The End of Summer Block Party held in September made such an impact that it has quickly become identifiable as one of Uma Nota’s signature events. The afternoon-into-evening event brought together many Uma Nota crews of artists and friends and rallied different communities in our age old pursuit of good times, free expression and general fun. The summer 2015 promises more Block Parties!
The best praise came from Toronto via Chiapas’ own Quique Escamilla: “… So much richness of life: people of all different colours, cultures, food and styles of music altogether in one place. Dancing to Brazilian, Colombian, Jamaican, ‘good’ Hip-Hop, and West African beats for hours, left me happy at home with a sore neck this morning—meaning we were really bouncing off the floor.” Yes Quique, thanks!
The story of the Block Party in its current form evolved out from the idea of Maracatu Mar Aberto director (and Uma Nota director) Alex (yours truly), who along with Itay Keshet of Samba Elégua decided to have a party together at Zero Gravity Circus in 2011. The whole concept was originally meant to replicate the vibe of a Sesame Street party indoors and involve Toronto’s two aforementioned underground drum troupes, plus a couple of our favourite DJs.
The Mar Aberto crew got on board 100% and rocked the party, from decor to food and bar staff. After this initial success, the Block Party became Maracatu Mar Aberto’s yearly celebration and moved outdoors to the Kensington Market in 2012 and, in 2013 to its current location at Clay & Paper Theatre‘s back lot near Liberty Village and Fort York. The Dub Connection’s 15,000 watt sound system was also added to the mix. Those three seasons of event were envisioned and executed by the Mar Aberto production duo of Alex and Gina Minugh, with the boost of the Uma Nota networks. The last Block Party, now in its more organized adolescence, went of with a blast, with its most varied and compensated line-up to date, an efficient and well stocked bar, several food vendors and all the beautiful people.
Bands and DJs who have performed at the Block Party include: Maracatu Mar Aberto (the primary host over the years), Samba Elégua, Maria Bonita & the Band, The Human Rights, Café Con Pan, DJ Bookshelf, DJ General Eclectic, DJ Firecracker, Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble, Mar Aberto Soundsystem, DJ K Zar, selector A Man Called Warwick, DJ Maylee Todd, Carlinhos Pernambuco, Mystery band, DJ Chocolate, Tdot Batu, and Circle Research, among others.