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.