Macklemore might have been the big draw for Madaraka Festival to benefit One Vibe Africa held inside EMP’s Sky Church last Sunday but there was a whole lot more to this show than Seattle’s hottest star. With a talented backing band lead by Mack’s own horn player Owuor Arunga delivering jam after jam all night long and some of the finest talent Seattle has to offer, the first Madaraka Festival was one for the ages.
Madaraka Festival was organized to help raise funds and awareness for One Vibe Africa’s Music & Arts Program, Music To Empower Youth.
Music to Empower Youth is a fundraising campaign hosted by One Vibe Africa that is dedicated to empowering orphans and disadvantaged youth through music and the arts. This campaign focuses on providing a safe place full of resources and opportunities for young people to cultivate their artistic talents in a positive way. By providing classroom space, trained instructors, instruments, and much more — Music to Empower Youth offers young people an alternative to idleness, substance abuse, crime, violence and other dangerous activities.
Please take a moment and visit One Vibe Africa’s fundraising campaign site here: Click
A partial list of performers that took part in the landmark event were Seattle luminaries The Physics, Yirim Seck, Kore Ionz, Black Stax, Naomi Wamboe and a stunning live version of African Girl by Naomi Wachira. Andrew Joslyn, who helped make Macklemore’s smash album The Heist such a success, also lent his violin mastery to the program.
And of course Macklemore did show up. The festival had played the “Special Guest” card and while there was certainly some speculation early on because of Owuor’s involvement, it wasn’t a done deal until One Vibe Africa began posting pretty obvious clues to it’s social media sites. The show was heading towards a sell out but once the fans caught on that it’s hottest star was going to be there, it was game over.
Mack delivered a high energy, intense set of three songs including Thrift Shop which brought Wanz to the stage to lay down the lines that have become a Seattle icon, if song lines can become icons. After Wanz(Michael Wansley) got done working the crowd into an absolute frenzy, Ryan Lewis and Ben welcomed Ray Dayton to the Sky Church stage to finish them off. The audience jumped, bounced and screamed as it’s beloved group belted out Can’t Hold Us from probably as close a vantage point as most of the show-goers will ever get. With a stage only two feet high and no photopit or safety barrier established, the fans were packed in like sardines and loving every minute of it.
For all those lucky enough get a ticket, it truly was a night to remember.