US musician Marcus Miller pays tribute to Senegal’s past at Saint Louis Jazz Festival

Source:AFP Published: 2017/4/27 18:13:41

US star Marcus Miller has made soulful amends to the Senegalese jazz festival he skipped a year ago, stirring emotion with a musical tribute to West Africa's historic links with his homeland.

Miller, 57, was the headline act Tuesday during the weeklong Saint Louis Jazz Festival, Africa's largest event dedicated to the genre, and was eagerly awaited after sitting out his performance in 2016 amid heightened security fears.

"Goree", a sombre, reflective piece dedicated to the Senegalese island where slaves were held in harrowing conditions before they were shipped to the New World, touched the audience at Place Faidherbe in the heart of the city.

"It was really tough, visiting Goree," he told the crowd, recounting how he composed the song on his first visit to Senegal seven years ago. The song shows that "the soul can transcend terrible things," he added, speaking in French.

Security was tight for the 25th edition of the festival, with armed police conducting searches at entrance points Tuesday.

Senegal has so far escaped the jihadist attacks that regularly hit Mali and to a lesser extent Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire in recent years, but it remains on high alert.

Posted in: MUSIC

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