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Last on

Tue 13 Dec 2011 11:30 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 13 December 2011

Thanks to films like "Round Midnight" we all know about black American musicians escaping racism and putting down roots in Paris. But the story of the African-American and African presence in Scandinavia has been one of Europe's best-kept secrets. Country blues singer-guitarist Eric Bibb, who learned his craft in the coffee houses of Greenwich Village but has spent much of his career in Sweden and Finland, explains how jazz and blues players such as trumpeter Don Cherry - step-father of R&B star Neneh Cherry - built new lives in exile. Dexter Gordon - the star of '"Round Midnight" was one of the pioneers, settling in Copenhagen in the early 1960s. Over the decades generous state support for musicians has helped the music scene in the region to flourish. But now that the host nations are facing their own immigration crisis, will musicians continue to find a welcome? And how easy is it to sustain creativity thousands of miles from your roots?

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