Lovers of Afrobeat and jazz music are in for a jolly ride on Sunday April 30, as Grammy awards winner, Najee and UK performer, Joss Stone mount the stage at this year’s edition of Runway Jazz taking place at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Joining the world-class artistes on stage is another equally outstanding act and Fela’s protégé, Dede Mabiaku, who has promised to unleash the best of Afrobeat vibes at the event. Other artistes billed to perform at the show are Yinka Davies, Waje, Heavy Wind, Tosin Alao, Xerona Duke and host band, Sweet Sound.
Tagged ‘Runway Jazz’, the concert kicking off on Saturday April 29 with a Master Class, is organized by Sweet Sound Productions in conjunction with Lagos State Government.
A fusion of jazz and fashion, the show sponsored by United Bank for Africa’s REDTV (an online lifestyle channel), is part of Lagos at 50 celebrations and as well coincides with the International Jazz Day themed “Promoting Peace, Unity and Dialogue through Art”.
Speaking about the event, Mabiaku stated that Runway Jazz was established to engage jazz enthusiasts, giving stylish expression to art and culture through music and fashion. According to him, the focus on jazz music really broadens its appeal, particularly in Nigeria and across Africa, and introduces an innovative franchise into the Nigerian entertainment scene. He assured that this year’s event will be the biggest, as he promised to perform some of the great songs of the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
Also speaking, Mr. Obinna Okerekeocha, Creative Director, Red TV, said the partnership would afford the channel’s teeming viewers and lovers of contemporary jazz the opportunity to experience a world-class jazz concert in Lagos.
“With haute couture from Jewel by Lisa, and a runway show that captures the evolution of Lagos over the last five decades, Runway Jazz is the biggest and most unique music and fashion event to hit the Nigerian entertainment scene,” Okerekeocha explained.
Commenting, executive producer, Afolabi Oke, said: “The Runway Jazz activities this year have been heightened and elevated by two strategic partnerships. The first is with the Berklee College of Music, which will present a music and business master class facilitated by Professor George Russell, chairman of the Harmony Department. The second is the Lagos State Government; as we team up to celebrate the remarkable 50th anniversary of Lagos State.”
The master class is open to individuals, groups, record labels, established and emerging musicians as well as students of music. It will open up dialogue that would encourage talented musicians and lovers of music to enhance their abilities and turn their gifts into profitable ventures.
Professor George Russell holds many accolades and is the recipient of the highest award that Berkley gives to faculty. He served as a Professor of Harmony and Piano, prior to becoming Chair. He holds the Ted Pease Award for Excellence in Teaching, along with the Curriculum Development Award for the Writing Division at the Berkley College of Music. Grammy award winning Najee will join Prof. Russell to facilitate the master class.
“Many people understand, or think they understand music, some understand business, but there is a business of music that when you get the formula right, will open doors that you never even knew were there in the first place,” Russell said.