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Afro Roots Fest: Afro-Cuban Convening returns to Gainesville April 5 and 6

April 5 @ 10:30 am - April 6 @ 11:00 pm

$10 – $55
afro cuban convening poster

Afro Roots Fest returns to North Florida on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6, 2024 for a two-day convening, which includes concerts, dance and drum workshops, short music documentaries, and a dance party. Tickets are available at This year’s gathering will focus on the lineage and migration of the religious tradition known as Abakua from Calabar, Nigeria to Cuba, which gave rise to the rumba, one of Cuba’s principal musical traditions.

The first day will feature events at the University of Florida School of School of Music (130 Music Building) and the Greater Gainesville International Center (1314 S. Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601), followed by a dance party at Depot Village (404 SE 2nd St, Gainesville, FL 32601). Activities will include Afro-Latin movie shorts about Cuba and Brazil followed by a lecture and discussion, a master African dance and drum, Afro-Cuban percussion with a focus on clave, sekere, bells, congas, and bata, and a master Orisa and rumba dance workshop.

The next evening, the Odara Afro Cuban Allstars will perform two concerts at the Hippodrome Theatre (25 SE 2nd Pl, Gainesville, FL 32601). The first show at 7 p.m. presents Orisa and rumba, and the second show at 9 p.m. will focus on the Abakua traditions. Featured artists include a group of Afro-Cuban masters and scholars: Lazaro Galarraga, Roman Diaz, Sandy Perez, Barbarito Ramos, Angel Guerrero, and Chief Ivor Miller. The event will also include a film screening of the documentary “Roman Diaz – Como el Agua” by Onel Mulet, which offers an intimate look at the renowned Cuban master drummer and jazz musician.

This program is presented with the generous support of City of Gainesville, University of Florida Center for Arts Migration and Entrepreneurship (CAME), Florida Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Greater Gainesville International Center, the UF Center for Latin American Studies, the School of Theatre + Dance, School of Music, and the College of the Arts. Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville – Alachua County, FL.

For more information, visit


April 5 @ 10:30 am
April 6 @ 11:00 pm
$10 – $55
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