Blues singer Lucky Peterson plays the guitar on stage at the Saint Louis jazz festival in Saint Louis June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Laurent Gerrer
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From dusk, jazz from the open-air concert blends with African rhythms, and drifts off the shores of the tiny island where the festival is held down the normally tranquil banks of the Senegal River.This year's headline act, African-American blues singer Lucky Peterson, would be hard pressed to find a venue more evocative of the suffering of slaves transported to the Americas, widely thought to have inspired the blues more than 100 years ago, than Saint-Louis.Senegalese jazz guitarist Herve Samb was invited back to Saint-Louis after last playing at the festival alongside Peterson in 1993 when he was just 14 years old.For Samb, jazz, which began as a fusion between African and European rhythms, can still be inspired by African music.Now in its 22nd year, Africa's biggest jazz festival has in the past seen greats like Herbie Hancock but audience numbers had dipped in recent years amid budget constraints.
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