Music Can Change The World

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BuJazzO return from Africa, much music in tow

The German Jazz Orchestra on its West African tour 
Copyright: DW/Babou Diallo

In Benin, UNICEF goodwill ambassador Angelique Kidjo keeps a strong note of social concern in her lyricssinging about hunger, homelessness, AIDS and injustice. And some up-and-coming musicians are also lending their voices to protests against crime, human rights violations, xenophobia and much more. Music with a message The combination of the right lyrics, rhythm and instruments can build a group identity, stir strong emotions, engage audiences and amass people to take action. This makes music the perfect partner for social change. In Africa a variety of NGOs, bands and activists are trying to make a difference through music. The Sigauque Project is a band based in Maputo, Mozambique, whose music is all about raising issues and trying to bring about change.
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Over the course of a week, the musicians got to know one another, improvised, rehearsed and then performed on stage. Their first show was during the Saint-Louis International Jazz Festival, were they won an enthusiastic reception. The central idea of the project was to bring together African music, which commonly features three-beat cycles – with European and American jazz music, which is generally based on two beats. BuJazzO’s artistic director Mike Herting was convinced that the friction between “two and three” would result in true swing. He was right. Balafon and kora melded with saxophone and woodwind instruments; the various drums vibrated in time.
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