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Great Black Music exhibition

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Great Black Music - exposition temporaire à la cité de la Musique

This exhibition is the first international exhibition devoted to Black Music in France hosted at Cité de la Musique in the North East of Paris in Seine Saint Denis. The exhibition is held until 24th August 2014.

Mr Marc Benaïche, the exhibition artistic curator said that “Yes may be it can be controversial to talk about Black music, from the perspective of the geographer, historian or anthropologist, it may tend to be a point of view, but not to talk about it would be to deny the history claimed and experienced by the musicians themselves– artists like the Nigerian Fela Kuti, the American Billie Holiday, the Brazillian Gilberto Gil…”

Great Black music creates a sensory immersion through genuine music in the six halls of the exhibition. The geography and history of this incredible story is divided into six major thematic parts. Visitors are invited to verify for themselves their belief and knowledge of this saga through a personalized interactive device. A hall features games and musical educational modules through a rare collection of instruments to show the emergence of a Pan-African musical identify and culture.

Black music artists worldwide presented during the Great Black Music Exhibition is an explanation on various African diaspora and the building process of social and cultural history through music such as jazz, blues and reggae… It is also an invitation to consider the different ways of understanding the African phenomenon as well as Caribbean-Sub-Saharan African people living in the western hemisphere, their way of life, breaking away from family bonds and sharing to varying degrees in song and music their cultural needs and their historical backgrounds. Lectures by anthropologists or historians are illustrated by numerous audio and video documents.

Black Music Legends

Michael Jackson, Cesaria Evora, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Fela Anikulapo, and Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, Myrian Makeba, Oum Kalsoum… are among the twenty artists presented in the first hall to enlighten you. Make your way through this puzzle that attempts to inform visitors about the development of famous black musical “Chef-D’oeuvres”. Great black music is a title in itself, a masterpiece emblematic of the culture of euphemism in black music.

Among these "black music legends" is a white man, Elvis Presley brought to the world the gestures, vocalizations, black-dance and soul songs to a white audience when most of them did not want to breathe the same air as those they did not consider as their equals at that time.

Black music explained in six thematic Halls

One of the things about the exhibition is its uncanny ability to tell the story about the culture of art and music, where it comes from and the era it was created in. It is much more attractive than volumes of informative books on history and anthropology. As we often cannot  afford neither the time and nor the money to travel to every corner of the globe just spending a few hours in the Great Black Music exhibition will take you on a virtual voyage to enjoy and to learn.

Begin the exhibition by listening to some of the famous artists that we all know: Michael Jackson, Cesaria Evora, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Fela Anikulapo, and Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, Myrian Makeba, Oum Kalsoum... So tune in and start to listen to music that is today a record collector of Soul or African music, create your musical trip across Soul, funk, disco, old American Rap and many more styles, listen to special extended versions and make your playlists to be sent to your pre-entered email.

Step into the “Mama Africa” hall where films about sacred dances and musical rhythms including trance rites of all continents are projected onto different walls. Black America or South Africa and their living conditions, an awareness of black identity and origins.

3 Dance class booths of Hip-Hop, disco and Salsa make up part of the best moments allowing visitors to dance and watch the film with friends and families.

2 Interactive jukeboxes offer a selection of African urban music and a selection of African’s traditional musical instruments. 

List of concerts of your favorite artists at the Cité de la Musique :

Black music artists worldwide performing during the Great Black Music Exhibition :
Kinshasa Concert - Tuesday 15th April 2014 at 8 p.m.
Film - Fela Kuti    - Thursday 17th April 2014 at 6 p.m.
Concert - Lagos   - Thursday 17th April 2014 at 8 p.m.
Concert - Ouagadougou Wednesday 23 April 2014 at 8 p.m.
The College of Africans Musical Diasporas–On 1st April to 13th May 2014 Tuesday from 7h30 p.m. à 9h30 p.m.

Opening hours - Great Black Music - Cité de la Musique Paris La Villette

From Tuesday to Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.
Open late Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m.
Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Extended opening until 8 p.m. on April 15th-17th and 23rd
Exhibition closed on the 1st May

Feel free to share information about the Great Black Music Exhibition taking place in Cité de la Musique in La Villette.

Cité de la musique
221 avenue Jean-Jaurès
75019 PARIS

Philharmonie 2 de Paris
221 avenue Jean-Jaurès

75019 PARIS
48.8897205744476 , 2.39442401858514
tel tel : 01 44 84 44 84
fax fax : 01 44 84 46 42
Getting there Getting there
Bus : 75, 151, PC, Arrêt Porte de Pantin.
Metro : Ligne 5, Porte de Pantin
Road : Périphérique sortie Porte de Pantin
Vélib' : 19046 - PORTE DE PANTIN (10m)
Vélib' : 19018 - CITÉ DE LA MUSIQUE (16m)
Vélib' : 19034 - PANTIN (26m)
Vélib' : 19017 - PARC DE LA VILLETTE (29m)
Vélib' : 19019 - PETIT HONNEGER (37m)
Cité de la musique, 221 avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019 PARIS
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