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Jazz festivals in Africa: musical events with international influences

  • 27.04.2018

In Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal as well as the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, jazz now features at many well-known festivals sponsored by the BNP Paribas Foundation alongside subsidiaries of the BNP Paribas Group. From March to September, jazz and improvised music fans can attend events held all over the African continent.

More than 20-years of jazz in Africa

Throughout the year, Africa is home to several jazz festivals where major names in the music world and young talents cross paths.  With some created up to 20 years ago, these festivals have managed to evolve over the years by featuring all types of music. They are events for all ages at the crossroads of jazz and new influences.

In Tunisia, from 6-15 April, the 13th Jazz à Carthage Festival, sponsored by the BNP Paribas Foundation and UBCI, brought together numerous artists from around the world with an eclectic programming. This year, the festival focused widely on new music by inviting artists from pop, swing, soul and R&B. Young talents and renowned musicians came to play on stage at the Jazz à Carthage Festival to provide a cultural and musical melting pot. 

In Morocco, Jazzablanca (14-22 April 2018) and TANjazz (20-23 September 2018), both partners of the BMCI, set out to discover new talents while backing Moroccan and African artists living in Morocco. From the sounds of modern music from all over the world to the resonances of famous musicians, the very varied programmes of these two festivals has put Morocco on the map as a multicultural country open to the world. 

Aimed at favouring cultural exchange, the Saint Louis Jazz Festival, in which the BNP Paribas Foundation and subsidiary BICIS in Senegal are partners, offers around 10 concerts from 26 April to 1 May, with major names in music jazz headlining as well as exhibitions and concerts. Founded in 1993 and boasting more than 92,000 visitors, the International Saint Louis Jazz Festival is now one of the largest international jazz meetings. It invites jazz fans from all generations to experience contemporary and lively creations, both from Senegal and international artists.

At the same time, the Jazz à Ouaga festival is due to be held in Burkina Faso (27 April to 5 May 2018), partnered by BICIAB, and has also become a key event in the country’s musical backdrop. This year’s demanding and inventive programming has the theme of Afro Jazz Mandingue and focuses on so-called research music featuring the best sounds and professional musicians. 

New jazz events

In March, the Jazz à Conakry festival in the Republic of Guinea celebrated its second edition after the huge success enjoyed at its inauguration in May 2017. Created with the backing of the Foundation and BICIGUI, for four original evenings, instrumental and vocal jazz was featured with its influences stemming from several musical genres such as middle, be-bop, jazz latino and salsa, gospel and soul music. 

Finally, Abidjan Jazz by BICICI was created in 2012 by the subsidiary in order to strengthen its commitment to jazz music. It aims to promote jazz music in the Ivory Coast and to create an event bringing together recognised artists and emerging talents, local stars and international names.

The BNP Paribas Foundation and jazz

Supporting festivals, especially in Africa, rounds out the actions of the BNP Paribas Foundation with the jazz artists its backs. Indeed, the BNP Paribas Foundation is strongly committed to making known all the artists it supports, by broadening their audience and developing exchanges with bank’s networks in France and abroad. 

Crédit Photos : Jazzablanca - Pascal Bouclier / Jazz à Carthage - Maik Reichert / Jazz à Conakry - Franck Guillet

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