Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jean-Louis Mambo, Classical Pianist From Ivory Coast, Signs Guest Book at

Yesterday Jean-Louis Mambo signed the French Guest Book at and left a brief comment. He says he is a classical pianist from Ivory Coast, and is a student at the Salmon School of Music of Casablanca. He closed with the words: “Long live classical music in Africa!” We invited Jean-Louis Mambo to tell us more about his pursuit of a career in classical music, and he has done so.

Jean-Louis thanks us for our interest in him. He says he is from Ivory Coast and is 25 years old. Jean-Louis says he is passionate about classical music and so decided to leave everything else behind and devote himself to his profession. In his youth, he says, he was a student at a seminary which trained future priests. It was there that he learned to play the organ. After leaving the seminary and obtaining a Bachelor's degree, he simultaneously began private studies in law and music/musicology in Ivory Coast. Twice a week, he took classical piano lessons at the Conservatoire National of Abidjan. After two years he obtained a Diploma of General Artistic Studies with a concentration in Music and Musicology.

He continued studying law until he was hired by a firm of accountants and solicitors. He worked for the firm for two years, but never lost his desire to be a professional pianist. In March 2008, he resigned and chose to devote himself to the piano. He says the main difficulty he encountered was a lack of qualified teachers and graduates to train young pianists. Jean-Louis says he was unable to obtain a scholarship to study abroad, so he decided to use his modest savings to go to Morocco, where he arrived in August, 2009.

Jean-Louis reports that he enrolled in a French School of Music which has a good curriculum. The problem, he says, is that it is difficult to have a job, obtain an education and live decently. He says he has encountered racial discrimination in employment and housing but has decided to continue his studies while seeking solutions. Jean-Louis says he has no piano on which to practice, and even the public conservatories refuse to rent piano rooms to foreigners. It is really difficult, he says, and he intends to go to a country which is more open to classical music. He has not yet made any recordings, he says, but intends to use his talent for bringing attention to Africa.

Jean-Luis says he discovered while using the Internet to find African musicians interested in classical music. He encourages us to continue our work, and signs “Sincerely, Jean-Luis MAMBO.”

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