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Jonathan Butler, Somi Comes for Satchmo’s JazzfestDay Jam

Multiple Grammy Award nominee South African singer, songwriter and guitarist, Jonathan Butler and East African sensational vocalist, Somi have been disclosed as the star acts of this year’s UNESCO International Jazz Day jam in Lagos organised by Satchmo Jazzfest 2015.

The two international jazz artistes will thrill in Lagos in the four day music jam billed to take place in four different venues.

From Thursday April 30 to May 3, Satchmo Jazzfest 2015 intends to hold concerts and jazz-related activities at various venues that include Oceanview Marquee, Oriental Hotel, German Consulate-General, Aera GQ, Queens Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos, Miliki among others.

Leading Nigerian jazz musicians on the bill also includes, Yemi Sax, a young saxophonist who has become famous for his popular hit songs: Kwitee and The Hot Seven.

Other international support acts include Tunde Jegede and Nomadic Mystics, HKB FiNN trio, Kasse Mady & ACM Ensemble, Cleveland Watkins and Trioivoire.

Since UNESCO announced the adoption of April 30 as International Jazz Day in 2011, this is the first time that the day would be celebrated in Nigeria with the commitment and seriousness of purpose it rightly deserves.

Jonathan Butler, the South African singer- songwriter, guitarist and multiple Grammy Award nominees,is one of the jazz’s most enduring figures. He is reputed for his outstanding gift in jazz music and engaging performance which has become phenomenal while Somi holds the record of being the African leading vocalist whose renditions has thrilled many jazz lovers. Somi, whose vocal range and power have become astonishingly impressive in recent times is based in New York, she enjoys remarkable fan worship in Lagos.

Jazz- related films such as Blue Note, Last Song Before the War and Play Your Own Thing, will be screened while the organisers also seize the opportunity of the festival to honour Nigerians who have made outstanding contributions to jazz music in the country.

The profiles of the acts line up for the concert lift the spirit of jazz music enthusiast and give hint of a four day celebration package from organisers of the yearly concert series.Satchmo’s Jazzfest, Lagos.

Announcing the array of acts last Thursday during a press conferenceat the Goethe Institut Lagos, Mr. Dolapo Ajayi, who is the founder of Satcmo’s Jazzfest and Festival Director, said that this year’s edition of the festival is being planned to surpass what others has done in the past jams.

According to Ajayi, all arraignment has been made to ensure that this year’s event will not only be the best but also showcase the best in terms of current musical test of jazz lovers in the local and global entertainment industry. He therefore assured that jazz fans will enjoy this best this festival season with jazz.

Throwing more light into the history of the show however, Ajayi said the  Satcmo’s Jazzfest, is intended to be an annual phenomenon in keeping with International Jazz Day. “Each year, Satcmo’s Jazzfest intends to present more than 50 dazzling performances in nearly 20 venues throughout the city of Lagos, making it the largest and most diverse music festival in Nigeria.

From main stages at the various venues, to exciting performances at museums, neighbourhood clubs, restaurants, hotels and the co-host venues at the Oceanview Marquee and Oriental Hotel, Jazz fest will reach more than 10,000 live attendees and visitors throughout the nation’s financial capital.

But our mission does not end there. Throughout the year, the festival will sponsor and support the community with free musical educational programmes implemented by the Satcmo residence in Lagos Island and at the MUSON Centre, in collaboration with the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz.”

According to Ajayi, it is now a tradition that every April 30, the world would celebrate this International Jazz Day in recognition of jazz, as a force for peace, intercultural dialogue and cooperation.

‘‘In 2014, organisers from 196 countries produced a record number of events. Certainly, this makes Jazz Day one of the fastest growing and most enthusiastically supported international days, with every single UNESCO member state and more private members participating every year.


The rather active involvement of Nigeria, courtesy of Satchmo’s Jazzfest 2015 is noteworthy and eventful. And the fact that ex-Miles Davis pianist and multiple award winner, Herbie Hancock, is the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on this project, is even more heart- warming and inspiring.

In a way, he is the motivating force behind the philosophy of the International Jazz Day. His personality looms large over the entire jazz spectrum,’’ Ajayi noted.

On the security arraignment, he said the organisers have arraigned for the best possible security deployments. “It is going to be great. We promise that it will be a great four days performance in Lagos. Also commenting on what should be expexted, one of the main American-baed jazz artiste, Bobby Ricketts hinted, at the news conference that they will give Lagos the best.

Meanwhile, in a lecture held last week at Goethe Institut Lagos to herald the event tagged “Agboola O’ Brown Lectures. 70 years of Nigerian jazz” and delivered by Emeka Keazor, the speaker described jazz as unique music genre that inspired other lower music. According to Keazor, there is no doubt Nigeria has made contribution to the growth of modern jazz.


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