Last week, I went to Senegal, Africa for the first time to play with the Iranian chanteuse Sussan Deyhim at the St Louis jazz festival. Sussan brought her killin! band: Will Calhoun, Alan Kushan, Jon Ossman to play her thrilling music and I was humbled to join the group.
We had some boisterous times over delicious Senegalese food in the former capital of French West Africa, St Louis, which has sadly decayed, or in Dakar, the new capital and at the Barbary Coast where the beaches were virgin. We were fortunate to have some meals with the legendary French singer Charles Aznavour who was invited to celebrate his 88th birthday at the jazz festival. French pianist René Urtreger also performed and had so got so many jazz stories out of Charles which kept us entertained. (Rene played on on one of my favorite films, the 1958 Louis Malle film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud/Elevator to the Gallows. which Miles Davis wrote moody, evocative music for. This project then led Miles to his next band recording, the landmark Kind of Blue in March/April 1959. oh, the history!
Got some beach time at this wonderful resort Ocean and Savane on the Barbary Coast. The band took the opportunity to visit Goree Island, where there is a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade – The House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) and its Door of No Return. What an emotional experience. David Liebert, band manager, will be posting a film on the concert and trip. I also will post some photos too on FB.
Another musical and travel experience to inspire my music, life, and love.
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