By Leonard Sylva
The late summer Paris jazz extravaganza, scheduled to happen between August 29th and September 7th it will be, as a rule, a multi-tone, multi-colour event encompassing the various trends of jazz old and new.
A whole range of styles spanning from classic bop, African, Caribbean, afro-Latin and hip-hop jazz will take to the different stages of the festival 18th edition. Among the headliners, there will be names such as Mandingo jazz maestro Cheick Tidiane Seck, classic jazz stalwart Archie Shepp, bass master Marcus Miller, saxophonists Joshua Redman and Kenny Garrett, afro-Latin Peruvian veteran Omara Portuondo (feat. Mayra Andrade and Ibeyi), Mandingo beats diva Oumou Sangaré, Yasiin Bey a.k.a Mos Def and a roster of newcomers.
Emma-Jean Thackray, Maisha, Laurent Bardaine, Kamaal Williams, Jaimie Branch, Delvon Lamarr, kokoroko and many other new faces, shaping the jazz to come, are set to share the 2019 festival bill. As to the organizers, « This 18th edition of Jazz à la Villette will be a music summit bringing together the prestigious cities of Paris, London, Bamako and La Havana ».
Tribute to the Great Aretha Franklin
A special tribute will be paid to late Randy Weston and Aretha Franklin. Cheick Tidiane Seck, whose band will feature Archie Shepp, will be the mastermind of Randy Weston’s tribute. As to Aretha Franklin’s, it will be under the musical direction from New York City afro-beat disciples Antibalas group, siding with soul vocalists Bettye LaVette, José James, Alice Russell and Nona Hendrix and Zara MacFarlane.
The main venues hosting the event are the Philharmonie, The Cité de la Musique, and La Grande Halle de la Villette; all set within the premises of La Villette cultural complex in northeastern Paris.