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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Music In Africa Foundation (South Africa)
3MJ Consulting (Gabon)
Zhu Culture (Senegal/Congo)
Optimiste Produktions (Senegal)
Lusafrica (Cape Verde)
Crossroads Music (Zimbabwe)