The Kriol Jazz Festival is a fusion of music from different origins all on one stage. Discover a selection of the best artists from the creole world for a program based upon exchanging as much on a musical level as on a human level.

Organized by Harmonia Lda in partnership with the council of Praia, the Festival's main objective is to promote the Creole-inspired music from all the islands, whether in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Cabo Verde, Europe or Africa, the cradle of Creole.


After launching in 2009, with following editions setting the festival as a reference, Kriol Jazz Festival - Praia is back in 2023 (on April 13th, 14th and 15th) and will once again feature a number of world-renowned names in jazz.

After giving tribute to Horace Silver, Code di Dona, Cesaria Evora, Manuel Clarinete, Morgadinho, Dany Silva, Chico Serra, Humbertona, Bulimundo & Os Tubarões, Daniel Rendall and Pedro Rodrigues, it's ​Nhonhô Hopffer Almada who will be honoured in 2023.

We salute all of the musicians and our faithful public. Our celebration is your celebration, a celebration, above all, of music.

The 12th edition of the KJF – twelve stages, one passion: the music!


The Kriol Jazz Festival - Praia takes place on the island of Santiago, the program spreads over three days. The audience is as well local as targeting international public. April being a month of high tourist traffic, the period was chosen to attract the widest audience possible.

Based upon the international reference jazz represents, this project aims at creating a cultural meeting relying on Creolity.

The eleven first editions offered an international schedule including artists such as Lenine, Esperança Spalding, Seu Jorge, Richard Bona, Ralph Thamar & Mario Canonge, Ayo, Pat Thomas, Aziz Sahmaoui, Kenny Garrett, Ismaël Lô, Monty Alexander, Jacques Morelenbaum, Chico Cesar, Jowee Omicil, Manhattan Transfer, Charnett Moffet and Stanley Jordan, Flavia Coelho, Ballake Sissoko, Céu, Vincent Segal, Sia Tolno, Maria Gadú, Leyla McCalla, Manu Dibango, Paulo Flores, Tânia Maria, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Habib Koité, Ayo, Seu Jorge, Stanley Jordan, Lucky Peterson and Stanley Clarke among others (see below for the complete list).

It's a tradition, the festival opens on a free night offering the performances of new talents. The two other nights will be as usual, opened by a Cabo Verdean artist, followed by the shows of international artists.

Moreover, the Jam sessions having become an institution of the Festival, they will be part of the program again in 2023.

BACK IN 2008

In 2008, the capeverdean producer Djô da Silva was nurturing the idea of holding a jazz festival in Cabo Verde, a jazz festival that would express a certain creole-ness while accentuating African sonorities.

Cabo Verdeans felt this desire as well: new stages, new types of music, different artists and fresh experiences.

The producer's proposal managed to convince the Praia municipal government, thus beginning a promising partnership whose main mission would be to bring more music to Cabo Verde.

Joint plans and paths were outlined, and thus was born the first edition of the Kriol Jazz Festival.

The feedback from the public left no margin for doubts: the initiative had to be kept going. The challenge was immediately accepted and new partnerships were sought out as, little by little, stage by stage, the festival consolidated its position on the city's and, indeed, the country's cultural agenda.

The notoriety Cabo Verde has been able to garner through music increased even further, and the festival's overriding objective was achieved: its internationalization.

The Kriol Jazz Festival has made a name for itself and is now firmly on the international festival circuit. Indeed, the KJF grew to the point that it was considered one of the 25 best music festivals in the world.

Experiences were exchanged and friendships made, and, with an eye to the past and feet facing the future, motivation for the many, many more editions of the KJF is strong.


Praia is located in Santiago, the largest and most populated island of Cabo Verde, 500 km off the coast of Senegal. By the way, Praia is the capital of the archipelago, an independent country since 1975.

Historians consider that the very first Creole language was born in this former Portuguese colony. Cidade Velha, the former capital and neighboring site, has been classified as World Heritage of Humanity.



They lit up our previous editions

2009 Tcheka / Meddy Gerville / Ba Cissoko / Lenine / Mário Lucio / Regis Gizavo / Jorge Reyes / Yuri Buenaventura


2010 Vasco Martins / Kim Alves / Mario Canonge / Ralph Thamar / René Lacaille / Kora Jazz Trio / Princezito / Tumi & the Volume / Jaques Morelenbaum & Cello Samba Trio/ Manhattan Transfer


2011 Remna Schwarz / Danae / Vera Cruz / Lexxus Legal / Gaita Ferro / Ensemble do Hot Clube de Portugal / Cordas do Sol / Ferro Gaita / Albertino / Jean Marie Alain / Yamandu Costa / Boubacar Traoré / Hernani Almeida / Tania Libertad / Cindy Blackman Santana / Maraca & his Latin Jazz All Star


2012 Mirri Lobo / Sia Tolno / Kola Beat / BoB / Tradison de Terra / Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole / Ballaké Sissoko et Vincent Segal / Mário Laginha / Mayra Andrade / Soft / Manu Dibango / Thurgot Théodat (with Ku4rtet) / Tavares Brothers


