There were a number of firsts at the cultural evening tonight. Bono,
introducing the evening, thanked the sponsor, Vivendi Universal’s CEO,
Jean-Marie Messier, for being “a corporate motherf***er”. He honestly meant
it in the nicest way (I guess I’d translate it as: he’s a mensch). What
followed was a remarkable panoply of world music, choreographed by Quincy
The highlight for me was a tiny singer from Benin (I didn’t catch the
name, which displays my reporting inadequacies), who was joined by a chorus
from South Africa and saxophonist Branford Marsalis. Her song, Af-Africa,
was a distillation of energy and joy. Other memorable moments included the
84-year old Henri Sabador from France, singing Mademoiselle, and Ravi
Shankar introducing his daughter on the sitar.
Unless I’m very mistaken, it was the kind of event that could only
happen in a metropolis. There are a lot of things I love about Davos, but
an alphorn trio pales in comparison.