Moncef Genoud is not exactly a household name here. But he’s a jazz pianist who’s played with the best contemporary jazz musicians in the world. Swiss-born, and with a beautiful new album called “Métisses” (Mixture or Mixes), he’s here both playing at the classic Italian eatery in the SF Valley, Vitello’s, this Thursday and Friday, as well as presenting a film he did with Youssou N’Dour on Gorée Island, called “Retour à Gorée” (Return to Gorée Island). Gorée is the counterpart to Ellis Island, with a major exception: it was the point of departure for millions of African slaves on the middle passage from Africa to the New World. (The first passage is from their villages where they were captured and sold and brought to the coast, usually Dakar because it was closest to Brazil, the Caribbean, and New Orleans). This degraded human chattel would never return or be free.
The documentary screening, presented by the LA’s Alliance Française and the Swiss Consulate, screens Wednesay at the Edgemar Building on Main St. in Santa Monica. It is sure to be a powerful film experience.