


Band of the Royal Regiment of Canada
11 am; 12 pm; 1:30 pm


The Band of The Royal Regiment of Canada is based at Fort York in Toronto and has a continuous tradition reaching back to 1863, making it the oldest permanently formed military band in Canada. A decree by Queen Victoria authorized the Regiment to wear the distinctive scarlet uniform and bearskin cap of the "Guards" on all ceremonial occasions. The Band appears at various functions across Canada and internationally. The Band is under the musical direction of Captain Kevin Anderson, CD, Director of Music and is led on parade by Drum Major Steven Yasinsky.


The Band performs by kind permission of Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Martinis, MB, CD, Commanding Officer.


Nagata Shachu Drummers
5 pm | Festival Market



Based in Toronto, Nagata Shachu has enthralled audiences with their mesmerizing and heart-pounding performances of the Japanese drum (taiko) since the group's formation in 1998. The ensemble has toured widely throughout Canada, the U.S., and Italy, and has performed at major engagements in Lebanon and Mexico. While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, Nagata Shachu's principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the taiko.


Learn more about Nagata Shachu
Follow Nagata Shachu on Instagram and Facebook


Saturday, July 2


Alpha Rhythm Roots
5 PM | Festival Market



Alpha Rhythm Roots, is comprised of the group's founder, Alpha, and percussionists Derek Thorne, Walter MacLean, and multiple other artists. Together,  they regularly perform at numerous events across the country. Alpha Rhythm Roots also hosts workshops, percussion classes, and more with the goal of bringing the traditional music, dance, and culture of Guinea and West Africa to Canada and beyond. 


Learn more about Alpha Rhythm Roots
Follow Alpha Rhythm Roots on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


Fun Master: Elvine Assouline
July 2 & 3 | 12 pm & 3 pm | Terrace Tent



Elvine Assouline dedicated most of his life to empowering and entertaining kids through magic and leadership programs. He has successfully organized hundreds of private events, such as birthday parties and weddings as well as corporate events like holiday celebrations and family days. After relocating to a new continent, Elvine brings a unique French touch with a bit of “je ne sais quoi” to Toronto, making his events extra special. 


Follow Elvine Assouline on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


Sunday, July 3


Zaynab Drumming Band 
5 pm | Festival Market



Montréal-born multi-instrumentalist, Zaynab Wilson sculpts a soundscape that binds the intrinsic Afro-Caribbean rhythms developed in her childhood performance years and the heart-driven, improvisational song styles of Jazz and Soul music. This iteration performs a collection of songs primarily written during her recent time abroad in Australia. The theme of artistic exploration is Dwij: an ode to the odyssey of rebirth, recalibration, and reimagining her artistic definition. 


Learn more about Zaynab Wilson
Follow Zaynab Wilson on Instagram and Facebook



Toronto Metropolitan University Events


I Am... Digital Storytelling Project Presentation
Wednesday, June 29 | 4 pm | Auditorium


In fall 2020, CERC Migration invited graduate students from across Canada to submit proposals to be part of an exciting opportunity to capture their creative reflection in a three-minute video exploring their sense of identity and belonging or not belonging. A cohort of 28 graduate students was selected and the participants undertook a six-month journey where they received mentorship and support to produce an engaging and creative video that conveyed their unique story.


Content Warning: Please be advised that the following presentation includes strong language which some people may find offensive.


Learn more about I Am... Digital Storytelling Project  


Under the Tent 
Saturday, July 2 | 4 pm | Bellerive Room


Under the Tent is the next iteration of the inaugural I Am Project. It is a multimedia storytelling project that explores the sense of belonging or not belonging under the tent of Canadian multiculturalism – a 50-year legacy of government policy that was intended to recognize the nation’s racial and cultural diversity, and promote inclusive and equal participation of all Canadians. Multiculturalism has brought enthusiasm as well as disappointment, equity and inequality, and community and exclusion, especially around Indigenous reconciliation and decolonization.


Under the Tent asks selected participants to reflect on individual and collective experiences with multiculturalism, race and diversity, and to propose contributions towards its future possibilities. It is a multimedia space that invites participants to produce creative works that express criticisms and new thinking. Under the Tent is intended to unpack and reframe multiculturalism through a creative lens.


Content Warning: Please be advised that the following presentation may include sensitive content that some people may find offensive.


Learn more about Under the Tent



Summer Festival
Rhythms of Canada

June 28-July 3, 2022

Summer Festival
Rhythms of Canada: Workshops

June 28-July 3, 2022

Summer Festival
Rhythms of Canada: Pop-up Performances

June 28- July 3, 2022


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