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Nuits d'Afrique 2023

Health Through Variety

by Nicolas Pelletier, July 22, 2023 ​


The 37th Festival International Nuits d'Afrique brought us music from several countries of this great continent: I had the chance to hear the airs of Mali, Gambia, Benin in several local languages, intermingled with English and French. Acoustic concerts, others electric, some energetic, others calm... in short, a vast palette of colors and flavors! The fabulous Timbuktu Market - erected on this beautiful place that is the quiet Esplanade - also makes us see all the colors with its fabrics, perfumes, accessories, small pieces of furniture, jewelry and clothes...


MTelus, July 12, 2023 ​


It's hard to start a festival with more brilliance and impact than by inviting the legend that is Angélique Kidjo to the MTelus! The great lady went there with a generous concert touching on several periods of her career, and paying tribute to women. It is an exceptional one, by the way! What energy! What character! What a smile! ​


We even got a surprise visit from Zachary Richard! He came to sing 'L'arbre est dans ses feuilles' it was delightful and joyful.


Club Balattou, July 16, 2023


Romain Malagnoux is a singer-songwriter of French origin who has lived in Quebec for nearly 20 years. In 2009, he spent time in Mali, and literally hooked on West African folk, befriended Moustafa Kouyaté, with whom he recorded an album (award winning!) in 2013.


Malagnoux has a blues-folk repertoire and a nice guitar game, but it's when he launches into Bambara (one of the languages ​​spoken in Mali) that his songs take on a whole new dimension, as if it were the language in which he expresses himself best. A unique musical and cultural mix to discover. Live now at the always friendly Club Balattou.


Club Balattou, July 19, 2023


Sophie Lukacs hasn't had it easy lately: her kora was broken during her flight, she had to find a replacement urgently. The kora is a delicate and unique instrument.


Then, the microphones of the Balattou caused her misery: sound that cheats, then that feedback, to the point where the young woman proposed an acoustic concert.


But, despite all these challenges, the Hungarian musician who lived in Mali for 7 years bewitched us with her delicate playing on the kora and her aerial singing. A sweet mix that gently waltzed the understanding audience of Club Balattou She was surrounded by two sympathetic and talented musicians, on the cello and the calabash. A guitarist joined them.


A beautiful moment, imbued with sweetness... And perseverance!


Outdoor scene, July 21, 2023


Magnificent and inspiring performance by Sona Jobarteh, one of the first professional kora player (because it is traditionally a male affair) in Africa.


The English-born singer delved into her Gambian roots on her father's side: it was he who taught her the instrument when she was 17. Sona Jobarteh also spoke a lot about women and the importance of the message we carry for future generations.


A great evening (free) at the Place des Festivals, as part of the 37th African Nights. ​



See my photos of previous editions: 2018 (with Femi Kuti)

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