As Fiesta Fela nears its tenth year, Kamajou Tadfor eyes the future
"This will be the ninth Fiesta Fela," founder and organizer Kamajou Tadfor tells SFR. "The community has embraced the event, people really come out—it's my baby, it's my duty to make it work."
For the past eight years, Tadfor has made the festival named for beloved Nigerian musician Fela Kuti work. Beginning as a small event at El Museo Cultural with a couple hundred visitors and growing into a large-scale outdoor happening at the Railyard Park with live music, workshops, food, art and more. This year, Tadfor says he wanted to focus on New Mexico performers, like Afrobeat act The Swank Brothers, African drumming from Agalu and Wassa Wassa and Albuquerque-based Haitian music act Racine Kreyol.
"I think I have proved that I can put a show together," Tadfor says with a laugh, "and I'm excited about the whole program this year."
This includes kid's stuff, presentations on things like how to build a djembe from Agalu, painting and sculpting demonstrations and a lesson on African cooking from Tadfor's niece Ceci Tchakounte Tadfor, who recently published her first cookbook titled Ceci's African Kitchen. The Jambo Hapa food truck is also scheduled to appear, as is Abo's Caribbean Kitchen.
"It's something I've created over a number of years, and we find that it works, so every year we try to bring in different artists to perform," Tadfor says. "We're happy for Santa Fe encouraging us and supporting us all the time."
Tadfor admits that the annual event comes with no shortage of work, and that money is always a concern, but Fiesta Fela picked up its nonprofit status this year. Given that it runs primarily on donations, that's a great first step for its future sustainability.
"All we wanted was to celebrate Fela's birthday," Tadfor says, recalling the early years. "I think we do that. It's very full, it's very vibrant."
Fiesta Fela 2019:
Noon-6 pm Saturday Oct. 12. Free.
740 Cerrillos Road,
No Black Tie Necessary
Tired of the bougie Canyon Road art scene but at a loss for alternatives? The working-class folks in the Midtown neighborhood have your back with a fresh opening this Friday. Studio WFC/S11 brings a new collection of unpretentious-yet-
refined art from three studio artists in an exhibit entitled Fall For It, which explores the various fall themes that come with this time of year. Looking for expressive mixed-media paintings? Check. Inventive claywork? Even more check. Sophisticated collage? You got it, in spades. This opening takes place in conjunction with the 2nd Street Art Collective open studios, so head down the street for the chance to see more of this neighborhood’s artistic offerings.
Fall For It:
5-8pm Friday Oct. 11. Free.
1406 3rd St. Unit A.
We've said it before and we'll say it again—Sacramento-based rapper Mr. P Chill is basically a legend. A political rhyme-spitter, producer and annual touring MC, the artist known to his friends as Bill Rhoten has been releasing music since 1992. And whereas he maintains a little bit of that old-school, West Coast aesthetic to his beats and vocal cadence, there's a uniquely punk rock edge to the music. Mr. P Chill pulls inspiration from the headlines, from the world around him and from a lifetime embedded in hip-hop culture; it's all very lo-fi and DIY, and there's something satisfyingly angry about his turn at the mic. Find him on the upcoming Spaces & Places Tour stop in Madrid with fellow California MCs Cleen and Oscar Goldman. (ADV)
Spaces & Places Tour:
9 pm Saturday Oct. 12. Free.
Mine Shaft Tavern,
2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid,
The Great Debaters
So, you know how everything is terrible all the time and nothing feels good anymore and no matter what that complete fucking monster calling himself the president seems to do, consequences never catch up? Yeah—we really need to vote, but we need to do it from an informed place. You'll probably want to eat, too, so keep those things in mind and maybe attend this-here debate watch party and potluck. The Democratic Party of Santa Fe County and Earth Care/Youth United for Climate Change Action organized the shindig and ask that anyone who wants to come bring a dish to share. You could get really creative with food here here, because remember—we need creativity while we're busy getting major monsters out and lesser monsters in. (ADV)
Debate Watch Party & Potluck:
5:30 pm Tuesday Oct. 15. Free.
Center for Progress and Justice,
1420 Cerrillos Road,