Great Black Music: a must-see Paris exhibition

Great Black Music exhibition, Paris 2014

Great Black Music, at Cité de la Musique, Paris

Great Black Music, a major new exhibition, opened last week at La Cité de la Musique in NE Paris and runs to 24 August.

Characteristically ambitious – as you’d expect from La Cité de la Musique – it looks like a must-see show for fans of rock art.

It’s an eclectic exhibition, covering the legacies of Michael Jackson, Cesaria Evora, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Myriam Makeba, Oum Kalsoum, among many others.

While most of these greats are hardly “rock” musicians, they certainly appeal to many rock fans.

As usual at this world-class venue, Great Black Music makes exemplary use of a range of media, with images, artefacts, sound archives, interactive modules, as well as printed interpretation. It’s laid out in six broad themes.

If you’ve seen earlier exhibitions here, you’ll have high expectations. I travelled specially from London for earlier shows, on Bob Dylan and Miles Davis. Both amply repaid the time and effort.

And, anyway, who needs an excuse to visit Paris? Pas moi, je te jure!


Great Black Music catalogue

There’s a sumptuous Great Black Music catalogue supporting the exhibition, at €38.

I’ll be doing another Eurostar awayday soon, then reviewing Great Black Music and its alluring catalogue here on Rock Art Editions.

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