Resident at Riad Star in the 1940’s Josephine Baker was an incomparable talent and extraordinary human being. Her Iconic performances are famous, as are her accolades in politics. A complex woman of many talents, who left a profound and lasting impression of those who met her. We love to learn more about her life, her career and her passion for life and to share the details of the adventures and history of this extraordinary lady.
Born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker spent her youth in poverty before learning to dance and finding success on Broadway. In the 1920s she moved to France and soon became one of Europe’s most popular and highest-paid performers. She worked for the French Resistance during World War II, and during the 1950s and ’60s devoted herself to fighting segregation and racism in the United States.
Paris seemed small to Josephine Baker compared to New York, however she fell in love with the city instantly and set out to conquer it. Her strategy was to consider the city as a lover and little by little seduce it. She was chic and funny, a winning combination . The rich flocked to Paris […]
Emily Keene arrived in Morocco at the age of 24. She was to be governess for an American family with Greek origins by the name of Perdicaris. The Perdicaris family gave lavish parties in their home in Tangier, and it was at one of these parties that Emily met the Cherif of Ouezzanne, hajj Abdeslam […]
Josephine Baker stayed in Casablanca for medical treatment following a prolonged illness. During her time in hospital in Casablanca she was visited regularly by the Pacha of Marrakech; Thami El Glaoui. Their close relationship was well known, and it was also rumoured that she had miscarried his child, leading to her illness and spell in hospital. […]
Flexibility is a greatly valued quality in African dance, and was in great contrast to the style of European dancing in the 1920’s. In African culture flexibility is a sign of youth and vigour, these aspects of Josephine’s performances were deemed exotic and intoxicating by the audiences who saw her. Josephine was almost double jointed, […]
“The grinning, wide eyed woman exploded into energy just barely contained by skin and a human form. Every part of her seemed to go in a different direction, flung from some central volcano of spirit. She made faces and flailed about. She shook her rear end, then drew it in and strutted in place. The […]
On September 15th 1925 two dozen black musicians, singers and dancers sailed for France on the SS Berengaria. The ship arrived in France 7 days later. This was the start of Josephine Baker’s epic career. Rehearsals for the first shows began immediately, and it was clear from the first days that Josephine Baker would soon […]
Josephine Baker was a vocal supporter of racial equality. There were many times during her life when she stood up for tolerance and against racism. Josephine was an extraordinary woman, and some of her life choices and ambitions were extraordinary too. Josephine was unable to have children of her own, so she undertook an unprecedented […]
Josephine Baker, one time resident of Riad Star in Marrakech is of course celebrated worldwide as an iconic Singer, dancer and actress. Her glittering career as an entertainer spanned five decades. A lesser known fact about this Jazz age icon is the amazing and brave role she played as a spy for the French resistance […]
Never let it be said that Josephine Baker did not lead a varied life! On 27 June 1933, she started the cyclists on their way to a very eventful Tour de France. The French team, that had won the last three Tours de France, started well. Maurice Archambaud won the first stage, and lead the general […]
On November 28th 1973 Josephine Baker sang at a very special event. A fashion show was organised to raise funds to restore King Louis XIV’s palace of Versaille in France. Created by Eleanor Lambert and Versailles curator Gerald Van der Kemp, the show pitted French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Dior, […]
When it comes to the age of Jazz in Europe, and the connections to the Belle Epoque in Marrakech one name is iconic : Josephine Baker. Imagine a trip to Morocco which immerses you in the world of Josephine and a festival of Jazz music! Flying to Marrakech you can book your stay Riad Star, […]
Feel like the star that you are, embrace luxury and relaxation at Riad Star in Marrakech. We invite you to step into the world of the superstar Josephine Baker. Relax and unwind in this stunning Art Deco house, the former Marrakech home of the iconic star Josephine Baker. Feel the glamour and luxury in every aspect of […]
Transport yourself back to 1920’s Paris. Jazz music and the carefree style of dance which accompanied it were a boon in the French capital. Black musicians and performers arrived on the fashionable club scene and the Parisians loved them. It was this wave of acceptance and love of the genre that allowed Josephine Baker to […]
Diamonds, in the raw are formed by pressure and later augmented by their many facets. An analogy which could be applied to Josephine Baker. The multi faceted life of Josephine reflects the many aspects of her inner strength and determination. Bakers deeds and achievements are immense. Many of these deeds are well known and recorded: […]