Support the news

Jazz Out Of Africa

Mulatu Astatke just released a new album with The Heliocentrics.closemore
Mulatu Astatke just released a new album with The Heliocentrics.

Jazz was born in America in the early 20th century, evolving out of a meeting of African and European music traditions. Once the style began to develop around the world, jazz found its way back to Africa, which spawned the internationally acclaimed likes of Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Abdullah Ibrahim.

Because this is a Take Five list, there's only room for five songs from five artists — not exactly a definitive assessment of an entire continent's music. Please tell us about your own favorite African jazz songs, artists and albums in the comments section below.

For more entries in the Take Five series, click here. And don't forget to subscribe to the Jazz Notes newsletter.

Copyright NPR 2017.

+Join the discussion

Support the news

Next Up

Where to now?

More NPR or Explore Audio.