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A Conversation of Resilience in Art Across Cultures

August 9 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Join us for a free evening with Elio Villafranca and Samite, featured artists at the 6th Annual Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival, who will talk and share video recordings/ slides about their lives and music, African cultural roots, and stories of resistance and resilience.

There will be a reception starting at 6 pm and then conversation begins at 6:30 pm.

If you are interested in coming, let us know in the link below. Blues to Green will send an email reminder and future updates:

At the Jazz & Roots Festival on August 10th, Elio Villafranca & the Jazz Syncopators will be performing Cinque, a five movement suite inspired by the story of Joseph Cinque, who in 1839 led a successful revolt aboard the slave ship La Amistad days after being sold and transported to a sugar plantation in Cuba. Cinque showcases the cultural diversity of the five Caribbean islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, while simultaneously highlighting the Congolese musical heritage woven into Caribbean music. Cinque includes narration, original composition, and field recordings of Caribbean Congolese rhythms, especially the traditions of Tambor Yuka, only practiced today in Elio’s birthplace of Pinar Del Río, and Gangá, a little-known culture that traveled from Cinque’s birthplace of Sierra Leon to Matanzas, Cuba. Both traditions are near extinction today.

Samite, singer and multi-instrumentalist, will be performing with his world music ensemble at the Jazz & Roots Festival. Samite was brought up in Uganda, where his grandfather taught him to play traditional African flute. When he was twelve, a music teacher introduced him to the western flute, setting him on his way to becoming one of East Africa’s most acclaimed flutists. He performed to enthusiastic audiences throughout Uganda until he was forced to flee to Kenya as a political refugee in 1982. Samite immigrated to the United States in 1987, where he began his work as a frequent performing and recording artist and impassioned humanitarian. In 2002, Samite founded Musicians for World Harmony, an organization dedicated to enabling musicians throughout the world to share their music to promote peace, understanding, and harmony among people. In that capacity he travels to sing, play music, and exchange stories with victims of war, poverty and HIV/AIDS.

In addition to his appearance in Springfield, Samite will be performing in a one man theater show based on his life at the KO Festival in Amherst, MA on August 2,3 & 4.

Elio Villafrance will be conducting a community outreach program at the South End Community Center on Wednesday, August 8th and Samite will be conducting a community outreach program at the YMCA of Greater Springfield on August 9th.

Elio’s official website:
Samite’s official website:


August 9
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:


Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival


Robyn Newhouse Hall
127 State Street
Springfield, MA 01103 United States
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