"Great Black Music" in Paris

From March 11, 2014 to August 24, 2014
  • Billie Holiday

    © DR / Mondomix

    Billie Holiday

    © DR / Mondomix

  • Fela Kuti

    © DR / Mondomix

    Fela Kuti

    © DR / Mondomix

"Great Black Music" in Paris 221 Avenue Jean Jaurès 75019 Paris fr

From the epic tales of Mandingo griots to the plaintive echoes of Mississippi bluesmen, from New Orleans dives to Manhattan clubs, from Yoruba rhythms to the birth of Afrobeat, from maloya chants to samba, from the outskirts of Kingston where ska and reggae first appeared to the vacant lots in the Bronx where hip-hop arose - the voice, breath, rhythm and soul of millions of slaves deported from the African coasts to the Americas have generated an exceptionally rich range of music.

This saga is neither specifically American, African, Caribbean or European: it’s all of them at once. After four hundred years of bondagein one of the greatest tragedies of humankind, racist oppression gave way to an immense explosion of creativity and freedom, one that music has never stopped expressing.

Great Black Music creates a sensory, immersive exhibition experience, organized by theme. Geography and history are addressedt hrough hundreds of sound and audiovisual documents, films and photographs, presented in a dramatic and interactive way, aiming to shed a new and joyful light on the incredible story of Great Black Music.

Exhibition highlights

  • Over 11 hours of audiovisual content, offering a genuine musical and sensory immersion
  • A personalised, interactive device accompanies visitors throughout and after their tour
  • An illustrated timeline shows the emergence of a pan-African conscience, often expressed through music
  • A collection of rare instruments (Victor Schoelcher coll.), conserved at the Musée de la musique, testifies to the cultural heritage of displaced peoples and the movement from one continent to another
  • Games and educational modules are featured throughout the exhibition and inspire the discovery of traditional instruments
  • 3 dance class booths (hip-hop, disco and salsa) are available for use alone, as a family or among friends, allowing visitors to film, then watch themselves
  • 2 interactive juke boxes offer a selection of African urban music and a selection of African instruments (traditional music and urbanmusic)

Opening times

  • 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 15, 17 and 23.
  • Closed May 1st.

Admission fees and rates

Exhibition admission
including access to the Musée de la musique permanent collections

  • Full rate: 9€
  • Reduced rate: 7,20€
  • Under 26 years: 5 €
  • Persons with disabilities and attendant, children under 6: free


  • from 18€ to 25€
  • under 28 years: 9€

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