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Salif Keita to headline jazz festival in Ghana

Malian singer Salif Keita will be performing at this year’s Stanbic Jazz Festival in Accra, Ghana, which takes place from 28 February to 2 March.

Joining Keita are British group UB40 and Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona. The event is tagged Nostalgia.

“The 2019 Stanbic Jazz Festival aims to renew our energy to face 2019 and carry the positive attitude ahead,” the organisers said.

The festival arrives just after the release of Keita’s recent album Un Autre Blanc, which he has said is his last. “I will do some concerts and perhaps some tours,” he told The Guardian. “Nothing major and not another album. Too much work. I am going to rest.”

The album, which features Yemi Alade, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Angelique Kidjo and others, has received some acclaim. In a review of the album, The Financial Times said Un Autre Blanc is “not an ignoble farewell”. The Guardian wrote about the work, calling it “a retirement gift from a singular voice”.

Keita moved to Paris in the 1980s and released his first album, 1987’s Soro, from the French capital. Un Autre Blanc is his 14th album and bookends his Western sojourn, as he has said he will return to the country of his birth.

As with the past two editions of Stanbic Jazz Festival, Vodafone will be the event's official partner. Speaking about the company's involvement in the festival, Vodafone Ghana CEO Yolanda Cuba said: “This partnership is more than jazz. It is a relationship that continues to reflect what it means to excite, appreciate and empower our customers beyond our core strengths. We remain grateful to Stanbic Bank for choosing us for the third time. We look forward to subsequent associations to thrill our customers and stakeholders.”

Also included in the Stanbic Jazz line-up this year are Ghana’s Kyekyeku and South Africa’s Wanda Baloyi.