Africa jazz

Jazz connecting with its African origins


Within the context of the “JAZZ CENTURY” exhibition, the Claude Lévi-Strauss Theater presents Africa Jazz: seven concerts by some of the greatest figures in American jazz and blues who wish to get back in touch with their African origins.

Jack DeJohnette and Dimi Mint Abba - creation

Jack DeJohnette - photo D.R.

Artistic concept: Jean-Jacques Quesada


With: Jack DeJohnette, drums and percussion - Dimi Mint Abba and her ensemble - Rick Margitza, saxophone - Jean-Jacques Quesada, saxophone and flute.

This project’s originality lies in putting one of the great figures of American jazz, Jack DeJohnette, together with the tradition of griots in Mauritania for the first time ever. Indeed, the percussionist is one of a number of African-American musicians who have explored the African roots of their art since the 1970s.

The arid and extremely complex structure of the music made by Mauritanian griots, living memories of journeys through the desert, will be embodied by the diva Dimi Mint Abba, one of the first artists to have introduced their broken song to the West.

In the Claude Lévi-Strauss Theater, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March at 8:00 pm, Sunday 22nd March 2009 at 5:00 pm

Performance price


Meeting: the contribution of Black Cultures to the West

Meeting with Jack DeJohnette (percussionist / United States), Dimi Mint Abba (singer, griot / Mauritania), Edouard Glissant (writer / French Antilles), Jean-Jacques Quesada (saxophonist, France).

In the Claude Lévi-Strauss Theater, Saturday 21st March at 5:00 pm

Free entry with a limited number of places available

Le Tigre des Platanes and Eténèsh Wassié

E. Wassié et le Tigre des Platanes - photo : P. Olivier

At the end of an astonishing journey through Ethiopia, Le Tigre des Platanes, a brass quartet, chose to get to grips with the signature songs of Swinging Addis of the 1970s.


Together with Etenesh Wassie, from the Azmaris tradition, the free-jazz combo distil the songs that were created in the azmaribet, the late bars brought to life by troubadours, poets and singers with the free-flowing words and worn voice of Addis-Ababa.

In the Claude Lévi-Strauss theatre, Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th March 2009 at 8:00 pm

Performance price


Film: Mahmoud Ahmed & Either/Orchestra featuring Tsèdènia Gèbrè-Marqos

Documentary by Anaïs Prosaïc (France - 2007- 67 min.)

In the cinema - Wednesday 25th March 2009, 6:00 pm

Free entry with a limited number of places available


Randy Weston's African Rhythms Quintet & the Masters Gnawa Musicians of Morocco

Randy Weston - photo J. Harlaar

A master pianist and composer, the American Randy Weston has been visiting Africa since the sixties. Settling first in Nigeria and then in Tangiers, he worked with Fela Kuti, the pioneer of afro-beat, before performing with the master gnawas in 1967. Made famous by their musical collaborations with Pharoah Sanders and even Archie Shepp, Les Gnawas, descendants of emancipated and Islamised black slaves, stand at the frontier between several worlds, between the visible and the invisible. 

In the Claude Lévi-Strauss Theater, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th March at 8:00 pm

Performance price

Meeting: African Rhythm, African heritage, the blue note of Africa

Meeting with Randy Weston presented by Caroline Bourgine, a specialist in traditional music and producer of the programme Equinoxe (France Culture)

In the Claude Lévi-Strauss theatre, Saturday 28 March, 5:00 pm

Free entry with a limited number of places available