Mshale’s guide to a summer of African music and cultural festivals

Sona Jobarteh of the Gambia seen here performing at the Dakota in downtown Minneapolis on March 20, 2023 is among the African musical acts that will perform in the Twin Cities in a diverse lineup of African music throughout the state. Mshale Staff Photo by Jasmine Webber

Summer in Minnesota is finally here and with that comes live African music and cultural festivals. While our state didn’t make Allianz Partners’ 2023 Top 10 Domestic Destinations list, touring African artists are making their way to us and there are also plenty of local ones you can take in this summer and yes there is also the Bayfront Reggae & Music Festival in Duluth, with roundtrip shuttle available for those in the Twin Cities.

Here is what Mshale staff know is happening. Bookmark this page as acts will be added as we learn of them. Feel free to send us what we missed at this link.

Gili Yalo with DJ Fawzi
Thursday, June 1 @ Cedar Cultural Center
Read Mshale’s review of his last show in Minneapolis

Nimcaan  Hilaac & Hilaac Band with Bashir Jaawi
Friday, June 2 @ Cedar Cultural Center

Kenya’s Madaraka Day Family Day at the Park
Sunday, June 4 @ Centennial Park in Brooklyn Center

Siama’s Congo Roots
Thursday, June 8 @ Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley

Bloomington Reggae Fest ft. the International Reggae All Stars
Thursday, June 15 @ Normandale Lake Bandshell

Jupiter & Okwess
Tuesday, June 20 @ Cedar Cultural Center

Sophisticated African Fashion
Friday, July 7 @ Mall of America

Kids performing at a previous IgboFest in 2018 in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The event organized annually by Umunne Cultural Association of Minnesota will be one of the attractions this summer that is packed with a variety of music and cultural festivals from all regions of Africa. Mshale Staff Photo by Bethel Gessesse

Bayfront Reggae & World Music
Saturday, July 15 in Duluth (Roundtrip trip shuttle service from Minneapolis available!)

Kashimana with ShaVunda Brown
Friday, July 28 @ Cedar Cultural Center

Fanaka Nation
Thursday, August 3 @ Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley

Little Africa Fest 2023
Sunday, August 6 @ Hamline Park in St. Paul

IgboFest 2023
Saturday, August 12 @ Brooklyn Park

Sona Jobarteh
Monday, August 14 @ Cedar Cultural Center
Read our review of her last show in Minneapolis in March.

Nduduzo Makhathini
Wednesday, August 30 @ The Dakota

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