“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”S. Kierkegaard
The Paris New York Heritage Festival is a historical and contemporary journey to the heart of African, African American, Latin, Latin American, and Indigenous arts, with stops in Paris, New York, Montreal, Vancouver, Johannesburg and Los Angeles.
The event pays tribute to the major artists of the 20th century who have left their mark on the world's musical culture. It pays tribute to artists from our past, present and future who, throughout history, have influenced today's cultural heritage. The festival is intended to be a vehicle allowing the transmission of these intergenerational values and beliefs.
Every year for the past 5 years, the festival has been organized around an original theme related to these cultures. The first editions highlighted the great richness of African (diasporic) and Latin-American cultures, their interactions with Africa, the United States, and Europe. It emphasized their influences, developments and origins, which are intimately connected to community, social, and political struggles. All of the afore-mentionned cultures have similar roots, a common basis, which is their desire for the recognition of their existence and humanity. In this context, music has been and still remains a universal tool for connection and communication.
"Back to the roots"
"Music of many colors"
"The Lost Generation"
"Activism through Culture"
What is the inspiration behind The Paris New York Heritage Festival?
After twenty plus years of promoting various artists including George Clinton, James Brown, Boosty Collins, and many more; it occurred to Benjamin that artists of all backgrounds were not being equally represented within the music industry. Thus, the festival emerged after Benjamin saw this gap in representation and decided to create a space for artists of all musical styles and ages to enjoy music together.
Furthermore, the creation of an event where all generations of incredible artists could play and exist together became vital. This is at its core what the festival aims to do; create a space for a multitude of generations, musical styles, cultures, and interests to coexist in their love for music.
How was the 2021 theme selected?
When we decided on this Theme for the 2020 festival, it was August 2019, and we could never have imagined what 2020 would have in store for us all, with a global pandemic paralysing the planet, nor that the chosen theme would seem so prescient! Coincidence? Do we learn from artists by listening to them live, watching them in person? Are we still ignoring the essential nature of culture?
Our 5 year initiatory journey led us to make an observation : all of the struggles faced by communities, whether African, African-American, indigenous or Latino have a common foundation: a desire for their existence to be recognised, their rights to be respected, for their place in humanity to be acknowledged. Knowing that the earth is a finite space and that there are more and more humans, can we find solutions to create a sustainable and harmonious society? Can we live together?
Today, the urgent challenge for humanity is to know how to survive collectively. We are talking about extinction, global warming, pandemics... Drawing on all our cultures, perhaps we can find the beginning of a collective response. Let's imagine, for the duration of the festival, that the answers could be not only technological or economic, but that culture could take hold of this subject and bring forward some elements of response?
The idea behind the PNYH 2020 festival was to create a utopian global village spanning 3 continents, uniting these currents of cultural activism around these questions. A place where all artistic, cultural and human communities would be free to share, exchange, question and associate for the collective good:
"the preservation of humanity".
"Human (u) nity"
What do you hope people take away from the festival this year?
"I hope the festival opens the doorway for viewers to create their own point of view on this topic. Think of the event like an internet network- we hope to increase awareness about the theme and encourage all to form their own opinions. Everyone is welcome at this event; you may like, dislike, agree, disagree... but hopefully you will leave with your answer... or perhaps even more questions on this theme. Normally at a festival you eat, you drink, you consume! Think of this as another way to consume, its a sharing of cultures in a way a “typical” festival does not provide. Through conversation, deep questions, music, film, and company we will engage with the material and all leave different than before the festival began". - B.Levy
This fifth edition is being hosted thanks to fabulous partners such as SACEM, the City of Paris, SPEDIDAM, the Canadian Embassy, Mona Bismarck - American Center, FGO Barbara and Radio Nova.
WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE ARTISTS THAT HAVE JOINED US IN OUR PREVIOUS EDITIONS...
ROY AYERS (US) - SEUN KUTI & EGYPT 80 (NGR) – WAX TAILOR (FR) – BILAL (US) – JOE BATAAN (US) – TONY ALLEN (FR) - BRIAN JACKSON (US) – ERIK TRUFFAZ (FR) – BOBBY SANABRIA (US) – TORTURED SOUL (US) –ILHAN ERSAHIN (US) – ITAMAR BOROCHOV (FR) – TUMBAO (CA) – HULLY HUILE (CA) – DABY TOURE (FR) - RAASHAN AHMAD (US) – SOUL REBELS (US) – KEREN ANN (ISR) – RICH MEDINA (US) - TRE HARDSON « THE PHARCYDE » (US)– CHEICK TIDIANE (MLI) – KIALA NZAVOTUNGA (NGR) – AZIZ SAHMAOUI (MA) - THOMAS FAURE (FR) – DINER AT THE THOMPSON (FR)– DJ JULIEN LEBRUN - ANDY WILIAMS (DJ) – PUMPKIN (FR) – TIE LPM (FR) – DAVID KYLE PAYNE (UK) – ADAM HAYES (UK) – ROB GRUNDEL (UK) – ELLIOTT BLACKLER (UK) – MATTI (US) – ONE,TWO,THREE RAP – TOM&CLOSS (FR) – RONI ALTER (ISR) – TIA TURN TABLES (DK) – KCL (DK) – SARAH NILES (UK) – SETENTA (FR) – UNDERGROUND SYSTEM (US) – TSIDII LE LOKA (SA) – OURIM TOUMIM (FR) – BIBI TANGA (FR) – EMMA LAMADJI (RCA) – JON GRANDCAMP (FR) – ECHOES OF (FR) – ANDERS (LE MELLOTRON) - LEKIN – YANN JANKIELEWICZ (FR) – ASKOPSSOL (CA) – RUSTAM OSPANOFF (US) – DJ SUSPECT (FR) – DJ ATN – DJ JP MANO - DJ KOBAL – TUPI COLLECTIVE – KYOU – DJ DON MESCAL – LA MANO PELUDA – DIMITRI LIVE PAINTING BY SEB ASTWO – VISUALS BY VJ BX…