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Int’l Jazz Day 2023… Lagos swims in sweet sounds of SPAN, Umutu, others

This important international art form is celebrated for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.

TODAY is the International Jazz Day as declared in 2011 by the UNESCO, and Lagos the often-mouthed busiest African culture city is swimming the sweet scent of the “big sound” and related genres.

Several culture hubs, clubs and restaurants are staging events to commemorate the Day, which the UN, says was initiated to raise awareness on the virtues of jazz as “a force for peace, unity, dialogue and cooperation among people of diverse race, creed, faith and orientation. (See UN statement below)

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Top of the bills for the Lagos feast is the day-log music fiesta organised by the Society of Performing Artists, SPAN, and directed by the famous bassist and music teacher, Bright Gain, the serially garlanded musician, who has garnered reputation as one of the very best jazz instrumentalists on the continent.

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Holding at the Grandball Room of Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island Lagos, the double-biller event kicks off with a showcase at 1pm that would present — free-access — some young and tested artistes. In the evening will be the fee-paying concert of the big boys and girls — featuring ace performers in the genre including the eclectic but delectable songstress, Yinka Davies, and others, and Bright Gain himself leading the pack of the best of the turf. Others I the big stage are Victor Ayomofe, Phillip Uzo, Dotun Bankole and TemiTope Fash.

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At the Umutu Restaurant on Oju Olobun Street, Victoria Island, another set of tested performers will be holding it out on a bill titled “Umutu Live Jazz Immersion,” and would parade the experimentalist saxophonist, Imoleayo, Balogun, the master guitarist Wole Jesutomi, the adorable trombonist, Femi Slide, the lithe lady percussionist, Topesticks, and Mr Sam & The Apostles. The gate-fees come with full dining experience.


How to enjoy the Day – Note from Bright Gain

Happy International Jazz Day!

April 30th.

All over the world, in different nations, this beautiful Artform and what it represents is being celebrated by Jazz musicians and enthusiasts, lovers of freedom and democracy, and those who truly appreciate artistic creativity and innovation.

As a Jazz musician, I’m truly excited, and I give thanks to God for us the gift of creativity.

Three ways I think you should enjoy today is:

▪︎ Attend a Jazz festival, gig, show etc, with family and friends.
and, or,

▪︎ Listen to Jazz music with family and friends( classics to the new era)
and, or,

▪︎ Read up about the history and evolution of this beautiful Art form.

If you are in Lagos, there may be several venues offering live Jazz with various Artiste in performance, where you can truly celebrate this day and have fun.

You can attend:

▪︎ THE UMUNTU JAZZ IMMERSION @Umuntu Restaurant . Starting from 5pm

And, or,

▪︎ SPAN INTERNATIONAL JAZZDAY FESTIVAL @Eko Hotel and Suites. Starting from 1pm(The Jazz Showcase), 4:20pm(The Jazz Masterclass) 7pm – 10pm(The Jazz Festival)

Featuring: Yinka Davies, Bright Gain, Philip Uzo, Dotun Bankole, and Temitope Fash.

Also featuring other Jazz Artistes showcasing their artistry.

By all means celebrate this day with us.

Happy International Jazz Day!


…And Kofo does ‘wonder’ at Freedom Park

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OTHER centres around the city are also staging jazz-related events, including at the Freedom Park by Broad Street, where the American-returnee but crowd-pulling/pleaser, Kofo Wonder would be on duty with his band.

The Freedom Park promo states:

“After a break in a while as a result of the CBN’s change of 200, 500 and the 1,000 old naira notes and the cashless policy that brewed the unexpected and unpalatable economic crunch in the country. Kofowonder vacated the stage to take a fresh breath.

“Kofowonder’s music is of the traditional groove laced with western sound. His dexterous skill in playing across numerous genre is overwhelming. A master talking drummer of repute and wealth of experience. He is indeed not a novice to the Centre stage, has entertained both the local and the international audiences globally.

“He will be returning to the stage as usual, courtesy List Entertainment Africa and Freedom Park Lagos, this Sunday. Event kicks off from 4:00PM and will run through the evening till about 11’0’clock. Tickets are available on and at the gate of the venue for N1,000.

“Be prepared to put on your dancing shoes, for this Sunday will be fun.”


‘Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression’

THE International Jazz Day is to create awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people, as well as an educational tool.

Many governments, civil society organizations, educational institutions, and private citizens currently engaged in the promotion of jazz music embrace the opportunity to foster greater appreciation, not only for the music, but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.

International Jazz Day has had extraordinary successes over the past decade, becoming the world’s largest annual celebration of jazz. It is a global movement, engaging people annually, on every continent, through education programs, performances, community outreach and media coverage.
Why Jazz?
Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance;
Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression;
Jazz is a symbol of unity and peace;
Jazz reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities;
Jazz fosters gender equality;
Jazz reinforces the role youth play for social change;
Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones;
Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies.
In November 2011 the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 30 April as “International Jazz Day”. This International Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about the art of jazz, its roots, its future and its impact. This important international art form is celebrated for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.

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