This Day (Lagos)

4 November 2012

Nigeria: For the Love of Jazz

All is now set for the third edition of the Lagos Jazz Series 2012 scheduled to take place between November 16 and 18 across different stages in Lagos. The Jazz series is the biggest Jazz music festival in Nigeria organised annually by the Lagos Jazz Series Group.

The third edition of the Lagos Jazz Series is billed to be a musical experience for not only jazz aficionados but also lovers of good music and the good life. The event will bring together the masters of Jazz, African Jazz and emerging acts on an international stage.

This year's edition with the theme: "Under the influence of Jazz" will feature foremost international jazz artist such as Bob James, Roy Hargrove, Lura and a host of other fantastic international artistes. Besides the foreign artistes, other outstanding local musicians will also perform. With collaborations from Nigerian pop music acts such as 9ice, and Waje, whose music would be re-presented in a Jazz style.

Speaking at a media briefing, the founder of Lagos Jazz Series, Mr Oti Bazunu said: "Lagos Jazz Series promises to be an eclectic mix of music and cultures. The festival will not only include jazz aficionados but lovers of good music. The music festival now has created a three-day festival for all ages to experience the dynamism and freshness of jazz. Apart from bringing you a Master of Jazz and the Jukebox of classic performances, we will be bringing you home-grown musicians under the influence of jazz produced by award winning producer Cobhams."

According to him, the music festival will feature different music forms including, but not limited to, jazz, soul and hip hop. "We will as always be playing at open-air venues in the jazz month of November at the start of the dry season here in Lagos. The Lagos Jazz Series will also feature top-notch music performances at The Oriental Hotel, in the beautiful Muri Okunola Park, and in the serene gardens of the Federal Palace Hotel & Casino.

"The Oriental Hotel and Federal Palace Hotel & Casino will feature exclusive performances targeted at the most august of our guests; business executives, the international community and senior government figures. Muri Okunola Park will feature more populist performances and bring in larger audiences, giving Lagos a broadened cultural scene while also bringing some exciting music to the general populace," he said.

On the objectives of creating the jazz music festival, Bazunu said: "Three years ago, our first founding motive was to cool down the hectic city life in Lagos with a staple Jazz Festival in November. Lagos Jazz Series is the staple and foremost Jazz and popular music festival in Nigeria. Also, we have created a clearly marked Jazz season in Lagos. This season spans from smaller, intimate events from early October and leads up to the Lagos Jazz Series proper in late November.

"Our second objective in creating the Lagos Jazz Series was to make Lagos an international destination once more. Lagos Jazz Series has placed Lagos on the map as a choice destination city for Jazz."

He recalled that over the three years of its existence, Jazz legends such as Hugh Masakela, Morrie Louden, Jimmy Dludlu, Sésu Tilley-Gyado have graced their stages at the already stated three venues in Lagos Island.

The maiden edition of the Lagos Jazz Series, in November 2010, witnessed a beautiful turnout of Jazz lovers and enthusiasts at the venues of the music show. The following year, in the second edition, the event handlers built on the success recorded in the first edition by bringing great stars in the art of jazz music, to sustain the appeals of the show, and as well gave guests and visitors a series of exciting live and outdoor Jazz performances.

"This year we invite Fourplay ft. Bob James, Roy Hargrove, Lura and a host of other fantastic international acts", he enthused, adding that despite their aim to promote Lagos internationally, they also have an eye on local artistes. "For Lagos Jazz Series, charity begins at home. We are making Jazz more accessible to fans of Nigerian popular music. Last year, we hosted Tiwa Savage, Omawumi and Bez on our stage. This year, we will place Lagos 'Under the Influence of Jazz' with collaborations from Nigerian pop music acts such as 9ice and Waje and re-present their music in a Jazz style."

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