Go to main contentGo to footer
Announcements | 07/07/2023

A tribute to Gabin Dabiré, and the black music at the Uffizi

A tribute to Gabin Dabiré, and the black music at the Uffizi

Commemorating the artist and his collaborations in the Uffizi Galleries' intercultural projects

Gabin Dabiré is an artist endowed with great sensitivity, profound culture and rare humanity. He passed away on June 9, 2023 yet his music and the refined outcomes of his experiments and intercultural studies remain and will remain alive in the memory of those who knew him, those who saw him play and sing and those who can still hear him from his albums (among the best known, Kontômè - "Spirits" and Afriki Djamana. Music from Burkina Faso).

The Uffizi Galleries fondly remember him because he performed there on three occasions: the first, on 12 June 2018, within the series of live shows "Uffizi Live", where he presented "Black Tunes: a Musical Metamorphosis", a dialogue with the figures of the black musicians in Piero di Cosimo's painting, Perseus frees Andromeda from around 1515; the second, between 2018 and 2019, when he provided us with his music to illustrate Botticelli's Primavera as part of the cultural mediation project "Factories of Stories", a series of audio-stories (also available in podcasts on Spotify) on the subject of diversity of cultural perspective in enjoying a masterpiece; and finally, on 9 July 2020, on the occasion of the launch of the "Black Presence" project, a series of videos published on the Facebook and Tik Tok channels (also visible on this site in the "Video Stories" section) to illustrate the subject of the African figure in the paintings of the Uffizi collection.

Originally from Burkina Faso, where, at a very young age, he helped spread the jazz, rock and pop music of the 1960s and Jimi Hendrix in particular in Africa, at 20 he won a scholarship in Denmark, where he came into contact with European experimental music and oriental, classical and contemporary music. The first concert in Italy was in 1976, in Milan, where, in closing the renowned festival in Parco Lambro, he performed with the "Piano Africa" ensemble (percussion and voices), gaining immediate success. From then on, he began to play in the most important musical contexts and collaborate with the greatest national and international musicians, thus deepening more and more his taste for the contamination between genres - ethno, acoustic, electronic, jazz - and styles from Western contemporary music to traditional African culture. Besides, he never gave up trying his hand in the social field too and engaging in disseminating activities, in Italy in particular, about the culture and art of his native land, in the constant search for common features. Demetrio Stratos, Franco Battiato, Francesco Guccini, Giorgio Gaber, Tullio De Piscopo, Fiorella Mannoia and Mario Martone, are just some names of the artists with whom he has played and collaborated in Italy over the years, not counting the international partnerships, from Souleymane Koly to Assia Djebar, from Dominic Miller and Manu Katchè to Pino Palladino and many others.

A generous artist, he has always wanted to perform with the same passion in any kind of stage and situation, from the most important theatres to arenas, from churches to squares and museums, from prisons to community centres. Within the African community in Italy, he had earned the cute nickname of "Elephant", which stressed the respect for his wisdom and the reverence that his own fellow countrymen paid him as a person and and an artist as well.

Farewell Gabin!

Thank you.

The Newsletter of the Uffizi Galleries

Subscribe to keep up to date!