Building Capacity at Ecole St. Albert Le Grand

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We have two very big news items this month. First is that our fourth annual fundraiser for Ecole St. Albert le Grand is coming up on Saturday May 11th. The second is that we just launched an Indiegogo campaign for Ecole St. Albert Le Grand, and it is running until June 30th!

First, a word about our fundraiser:

We are grateful that the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. W.) will be hosting our fundraiser again on May 11th in their beautiful Ballroom. As was done last year, we will be holding two events:

Afternoon Family Fun for Bazou
* Featuring Soli & Rob, Naomi Tyrrell, and Njacko Backo!
* 3-5pm
* $10/child suggested donation

An Evening for Bazou
* Featuring Mother Tongue, Eh?!, The Reel Bulgars, and MC’s Luther Hansraj and Jacques Yams
* Doors at 8pm, show starts at 8:30pm
* $20 suggested donation

Advance tickets are available directly from us (Njacko and Val), and also from African Drums & Art Crafts (618 Dundas West (West of Spadina in Kensington Market)).

If you would like to learn more about our partnership with Ecole St. Albert Le Grand (including photos and videos from projects completed at the school), please visit our project blog at www.BazouSchool.blogspot.com. You may click the images below for the full event details (English and French).

An Evening For Bazou 4

Concert Pour Bazou 4

Second, a word about our Indiegogo Campaign:

In parallel with the fundraiser at the Gladstone this year, we are running an online Indiegogo campaign. Why are we running this online campaign in addition to our May 11th fundraisers? Excellent question. We are in the fourth year of our five year partnership with St. Albert Le Grand, and our overarching goal for the partnership is to help the school gain financial independence. We are continuing our fundraising at the Gladstone this year and next year to complete the repairs to the school buildings, however the funds raised through Indiegogo will be used to help the school start their own small business. The proceeds from the small business will all go to the school which will increase their income without increasing school fees for the students. Interested in finding out more? Please check out our campaign at igg.me/at/BazouSchool, and share it far and wide! The campaign is presented in both English et en français. 

WorldSongs Vocal Camp

Njacko is really excited to be part of the WorldSongs Vocal Camp for the very first time this year. Njacko will be teaching along side camp leader Alan Gasser and Dr. Kathy Bullock at the beautiful Sugar Ridge retreat centre in Midland, Ontario (about an hour and a half north of Toronto).

When we last checked with Alan, there were still a few spots left. If you are interested in the camp, please have a look at the below flier and the camp website (www.worldsongs.ca) and register soon!

WorldSongs_2013_e-flyer_colour_rev

Lyrics for “Tu Es Mon Coeur”

Greetings everyone! We’ve had such wonderful feedback from folks about Njacko’s interview on CBC’s Here And Now this past week when they featured his new song Tu Es Mon Coeur as their Song Of The Week. A big thank you to Marina Wray for the invitation to join the show!

We have had a few requests to see the lyrics for Tu Es Mon Coeur, so here they are (in English and French)! If you haven’t had a look already, please check out the video for this song on YouTube. Continue reading

Thank you for an incredible Launch Toronto!

Chip getting DOWN

Chip getting DOWN

Well, it’s two days later and we’re still all abuzz with the energy from the CD launch on Friday February 22nd at the Gladstone Hotel. What a night! We want to thank all of you who came out to support the launch and dance the night away with us. We also really want to thank all of you who came out only to find that the venue was already full – thank you so much and we apologize that you weren’t able to spend the evening with us.

Now that the album is out, you can purchase it directly from us if you are in Toronto, or from African Drums and Art Crafts located in Kensington Market. Additionally you can purchase Ici Bas online through our website, CD Baby, or iTunes.

Finally, we’re really excited to share the news that Njacko will be featured on CBC Radio One’s Here and Now tomorrow (February 25th) at 5:20pm. We hope you can tune in!

A blast from the past…

Njacko and I have been talking a lot about the new album Ici Bas lately as we are gearing up for the launch on February 22nd. We were brainstorming around a press release the other day and I suggested that the new album is an important milestone in his career. He started laughing and jumped up to grab a copy of the very first record he ever recorded, Bamiléke Reggae. This is a photo of the back of the album:

Here is a translation from the text on the bottom of the left hand side of the panel: “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and it’s not me who is thanking you, all of you who contributed to the making of this first foundation stone.”

Here’s to the first stone which has led to the most recent milestone!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

May 2013 bring you and your loved ones joy, happiness, and health. Let love guide you for the year. We love you as love loves you.

We invite you to read our most recent newsletter, please click here to see it.
Our New Year’s gift to you: a sneak peak at our new album. Please have a listen to “Tu es mon coeur” and let us know what you think!

Baki is Back!

After several months of being sold out, we have great news. This week we stopped by Pixel Print to pick up 200 shiny brand new copies of Baki and the Magic Egg/Baki et l’oeuf Magique. You can now purchase a copy directly from us, from African Drums and Art Crafts in Kensington Market, or A Different Booklist at Bloor and Bathurst.

Baki is an original story written by Njacko and beautifully illustrated by Bruce Parsons. It is written in both English and French, and is the first in a series of Njacko’s children’s tales. His next story, The Lion Who Wanted To Be Vegetarian, is currently being illustrated and will be launched next year.

If you would like to take the book for a test drive before making a purchase, we invite you to stop by the Toronto Public Library to check out a copy.

Notes from the studio

I took the opportunity yesterday (Labour Day) to join Njacko and Jeff McCulloch at Wellesley Sound Studio to mix “Tu es mon amour”, the 10th song mixed for the new album. It was my first time seeing a song mixed from start to finish, and it was really a treat to witness the transformation that took place in a short span of just 3 hours. The song includes tenor banjo and cello banjo tracks by Ken Whiteley, soprano sax by Jane Bunnett, trumpet by Larry Cramer, djembe by Mohamad Diaby, Continue reading

Amazing Progress at Ecole St. Albert Le Grand!

Some of you may already know that we are in the  middle of a 5 year partnership with a school in Bazou, Cameroon, working with them to improve their infrastructure. We started this project after visiting the school, St. Albert Le Grand, in 2009 when we were in Cameroon to celebrate the lives of Njacko’s parents. When we were in Bazou, we visited the school to drop off school supplies that we had collected from friends and family in Canada however when we were at the school we realized that school supplies weren’t the school’s greatest need. We have a separate blog to track the project, and we invite you to have a look at all of the work that has been accomplished over the past three years – www.BazouSchool.blogspot.com. We have just put our latest update on the blog, and are so excited to share it with you. Please have a look. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the project, so don’t be shy! Here are some of the photos from this year’s project (before, during and after), you will find more on the blog!       thanks for reading! Val

Welcome to our new website!

Dear friends, We are very excited to welcome you to our new website! We invite you to take a look around, and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions to help us improve the site and make it more useful and user friendly for you. Please note that we are still adding and refining content for the site, so please be patient with us and check back often to see how the site is developing. Here are some of the new features that we are most excited about:

Continue reading