Each year, March 8th is celebrated around the world as International Women's Day. And in most cases the entire month of March is the time to focus upon and remember the struggles of women around the world.
It is a chance for women to reflect on the past and ongoing progress and gains made in the struggle for peace, equal rights and social advancement. It is in that spirit that I dedicate my March 11 Africa Mix show to women artists from around the world, and invite local women artists as guests on this special edition to share their music and their stories.
Raquel Bitton (France/Morocco)
French jazz singer and recording artist Raquel Bitton is recognized as the foremost singer of French Jazz music in America today and has been internationally reviewed as the greatest interpreter of the music from the Edith Piaf repertoire. Raquel was born in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Bobi Cespedes (Cuba)
Gladys “Bobi” Cespedes is an acclaimed folkloric singer, dancer, percussionist as well as an accomplished recording artist, theatrical director, story teller, lecturer and cultural arts teacher. For over 40 years, Bobi has been directly involved in the preservation and teaching of Afro-Cuban culture and tradition.
Fely Tchaco (Côte d’Ivoire)
Affectionately known as "Fely" is a music sensation in Côte d'Ivoire. (The Ivory Coast, West Africa) She began to sing, dance, and paint early in her childhood. Her father encouraged her to pursue painting, but young Fely was more interested in the adventure of entertainment. Fely sees love and music as political, spiritual endeavors that must continue to fight for their existence in the world.
Akosua is an Oakland, California–based Ghanaian-American composer, vocalist, and guitarist. Northern California’s East Bay Express deems her a “poetic songbird” with “champagne-sweet pipes.” Akosua has been compared to Joni Mitchell, Sade, Seal, Ani Difranco, and India Arie.
Meklit Hadero (Ethiopia)
Born in Ethiopia, raised in the U.S.A. and nurtured for the last several years in San Francisco’s richly diverse arts scene. Add in a warm and luminous singing voice. A San Francisco-based artist with deep local ties and a growing international profile, Meklit is now nurturing a number of projects that will take her back to East Africa and around the world. Meklit is a true modern global artist.
Muadi Mukenge (D.R. Congo)
Muadi Mukenge is an advocate for women’s rights and social justice in Africa. Ms. Mukenge is currently the Program Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at The Global Fund for Women, the largest international foundation which supports women's rights groups around the world.