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Music

Music. Imany, Africa in her heart.

Of African descent, with a voice that is elegant, smooth, sensually melancholic. Imany overpowers and charm. Her birth name, Nadia Mladjao, immediately shows her African origins. In effect Imany, an ever brighter star on the new transalpine music scene, was born in Provence, near Marseilles into a family originally from the Comoros Islands. Her stage…

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Music. A marvel called Oud. The Joubran Trio.

A pre-Islamic instrument. Three brothers. Music that is a poetry, the heart and the patrimony of a people. Last October they launched their sixth album. The Long March At first sight it looks like a mandolin with a crooked neck. The oud is the chief musical instrument of Arabic music. It is a chordophone instrument…

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Music. Afro Trap.

A young Frenchman of African descent has invented a new type of rap to set the new Afro generations dancing and more. It is taken from West African languages and does not try to imitate the American style. Up to three years ago, Mohamed Sylla, also known as MHD, was delivering pizza in north-east Paris.…

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Music. Youssou N’Dour: the king’s comeback

For many Senegalese Youssou N’Dour is more than just a singer: he is a living symbol of success, almost a legend even for those who are not his fans. Taxi drivers carrying foreigners around Dakar point at the building hosting his media group (comprising a newspaper, a radio and a tv station) as they do…

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Music – Farewell to Papa Wemba

It is not common for the Vatican spokesperson to release an interview to remember a music star, but for Papa Wemba, Fr. Federico Lombardi made what can be regarded as a notable exception. The Jesuit priest, as director of the press office of the Holy See, has more often to deal with the interpretation of…

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Ivory Coast, singing against terror.

Grand Bassam is wounded, and yet, she sings. Or better, a number of Ivorian artists have chosen to celebrate through their music the city’s strength and resilience a few weeks after the attacks that, on 13 March left 19 dead on the beach of the renowned Ivorian tourist destination. It was a Sunday, when a…

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Music. Akendengué, fifty years of challenges.

At the beginning of his career he has been called “the African Bob Dylan”, and – although he has questioned this comparison from time to time – Gabon music legend Pierre Akendengué has some features in common with his much more famous colleague. Like the American singer and songwriter, in fact, Akendengué can be compared…

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Music. X-Maleya, from Cameroon to Paris

The boys have grown up. Playlist, the fifth album of the Cameroonian band X-Maleya, marks a new step in the career of the trio and, in the artists’ intention should also represent a personal turning point as big as Yelele, the song which gave them a continental popularity in 1999 also thanks to the remix…

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Music. Souad Massi meets the “Masters of the Word”

“The fruit of silence – an old Arab saying goes – is tranquillity”. But if silence is broken, art might reveal itself, one could reply after listening at El Mutakallimun, Souad Massi’s latest album. A word that can be translated as “the speakers” or, more freely, as “the masters of the word”, El Mutakallimun is…

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Music. Essaouira, home of the Gnawa

For almost the entire year, Essaouira, on the coast of central Morocco, is just a small port city, its main connection to music being the story – firmly believed by locals – that Jimi Hendrix wrote here the world famous Castles made of sand during his visit in the summer of 1969. However, since 1997,…

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Music. Nneka, a project for the world

Thirty-five minutes long, and full of sound, My Fairy Tales, Nneka’s fifth album, is the best demonstration that true quality music can easily make its way to success even if it breaks some of the industry’s rules. “It’s been a few years since I released my last album [Soul Is Heavy, 2012] – the Nigerian-born…

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Music. “Gospel Journey”, the sound of wonder

If the title of Faada Freddy’s first solo album, Gospel Journey, has to be taken as a promise, after listening at its eleven tracks one must admit that the Senegalese artist has more than kept his word. The 40-year old founder of the rap crew Daara-J, leaving apart for a while his trademark hip-hop rhythms…

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Advocacy

South Sudan. Father Michael: “There is hope because I see…

Seventy-year-old Father Michael Bossano’s solemn declaration sounds resolute. His streaks of white hair tell tales of many years spent travelling the world. For now, however,…

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Baobab

Why the Cheetah’s cheeks are stained.

Long ago a wicked and lazy hunter was sitting under a tree. He was thinking that it was too hot to be bothered with the arduous…

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Youth & Mission

Pope Francis. Sharing the Wisdom of Time. A new alliance…

Pope Francis in a new book is calling for an alliance between the young and elderly:  “Young people need the dreams of the elders so they…

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