Your essential guide to Small World Music Festival

There's so much happening in Toronto during Small World Music Festival's 10th anniversary, so we asked executive producer Alan Davis to highlight 10 artists and events that should not be missed!

CBC Toronto is a proud media partner of the 10th annual Small World Music Festival from September 22 to October 2 at venues around the city. Join us on September 24 at Small World in the Square for 10 free concerts hosted by CBC's Matt Galloway, Garvia Bailey, Anne-Marie Mediwake, Dwight Drummond and Nana Aba Duncan.

"Two of Toronto's brassiest, brazenest young bands playing for free at the festival opening party on Thursday. From Balkan gypsy punk to deep Afro grooves, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra & Prince Enoki's Insects would seemingly have little in common. But they're both part of the Small World. And it's my birthday."

"Autorickshaw's Bollywood Rewind set at Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday. This band has matured wonderfully and found lots of ways to have fun over the years since the two principles were introduced by me at a DJ fusion night we used to host. This is going to be a riot of over-the-top Bollywood sounds."

"Taiwan's A Moving Sound at Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday. It's very rare to have world music representation from this part of the world, especially groups that do such an interesting cross-cultural mix. This is their second appearance for us. The first was in a yoga studio, so this is a rather big step up."

"Vox Sambou at Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday. This Montreal-based Haitian hip hopper does some great, forward-looking music. He's coming with a full band and will be doing a youth outreach workshop as part of this year's partnership with Manifesto, which we're very excited about."

"Luisa Maita at Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday. This Brazilan singer and her band made a real impact on their Toronto debut at Lula Lounge last year. Gorgeous vocals over modern beats and Brazilian backdrops make her one of the most exciting artists of her generation from that country."

"Andalusia to Toronto beautifully encompasses the Small World vision, even though I can't take credit for it (that would be the RCM's Mervon Mehta & music director David Buchbinder). But, to be sure, the concept of recreating a golden cultural age when religions and races co-existed and thrived is what we're about."

"The Canadian debut of Grecanico Salentino Canzoniere (or since no one here can actually pronounce their name, CGS) promises something special. Tracing their roots back to ancient Italian 'tarantella' music (trance music, named after the tarantula spider), the band, named best world music act in Italy, has a youthful enthusiasm that wins over crowds in a flash."

"Sidi Touré's Toronto debut on the 29th at Lula Lounge is a must for African music fans. The kind of sensual, meditative desert guitar blues popularized by the much-loved Ali Farka Toure (no direct relation) is given new life here, by one of the best of the young generation of Malian musicians."

"Karevan, a group of adventurous Toronto musicians, meld Persian roots with a variety of global influences, visuals and dance, into a most compelling whole. Their performance at the Enwave Theatre
presents music originally presented in a theatrical setting, rewritten for the musical stage. Should be sweet."

"You can't go wrong with a legend to close the festival. Asha Bhosle, one of the most beloved musical personalities in India, has sang on more Bollywood soundtracks than anyone can keep track of. Still going strong at the age of (well, we don't ask, do we?) she's combined here with a group of young up-and-comers for a memorable night."


Stay Connected with CBC Toronto