Credit: Ming Wu / PhotogMusic
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.
Yasmina Proveyer is Axé WorldFest’s co-founder and Executive Director. She was born in Havana Cuba. Her interests in arts and music took her to China where she earned her master’s degree in Theatre Arts from the Beijing Central Academy of Drama. She taught the history of drama in Havana at the arts university and assisted with coordinating the International Theatre Festival. She speaks fluent Mandarin, English, Spanish, and French. Yasmina currently resides in Ottawa where she works with newcomers to adapt to their new country, supports the work of numerous cultural and music networks and festivals, and regularly delivers workshops and panel presentations locally and around the world. She books Cuban-born pianist Miguel de Armas and his Latin Jazz Quartet for live music and workshops. She is called upon regularly to serve on artistic juries and is part of the programming team at SUNFEST in London, Ontario, focused on world music and jazz.
Currently Axé's team is formed by:
Fateema Sayani is a production and outreach associate with Axé WorldFest.
Thabby Regiani - Graphics & Communications Designer
Moira Germann - Website designer
All photography taken by Ming Wu
Staff and volunteers:
Maria Luisa Anastacio
Vania De Rosayro