Saint-Louis Jazz Festival

 

Appropriately for Senegal’s old colonial cosmopolitan heart, St Louis’s jazz festival expertly mixes International flavours and a distinctive local bent. From big bands to soloists, abstract avant garde to good-time salsa rhythms, the performances that take place in venues across town – many in fine old colonial settings – are renowned for their quality and variety. Africa’s most important jazz festival has played host to music luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, but if one performer in particular is on the bill, make sure you catch him: Senegal’s Ablaye Cissoko. The country’s jazz megastar accompanies his playing of the 21-string kora with smooth, powerful vocals, taking the audience on a musical journey that seems to drift from classical harp to delta blues, while always retaining a compulsive, compelling African edge. 

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