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Do-gooders cavort to conga beats—with K’Naan—at the Hope Rising after-party

Hope Rising

Alicia Keys, Ngozi Paul and K'naan (Image: George Pimentel)

May 3, Rosewater Supper Club. After-hours at the Rosewater usually means loose-tied Bay Street types swirling grand cru and planning their next hostile takeover—not the conga-beating, boogying and boisterous boozing that broke out at the after-party for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Hope Rising concert. Supporters poured into the decadent downtown resto following a fundraising show at the Sony Centre, which featured Alicia Keys, Rufus Wainwright, K’naan and Jully Black. The party peaked when a corps of conga drummers started playing along to the backbeat of the DJ set, enticing even the suits to shake a tail feather. Up on the mezzanine, K’naan was too preoccupied with fending off a throng of female fans to hit the dance floor. At the concert he’d brought fans onstage to sing his anthem “Wavin’ Flag”; mercifully, no sloppy renditions were attempted in his honour at the after-party.