Places play an important role for Somi: the jazz singer, born in 1979 in Illinois to parents from Ruanda and Uganda, spent part of her childhood in Zambia. There is no question that African music traditions have played just an important a role for the singer as has American jazz. A few years ago, she moved to Nigeria for 18 months, from where she released the celebrated album “The Lagos Music Salon” which mixes different cultural experiences. Angelique Kidjo, Common and Ambrose Akinmusire can also be heard on the record. Meanwhile, she lives in New York, or Harlem, to be more precise. The area around 116 Street is called “Little Africa” and still has many different elements of African culture to discover—despite progressive gentrification. “Petite Afrique”, Somi’s most recent album, follows these paths, preserving them at the same time. The New York Times wrote “African tinted grooves, smooth jazz singing and empathetic social awareness gracefully melt together; earnestly who and seductively”. Since her first record, released in 2003, she has been celebrated as either the new Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba or Dianne Reeves. And even if these comparisons are appropriate, they are still insufficient. Somi has developed her own voice, her own language—in her own compositions and in working together with musicians like Mos Def, Paul Simon, Danilo Perez and the legendary Hugh Masekela who recognised and furthered her talent early on. You can look forward to experiencing a charismatic artist on the opening concert of the Enjoy Jazz festival.