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Claudia Balladelli is Axé WorldFest’s co-founder and Artistic Director. She was born and raised in Londrina, Brazil and has resided in Canada for more than 20 years, working as a programmer, publicist, and artistic director. She speaks four languages and is frequently called upon to share her experiences as a commentator and panellist, most recently at the Dakar Music Expo in Senegal, at Porto Musical in Brazil, and at Womex, the Worldwide Music Expo. She served as cultural ambassador for the Mercury Lounge, a nexus for musical discovery that saw international acts such as Gil Scott-Heron, Bebel Gilberto, Quantic, and hundreds of others grace the stage of this New York-style club that was the homebase for the city’s artists, cultural and political leaders, and entrepreneurs. The name Axé Worldfest comes from Yoruba (“àse” — and pronounced ah-sheh). It is a West African philosophical concept through which the Yoruba of Nigeria conceive the power to make things happen. This is a throughline for Balladelli, who uses her energy and life force to support emerging artists in establishing professional networks and partnerships around the world.

Dayani Castro, was born in Cuba, and came to Canada 15 years ago. Her background is in Accounting, and own her own business. Avid reader, coffee lover.

She is an experienced professional with a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Finance, and a Canadian Diploma in Accounting and Payroll. Fluent in English and Spanish. Dayani's vision is to help as many immigrants as possible to create thriving businesses, giving them the opportunity to be independent, give back to the society and create new jobs.

Marie Boillon is part of Axé WorldFest’s team. The non-profit presents and champions equity-deserving artists from across the globe, providing a platform to those who face barriers to presenting their work. Marie settled in Canada, having lived in Madagascar, Angola, London, and her birthplace, France. She is trilingual, operating in French, English, and Portuguese as she supports Axé’s various functions as board member, in the Secretary and Artist liaison positions.

Marie has been passionate about art and culture since she began playing violin at the age of six, later joining a conservatory, a baroque music group, and gracing the stage of prestigious concert halls, including the Zenith in Paris. She signed with an independent record label as a teenager and brings the richness of these musical experiences to her work with Axé WorldFest.

Currently Axé's team is formed by:

Fateema Sayani - production and outreach associate 

Thabby Regiani - Graphics & Communications Designer

Moira Germann - Website designer 

All photography taken by Ming Wu

Staff and volunteers:

Marie Boillon

Maria Luisa Anastacio

Vania De Rosayro

Yanira Heredia

Mayra Barbosa

Jean Michel De Armas

 Gabriel Balladelli

Sebastien Belanger

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