Petty Officer 2nd Class Garrett Stephan is with the U.S. Naval Forces Europe – Africa Band which performed in Libreville, Gabon in October 2010 as part of a two-week, three-country engagement. The performances, supporting the Africa Partnership Station, feature the NAVEUR-NAVAF Band and local musicians.
Gabon has been awesome so far. The culture, food and people have all been great here. African audiences are a joy to perform for because they are so appreciative of music in general, but especially American music. Many of our audiences seem to find our American tunes new and exciting. At one point during last night’s gig there were screams from the audience of “I love you!!”.
Performing in Africa does have its fair share of challenges. We ran into several electrical issues while setting up for our main event yesterday. Despite a few hick-ups, we were able to work through the obstacles and the concert went off fantastically. Some of the local musicians and dancers ended up performing with the band. In one case we even had an improvised “jam session” and made up a song on the spot to perform with the locals. That’s something we don’t experience very often–even in countries that speak our own language!
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