ARS-Paris recruited singer and songwriter Shola Adisa-Farrar blew away University of Ouagadougou students during a hot and hazy open air concert Saturday afternoon, June 27. Performing with two other ARS artists — guitarist Josiah Woodson and drummer Tilo Bertholo — Shola offered her listeners a short ‘Contemporary American Music’ 101 course, singing songs from such popular musical genres as Caribbean, Jazz and Soul.
Co-sponsored by the University’s English Club and Orchestra — both of which performed as well – the day’s program saw 250 young Burkinabes clapping, swaying and even dancing in the sand to the music—a delightful blend of American, Burkinabe, Jamaican, and West African.
This was a good fun opportunity and great way to share with young Burkinabes (average age 20) the talent and vitality of American musicians. For some observers, the day’s highlight was when Shola invited a few of the university’s band members to join her on stage for a couple of pieces – giving and taking, passing and jamming, a delight for all. Others feel it was the PAO encouraging the audience to get out and dance with her that they will not soon forget.