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Mixto Festival Brings Brazilian Block Party Flair to Toronto 

The outdoor festival showcases showcase a wealth of character and diversity.

by Daniel McIntosh

Looking for something to do in Toronto this weekend? Look no further than Mixto Festival. The annual event celebrates Afro-Brazilian music and culture in the city and abroad.

The 2022 festival takes place in Toronto’s west end, with most of the features going on in a stage setup outside Lynx Music. There’s several local performers and DJs on the bill, including New Chance, Young Teesh, TRP.P, Mosamba, Me Time, Selectress Sunshine, Ana Luisa, and reggae jam band Reggadiction, as well as international talent like Bombino representing Niger, and Ghetto Kumbé by way of Colombia. Given that Mixto features a range of Latin fare, it’s only right that we spotlight some of the talent visiting from Brazil, including Xenia França, Céu, and Francisco, el Hombre

The whole event is the brainchild of Uma Nota Culture, an arts organization that highlights Afro-Brazilian, Latin, Caribbean, funk and soul music. It’s a process that’s close to the heart of Kristyn Gelfand, the managing director of Uma Nota Culture. She says Mixto grew out of a desire to profile more music from beyond North America in Toronto’s myriad of summer festivals. “In about 2018, we noticed a real lack of cool music festivals in Toronto that presented music other than from North America,” says Gelfand. 

Mixto was born out of the desire to showcase all the character and diversity Toronto had to offer. “We wanted to do a festival that was cool, urban, but also international,” says Gelfand. The result is a festival-block party hybrid, bringing together local acts and international artists for showcases in the big city. “We’re inviting some artists that I would love to work with over and over again, we’re doing our best to kind of show them how cool Toronto can be.”

There’s also a ton of great food and drink options that you won’t find on many other menus in the city, including an impressive array of Caribbean food and Brazilian desserts. Gelfand is looking forward to the caipirinhas, a refreshing summertime favorite of Brazil that’s set to replace mojitos as your beverage of choice. 

After running the festival through pandemic restrictions in 2020 and 2021, Uma Nota is pleased to bring their full-fledged vision to life. The festival takes great strides to highlight music from outside North America, so check out the full schedule for a weekend full of dancing, eating, seeing some brilliant international acts.