UNESCO celebrates jazz women in Africa with a concert on 30 April, which will be streamed online.
group of 7 women musicians from Africa performing together

On the occasion of this 11th edition of International Jazz Day, UNESCO is partnering with Anya Music (Morocco) to produce the second edition of the JazzWomenAfrica concert, with the financial support of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Moroccan Office of Copyright (BMDA) and the Hiba Foundation. In partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the concert will be distributed by its members and will be promoted through its sister broadcasting unions in Africa and other regions of the world.

Excerpts of JazzWomenAfrica will be broadcast on 30 April 2022 during the All-Star Global Concert produced by the Herbie Hancock Institute for Jazz.

It is this power of jazz, against racism, and more generally against all forms of discrimination, that is needed more than ever. So that it can play its role, in particular, for gender equality.

The Concert (30 April, 9pm CET)

This unique concert is the result of a residency organized by Anya Music that brought together Jazz Women from across Africa including: Abigail Narkie Teye (percussionist, Ghana), Laura Prince (performer, Togo), Maah Keita (bassist, Senegal), Mariaa Sigaa (composer and performer, Senegal), Mounaissa (percussionist, Mali), Nelida Karr (guitarist, Equatorial Guinea), and Senny Camara (composer and kora player, Senegal).

Abigail Narkie Teye

Percussionist, instrumentalist and dancer from Ghana, Abigail Narkie Teye plays 5 different types of drums: Agbadja, Kpanlogo, Fontomfrom, Obonu, and Gome. Since 2010, she teaches drumming and dancing in schools and churches. She was awarded best female instrumentalist in 2015 at the Festival des meilleurs instrumentistes d'Afrique in Benin. 

Abigail Teye, percusionist from Ghana
Laura Prince

Performer, author, composer and interpreter from Togo, Laura Prince aspires to remain in harmony with herself and the world surrounding her. She promotes a purified kind of music to express her childhood fears, her mixed roots, and her heartaches. Her career is atypical, like those that forge and inspire. 

Laura Prince, performer from Togo
Maah Khoudia Keita

One of the three women bassists in Africa and the only one in Senegal, Maah Khoudia Keita (aka Lady Maah Keita) played in her family band, Takeifa, from 2006 to 2018, recorded three albums, and went on seven European tours in addition to numerous national tours in Senegal. Maah Keita is spokesperson for albino people in Senegal. She co-founded and managed for six years the association Care Albinos, which provides medical assistance to albinos with skin cancer. 

Maah Keita (bassist, Senegal)
Mariaa Siga

Young artist, composer and performer from Senegal, Mariaa Siga (Mariama Siga Goudiaby) is used to the traditional rhythms of her hometown Casamance. Her curiosity led her to discover new musical genres such as reggae, blues and jazz, genres that she mixes with African sounds.

Mariaa Siga, a woman musician singing and playing the guitar

Guitarist from Mali, Mounaissa was born in the 1960s and influenced by American and modern African music, in particularly Malian modern orchestras. She is one of the first women to play the guitar in her country. Realizing the difficulty to thrive with this instrument, she decided to turn to the drums. She is a member of the Kaladjoula Band, a group of women instrumentalists from Mali.

Mounaissa (guitarst, Mali)
Nelida Karr

Guitarist, Nelida Karr is known as “Equatorial Guinea’s Diva" and started playing at the age of 15, as well as piano and percussion. Her music is a fusion of several influences including jazz and Afro-Cuban music. In 2007, Nelida was awarded first prize by the Centre of Malabo in the Spanish Song Contest. She interpreted in 2012 the official anthem of the African Cup of Nations held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Nélida Karr (guitarist, Equatorial Guinea)
Senny Camara

Composer and kora player from Senegal, Senny Camara believes that music is a matter of strings, referring to the set of strings of her kora (a djeli harp-lute traditionally reserved for men). She considers her kora as her strongest ally both as an artist and as a woman. Fiercely independent, Senny learned how to play kora on her own. She played in an orchestra in Dakar performing American and Afro-Cuban jazz classics, as well as pop music. 

Senny Camara (composer and kora player, Senegal)

The Discussion (29 April, 5pm CET)

Women artists and music producers will have a discussion on the solutions to the most important challenges facing Jazz Women in Africa, that is to: (1) gain access to global platforms that promote their artistic work; and (2) provide younger generations with positive role models that can help breakdown stereotypes inherent in the industry. 

Maah Keita

Artist (Senegal)

Maah Keita, bassist from Senegal
Violet Maila

Music In Africa Foundation (South Africa)

Violet Maila, from South Africa
Josiane Maténé

3MJ Consulting (Gabon)

Josiane Maténé from Gabon
Luc Mayitoukou

Zhu Culture (Senegal/Congo)

Luc Mayitoukou from Rep. of Congo/Senegal
Fatoumata Pindra

Optimiste Produktions (Senegal)

Fatoumata Pindra from Senegal
Laura Prince

Artist (Togo)

Laura Prince, artist and performer from Togo
José da Silva

Lusafrica (Cape Verde)

José da Silva from Cape Verde
Melody Zambucko

Crossroads Music (Zimbabwe)

Melody Zambucko from Zimbabwe

Message from UNESCO Director-General
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This event is a collaboration between 

With the financial support from