Saint-Louis of Senegal: city of jazz, arts and history...

The "African Venice"...

I went for the first time to St-Louis, a few years ago and I fell in love with this archipelago city. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000, St-Louis or "Ndar", as the Senegalese populations call it, is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Senegal River.

From its colonial past, Saint-Louis of Senegal has inherited a rich historical and cultural heritage. This city has a crazy charm with the variety of colors of the lime facades of the colonial houses with floors, the alternation of the wooden balconies and wrought iron balustrades, the decoration of the door and window frames, or the double roofs slope covered with red tiles. Along the coast of Saint-Louis of Senegal, you can see boats and pirogues, one of the economic activities of the inhabitants.

Find in one click, the story of my first visit to Saint-Louis.

Unfortunately, Saint - Louis is now threatened with submersion by the Atlantic Ocean which is eating away at the city a little more every day. Rising water levels are not new, but climate change is accelerating the process. Today, despite the efforts made to keep it at bay, the ocean is at the city's gates.

Photo by Lee Litumbe and Soukéna Roussi

The Jazz Festival ...

The Saint-Louis Jazz festival is a major cultural event and one of the biggest events in international jazz.

The Saint-Louis Jazz association initiated this project in 1993. The objective is to animate and perpetuate the event in the heart of the city. For a few days, the city vibrates to the rhythm of the big international names like the late Ali Farka Touré, Manu Dibango but also Gilberto Gill, Rhoda Scott ...

Senegalese artist Ablaye Cissoko is a lover of the city and a fan of the festival. This is what he said about St-Louis:

« Saint-Louis is the heart of Senegal, of Africa. Hospitable, generous, she is a pretty woman with whom you can only fall in love! "... As for the festival, it gave me everything. I met many artists there, like so many pieces of a puzzle that the festival can put together. »

The festival is a celebration of music, art and culture with a positive and significant impact on the city of Saint-Louis. On the one hand, it highlights young Senegalese and African artists by presenting them to a new foreign audience. This annual event also offers a meeting place for like-minded musicians in the various jam sessions, workshops, masterclasses and concerts organized for the occasion. On the other hand, this event allows the city to shine in the tourism sector and generate tangible economic and cultural opportunities for the local population.

Another important fact to highlight: the festival promotes equality. In 2017, we noted the presence of more women artists than men.

The 29th edition of the Saint-Louis International Jazz Festival will take place from June 18 to 20, 2021.

While waiting to be there, discover the portrait of a photographer who was also under the spell of this city: Aldi Diasse.


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