2013 Zé Luis / Dominique Fillon Trio / Giovanni Mirabassi / Rui Cruz / Berklee School of Music / Ceuzany / Jupiter / Carmen Souza / Ziskakan / Jerry Gonzales / Pierre Akedengue Gangbe Brass Band / Leo Gandelman / Bettye Lavette / Hugo Mendes


2014 Maya / Tcheka / Berklee Band / Cesaria Evora Orchestra / Carlos Mendes / Candida Rose / Katia Guerreiro / Habib Koite / Ismael Lo / Marly Quintet / Sara Tavares / Kenny Garret / Monty Alexander / Chico Cesar


2015 Manuel de Candinho-Quarteto Tradicional / Helder Pelada Rodrigues & Band/ Elida Almeida / Ron Savage Trio & Special Guests / Airelle Besson / Raphaele Atlan/ Dino D`Santiago & Fábia Rebordão / Jowee Omicil / Richard Bona / Lura / Reis Demuth Wiltgen Trio/ Céu / Esperanza Spalding


2016 Romeu di Lurdis / Ceuzany / Tubarões / Ron Savage Trio / Paulo Flores / Tânia Maria / Aziz Sahmaoui and University of Gnawa / El Gato Negro / Jeff Herr Corporation / Nerdistan / Nett Work feat. Charnett Moffet and Stanley Jordan / Carlos Martins Quarteto feat. Jenifer Solidade and Khaly / Téofilo Chantre / Dina Medina / Zeca Couto Quinteto


2017 Leyla McCalla / Sylvain Luc Trio / Pat Thomas / Maria Gadú / Mayra Andrade / Roberto Fonseca Quartet / Spyro Gyra / Elida Almeida / Silvano Sanches / Hélio Batalha / Grace Evora / DJ Mo Laudi / Jaixi ft Boaz / Fidjus di Codé di Dona


2018 Flavia Coelho / Ayo / Seu Jorge / Reis Demuth Wiltgen Trio / Nathalie Natiembe / Mario Lucio / Stanley Jordan feat Thunder Duo / Sara Tavares / Kriol Band (Boy G Mendes, Hernâni Almeida, Jacob Desvarieux, Jowee Omicil, Mário Canonge, Taffa Sissé, Thierry Fanfant, Yissi Garcia) / Hilario Silva / Wilson Silva / Bulimundo / Os Tubarões / Bantu


2019 Azagua / Trakinuz / Bulimundo / Rincon Sapiencia / Cuca Roseta / Mário Lucio & Simenteria / Tito Paris / Zeca Pagodinho / Anabela Aya / Karyna Gomes / Roberta Campos / Mirri Lobo / Otis / El Comité / Lucky Peterson / Rougaiverde / Stanley Clarke / Tiloun / Mayra Andrade

Jorge Garcia
Councilor for Culture and Creative Economy of Praia City Council (CMP)


On the 13th, 14th and 15th of April, as a result of the traditional partnership between Harmonia Lda and the Municipality of Praia (CMP), the Capital of the Country will host another edition of the Kriol Jazz Festival (KJF).

This time, the 12th Edition of one of the most emblematic festivals on the African continent and which, since 2009, placed Cabo Verde on the international route of World Music, will honor the late architect and musician, Nhonhô Hopffer Almada.

Festival that emerges, in the extension of the Atlantic Music Expo (AME) and, at the apex of the "musical April" puzzle, made of "many surprises, great musicians and good music", contributing to, for three days, placing Cabo Verde at the center of the jazz world map.

In fact, it is with the greatest satisfaction that Praia, city of everyone and for everyone, is associated with such a prestigious Exhibition, an initiative of indisputable importance in the process of consolidating the cultural bias of the Capital of the country, as “Creative City of UNESCO, in the field of Music”, since 2017.

Praia that, as part of the signing of the protocol with the Organizing Committee of the Mister France 2023 Contest and the International Federation of Tourism of France, recently received the preparation stage of the event. On the other hand, Praia city participates in the Sacred Art Biennial, in Lisbon, and is invited to the “European Capital of Culture” event, taking place in August in Hungary.

For this Edition, the KJF returns, just like itself, that is, with the purpose of bringing “more music” to Cabo Verde and “promoting music inspired by Creole from all islands, whether in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Cabo Verde or Africa, the birthplace of Creole”.
It even comes back the same as itself, because musical miscegenation is guaranteed!

Is that, under the seal of quality, the event exudes “free and creole, traditional and jazz music”, supported by a range of renowned artists from the national and international music scene, namely Dee Dee Bridgewater, one of the most renowned female voices of Jazz current, Roosevelt Collier, Tcheka, Lucibela, Doctor Prats, Asa, etc.


You wouldn't want to miss out on the most up-to-date information and our practical tips

March 19, 2023 by KJF PORTRAIT


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March 11, 2023 by KJF MAP


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With their support / participation / cooperation / partnership

Câmara Municipal da Praia
Governo de Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde Telecom
ACP-UE Culture - AWA - West Africa
ACP-UE Culture
Caixa Económica de Cabo Verde
Ministry Of Culture And Creative Industries
TAP Air Portugal
Oásis Atlântico
Spanish Embassy in Cabo Verde
Centro Cultural Brasil - Cabo Verde
Impar Seguros
Radio/TV Cidade
Abidjan Show
RTP África
RDP África
Marius Produções