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Gail Thompson: Jazz Africa

This bandleader, composer, and flutist may not garner any household recognition in American jazz homes, but in Britain her accomplishments both in and behind Europe’s jazz scene have elevated her to almost Marsalisian heights. After many noteworthy triumphs ranging from playing baritone saxophone with the late Art Blakey to composing and performing suites for the Royal Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall to serving as CEO of the Arts Council Great Britain Music Panel, Thompson made an extensive venture to Africa, where she visited 13 countries. There she not only absorbed a motherlode of musics and cultures of the varying African countries, but unselfishly reciprocated by conducting free local jazz workshops in Africa.

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