Devin Phillips Quartet Wows in St. Louis
The U.S.-based Devin Phillips Quartet visited Senegal for a 3rd time to take part in the 20th anniversary celebration of the Saint Louis Jazz Festival.
On Friday, May 25, the quartet performed songs from their recent album, “Wade in the Water.” Embassy employee, St. Louis jazz festival veteran, and musical artist in her own right – Anita Beamon-Freeman, added her talent to the group’s performance. A large, enthusiastic crowd rewarded the group with a standing ovation.
When not on the big stage, the Devin Phillips Quartet held workshops at a variety of venues, including the Blaise Senghor Cultural Center in Dakar and the Louga Cultural Center. The workshops brought together professional and aspiring Senegalese musicians, who used the opportunity to learn more about the group’s traditional jazz style. The group said that they appreciate coming to Africa, because they “know the strongest jazz influences come from Africa.” One of their favorite parts of their three visits to Senegal has been the chance to share musical cultures with Senegalese musicians through workshops and impromptu jam sessions.
On Sunday, May 28, the U.S. Embassy set up a booth at the festival where visitors could talk to members of the Devin Phillips Quartet, and learn about activities at our American Corners; activities of the American Embassy in Senegal; and scholarships available for academic studies in the United States.