Harmonizing Cultures through Music: The Kriol Jazz Festival Experience

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Nestled in the captivating backdrop of Praia, Cabo Verde, is a celebration like no other – the Kriol Jazz Festival.

As its upcoming edition approaches, VoyagesAfriq had the pleasure of catching up with Djo Da Silva, the festival’s visionary organizer, to gain insights into the event’s evolution and significance.

Reflecting on the triumphs of the past year despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Da Silva remarked: “We initially thought it might be challenging due to the aftermath of the pandemic, but I believe people responded positively to the festival. Many attendees showed enthusiasm and support.”

The festival has ventured into new territories beyond Praia.

Da Silva explained: “It is doing well because Sal is one of the islands people visit most due to tourism.

“We want to cater to this audience with our festival. It has been very successful in its first year. We have twice as many attendees, and we anticipate that this year will only continue to improve.”

The line-up for this year’s festival includes: “In this edition, we have a diverse line-up featuring musicians from various nationalities, promising a delightful blend of jazz music.

“We expect exceptional performances from renowned artists such as Steve Coleman from the United States, Afro-Cuban Giles Corey from Cuba, and the esteemed Brazilian artist, Hermeto Pasco from Brazil, known worldwide. This individual is a virtuoso of multiple instruments, promising an extraordinary experience for attendees.”

At its core, the Kriol Jazz Festival serves as a platform to showcase Cabo Verde’s rich heritage and diverse influences. Da Silva elucidated: “Our inspiration behind the festival is to create a platform that represents the diversity of the world, embodying a fusion of cultures.

“We aim to bring together people from various continents, including Europe, the United States, and those with Creole heritage, fostering a sense of unity and understanding. That is why we have this festival to have a lot of people coming to our door to share this moment with us.”

Da Silva acknowledged the invaluable support of partners and sponsors.

“We have received significant support from the city; they are our primary partner in this. Additionally, the government, particularly the Minister of Culture, has been instrumental,” he said.

“We’ve also had contributions from various entities, including telecommunication companies, hospitality establishments, and diplomatic missions. Partnerships with businesses and Embassies from Brazil, Spain, and France have been crucial in realizing our vision for the festival.”

In a final appeal to prospective attendees, Da Silva extends a warm invitation.

He said: “It is the week of immersing oneself in Cabo Verdean culture. If you come from April 3rd to 6th, you’ll have lots of shows in the city, in Praia, the capital, and many people attending, creating a vibrant atmosphere. It’s very lively. The food is good, and the weather is pleasant. It’s a good moment to come to Cabo Verde to experience and contribute. ”

The Kriol Jazz Festival brings together a fusion of music from diverse origins onto one stage. Featuring a lineup of top musicians from the Creole community, the festival emphasizes both musical and human exchanges.

Its primary goal is to promote music with a Creole influence from every island, spanning the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Cabo Verde, Europe, and Africa—the cradle of Creole music.

The upcoming edition is scheduled to take place from April 4th to 6th in Praia, Cabo Verde.

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