MIL-OSI Translation: Jazz, “it’s something we share with love, without competition and with joy of heart”

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MIL OSI Translation. Region: France and French Territories –

Source: United Nations – in French 2

Headline: Jazz, “it’s something we share with love, without competition and with joy of heart”

“Jazz carries a universal message that has the power to strengthen dialogue, our mutual understanding and our mutual respect. As the world is affected by multiple crises and conflicts, this international day highlights how music and culture can contribute to peace,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

“Amidst conflict and division in many parts of the world, I hope that through the universal language of jazz, our celebration this year can inspire people of all nations to heal, to hope and to work together. to foster peace,” said Herbie Hancock, president of the Jazz Institute, who is co-chairing the Day with the UNESCO chief.

The program will include performances from some of the world’s most accomplished jazz artists. One of these artists is Alune Wade, Senegalese singer and virtuoso bassist.

Born in Dakar, Senegal, he was immersed in music from his earliest childhood. At the age of six, his father, who conducts the Senegalese army symphony orchestra, made him give music theory lessons at home. He learned bass, piano and guitar. Considered a true pillar of jazz, he promotes an irrepressible open-mindedness through his various projects.

@Alune Wade

Alune Wade, Senegalese singer and bassist

With a universal approach to music, he explained to UN News why he is convinced of the benefits of meeting and sharing.

Alune Wade: I think music, especially jazz, is one of the things that was created by man. It is, during this century or even since the 19th century, one of the most positive things. Because it’s something we share, without tension. It’s something, whether you’re from Los Angeles or whether you’re from Dakar, or Madagascar, Paris, Japan. Everywhere we go there is an event called the Jazz Festival. It only exists in jazz. As I also say, jazz is like a tree: the roots come from Africa, the tree grew in the United States, but the leaves come from all over the world. It is this image that I have of jazz. It’s something we share, even if we don’t speak the same language with our neighbour. It’s something that we manage to share with love, without competition and with joy of heart. This is what really made me want to go towards this music which invites you to listen and which opens its doors, which opens its heart. Alas, that’s not the case in a lot of things these days.

UN News: You started very young in the world of music. What were your beginnings?

Alune Wade: My beginnings were quite natural because I grew up in the world of music. My father was a musician, my uncles made music. Suddenly, there was music everywhere in the house. I couldn’t escape it. My only choice was music. The music came to me. I did not go to her.

UN News: Did your mother agree?

Alune Wade: My mother comes from a generation in the 1960s and 1970s when African musicians, especially Senegalese, were very badly seen. Because, like in the United States with jazz in the 1950s, 1940s, there were quite a few junkies. It was more alcohol, cigarettes in Senegal. So it was his way of protecting his son, his child. She didn’t want me to make music. She might have preferred me to be a doctor or a lawyer.

UN News: But did you manage to convince her?

Alune Wade: Yes, finally. Then she saw that there was nothing to do. However, she tried to cut the cords here and there, but afterwards she was still proud to have a son who managed to do what he wanted to do, in this case music and especially to to do well. This is the most important thing in all of this: you choose your job, what you want to do in life and do it well.

@Alune Wade Official

Alune Wade, Senegalese singer and bassist performed at the United Nations in New York, on the occasion of International Jazz Day, celebrated each year on April 30

UN News: And what exactly got you started?

Alune Wade: I started very young. So what really got me started, I don’t even know because it was years of recklessness or years of unconsciousness. For me, it’s the love of music and also having music around me. I was surrounded by sounds, I was surrounded by music, all kinds of music, whether it was classical music with my father, whether it was jazz with my uncles or reggae and pop music too, American pop , French pop. Suddenly, it was the music that came to me. I did it naturally. And of course also the fact of having in Senegal, in Africa, many African artists, great, very good singers, especially in Senegal. Someone like Youssou N’Dour, Touré Kunda, and in Mali with Salif Keïta. Also seeing these people succeed in music. Above all, their professionalism also pushed me a lot to choose this profession.

UN News: And what are your influences and style of jazz?

