In line with UNESCO’s setting of April 30 aside as World Jazz Day, Nigeria joined other countries across the world this year to be part of the celebration. Tagged “Satchmo Jazz festival” the show which rounded off on May 3rd after a four day memorable outing redefined the place of jazz music in Nigeria with International jazz, R&B, and soul musicians taking turns to display their skills on stage.
Setting the tune for one of the evenings at Eko Hotels Ocean View marquee venue of the four-day event was the talented home idol, Yemi Sax. This multiple award-winning saxophonist did not disappoint fans while rendering the very best he’s known for. Electrifying the stage with his performance, the British soul singer and voice power house, Cleveland Watkiss took the floor, rendering his late hour vibes. Credited as the best male vocalist in UK, Cleveland exhibited effusive energies and dexterity on stage. The stage arrangement was enthralling as locals perform back-to-back with international artists. The KORA music icon, Tunde Jedege, was next with the Nomadic Mystics. Hailed as one of the Europe and Africa’s only exponents of the KORA music within the Jazz medium, Tunde unleashed his creativity with Kora vibes, supported by the Nomadic Mystics whose music is termed timeless and transcendental, very cinematic, and spirit uplifting. Next was the American Bobby Rickett who has become a huge jazz icon in his resident home of Copenhagen, Denmark. Rickett’s entrant blew the audience away with his dexterity on Saxophone. In fact, he has become one of the leading lights of the Smooth Jazz genre. His danceable jazzy tunes kept the audience off their seats, while digging it as his session lasts. Perhaps the unforgettable thrill of the night was when the biggest expectation of the day, the multi-talented South African born jazz musician and many Grammy Award nominees Jonathan Butler took the stage. He stole the show with his mastery of guitar while singing along with his daughter, songs that provoked feelings, doing songs of Miriam Makeba and Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman No Cry’ down to his own. Performances were also witnessed at designated centres like the German Consulate-General, in Ikoyi, where tjazz oriented films like Blue Note, Last Song before the War, Play your thing were screened Speaking at the event, the Sathmo’s Jazzfest director, Dolapo Ajayi said that UNESCO chose to honour Jazz by proclaiming International Jazz day for some reasons such as promoting cultural harmony among nations, creating dialogue between people of all races and bringing communities together. unifies culture.