3 questions to Maria Rodriguez, Artistic Director of the Baiser Salé Jazz Club in Paris
> You were one of the first to present Afro-Caribbean jazz projects on the parisian scene in the early 80's, what was the reception of the public and the media at that time ?
The reception of the public was very good, it is surely at that time that we touched more precisely a very interested and very faithful audience as we were the only ones to program the Africans, Caribbean, Brazilian artists with projects of original creations. We could program up to 15 days with only one group such as ULTRAMARINE, and fill the venue every night. We scheduled our first gwoka concert in the early 90's. The media, apart from NOVA and the magazine ACTUEL, sulked us and considered that the Baiser Salé, with its "fusion" program, was not a "Jazz-Club" and did not deserve the attention of specialized media. One day I even heard, on our answering machine, the answer of a specialized journalist, who admitted that he was not reading our program, because our programming was not jazz at all. Nowadays, very popular artists have started at the Baiser Salé thanks to this taste that I had for Mixed jazz (Angélique Kidjo, Monica Passos, Etienne Mbappé, Richard Bona, Mario Canonge, Blick Bassy, Arnaud Dolmen etc.)
> What inspires you about the current Afro-Caribbean jazz scene in Paris?
It is rich and infinite, with many more worlds to explore and promote. It is amazing to see how much the press, the media, the programmers, everyone is throwing themselves on this jazz "Metissé" as on a new Eldorado ... And it's so much better because French jazz has deprived this wealth too long.
> What are the young artists of this mixed jazz that you particularly accompany today and how?
We have created a slot for the past ten years #JazzDeDemain, which offers yearly residencies to young creative artists, which allows them to work their projects in the long term, with communication tools made available to them and a very affordable pricing policy to allow them to create an audience. Ralph Lavital, (6year) Tricia Evy, Cynthia Abraham, Clélya Abraham, etc.