Alune Wade: It’s very broad, I would say, I listen to boogie all the way to new soul, I listen to everything. I listened to Coleman like I listened to Bill Evans. I listen to everyone. I listened to Miles (Davis) a lot and it was in his music that I discovered Marcus Miller and I was impressed by his bass sound. I chose his style, but without knowing who this guy who was on bass was. So, I have a vision or a love of music or jazz, which is quite eclectic.

UN News: And now, are these influences reflected in your music?

Alune Wade: Indeed. In my music, when I compose, I think of Miles Davis, I think of Youssou N’Dour, I think of Weather Report, I think of Salif Keïta. Above all, I had the opportunity to meet them on my way and suddenly that’s what made me what I have become today, this mixture that is in me. That is to say, there is the reflection of jazz, there is world music, Malian and Senegalese music. It’s all kinds of music, it’s really a catch-all, but well put together, well thought out and well thought out.

@Alune Wade Official

Alune Wade, Senegalese singer and bassist performed at the United Nations in New York, on the occasion of International Jazz Day, celebrated each year on April 30

UN News: You are going to participate in this International Jazz Day, on April 30. The theme this year is peace and world unity. Do you think we can achieve world unity through music and through jazz?

Alune Wade: Yes, because I think it’s still something quite wise because music is this thing that is quite neutral. I think that all the problems these days, in order to be able to solve them, you have to be someone neutral. There should be no bias. And in the music, there is no bias. It’s something we share. When you’re Syrian, when you’re South African, Israeli, Russian, Ukrainian, French, we share. For example on my stage, when I play in my group, there is an Argentinian, there is a Reunionese, there is a Cuban, there is an American, there is everyone and we all have the same love , which is music. I think that through music, you can solve a lot of things. In any case me, it’s my dream, it’s my dream to unify these peoples and to solve, in my own way, lots of things thanks to music.

UN News: We have seen during Covid-19 and even now, with the crisis in Ukraine, people playing music in the streets. Can music be a way to unite?

Alune Wade: Indeed. As we can see, they are brother countries, they are brothers, the Ukrainian and the Russian. They can put themselves on stage, play together. But I know this story will end like this. A Ukrainian artist, a Russian artist, on stage together will play and create something magnificent, together. That’s the goal and that’s what makes the magic of music, of art. It’s the fact of mixing, of being around a single goal which is the music, of creating something together. I think it’s time to also put this aspect forward, that is to say to unify these waves of culture, these musicians, these artists, to create something. I think it is they who will create, who will resolve this situation.

UN info: Jazz at its creation really spoke of what people lived day to day through music. Is this always the case? Is it a way to express what is happening in the world?

Alune Wade: Yes, because, in fact, it has been the bedrock of jazz since the beginning. We all know who created jazz and where jazz comes from: the slaves who left. They expressed what they lived from day to day. It was the diary of their day in the cotton fields, with the blues, then it became jazz. It’s taking out what’s in your gut, taking out what’s in your heart and telling it.

That’s why I often say, there isn’t a better musician or a better jazzman. Everyone, we take out what we eat, we take out what we listen to, we take out what we have in our hearts. And suddenly, when we play jazz today, when we have an instrument and we practice it today, we manage to discover things that we didn’t have 2 days ago. Because we have changed, we have gained experience and experience. So it’s never the same with jazz, it’s like that, it’s spontaneous, it’s natural.

UN News: Do you have a message on this Jazz Day?

Alune Wade: For me, the thing that we really need these days is this wisdom to be able to listen to the other, to be able to understand the problems. What causes the problems and how to find a solution, through music, through jazz. We still had two very tough years, we didn’t know where to go. We still managed to find solutions because, as they say, when a door closes, turn around, certainly there is another door that has just opened. That’s how we were able today to create this magic of being able to do interviews over the Internet with Zoom and so many others. I would say that it is because, and also thanks to this pandemic that we have had this facility now to do it. And I think I’m sure and certain that we will still find other ways to communicate, to get along and to love each other after these crises. But you just have to want it. Thanks to music, thanks to jazz, we will continue to mix to create positive things for our world.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI