Mina AgossiView In iTunes
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Born in 1972, the half-French, half-Beninese Mina Agossi spent much of her youth studying in and traveling to places like Niger, Morocco, and Ivory Coast. While in school for theater in France, a local saxophonist gave her 500 francs to sing on-stage with him, and although Agossi had had no formal experience in music, she immediately fell in love with performing and decided to pursue singing as a career. In 1993 she joined her first group, a swing and New Orleans jazz band that played gigs in France and Ireland. As she became more interested in modern jazz, the young singer decided to start recording under her own name, releasing a few bare-boned jazz albums in Europe. Bringing her own interpretation to jazz brought Agossi her fair share of critics and fans alike, and she began receiving offers to sing with artists like Archie Shepp, Mukta, and Adam Pieronscyk. In 2001, soon after September 11, Agossi recorded her live album EZ Pass to Brooklyn with Alexander Hiele on bass and Bertrand Perrin on drums, the same group that accompanied her on her next record, Carrousel. In 2004 the British label Candid signed Agossi, releasing Zaboum!! in Europe the following year and Well You Needn't in 2006.