What African Jazz Means To Us & Why We Should Celebrate It In All Its Elements #SafaricomJazz

What African Jazz Means To Us & Why We Should Celebrate It In All Its Elements #SafaricomJazz
Kenyan band Mambo Tribe at a previous Safaricom Jazz event

Africa as a continent has been the birthplace of many creations. From music to artists who have shaken the world, it would be wrong of us not to celebrate what African Jazz is and what it means to us.

In the early 20th century, jazz played a crucial role for black Americans to find their own voice at a time when segregation and Western ideals were enforced upon them. In an act of defiance, they bent all known rules and created a genre that is today regarded as an absolute high art around the world.

What African Jazz Means To Us & Why We Should Celebrate It In All Its Elements #SafaricomJazz
Kenyan band Mambo Tribe at a previous Safaricom Jazz event

Jazz is our story, we have a right to celebrate it

As jazz has evolved over time, the demographic profile of its audience has shifted accordingly. In Kenya, thanks to a lot of work from artists, promoters, events and festivals like Safaricom Jazz, Jazz has been on the steady rise with widespread popularity and strong appeal to younger generations especially with how we completely own our music.

Take one of the acts for this International Jazz Day celebrations, Nairobi Horns. In 2017, they took Nairobi by storm with their Kenyan Mashup of some of our favourite bangers. They completely owned the stage and made us see how Jazz can be enjoyed even more when it is owned by us.

I mean, who would have thought the late E-Sir’s Boomba Train would sound this good when played using the trumpets? 😍

Another example is Shamsi Music. One of my favourite hits from them is Murata, which is transalted into friend.

This track is simply beautiful. It doesn’t matter if you understand the lyrics and what they mean, this song just carries you away and I loved the fact that they also owned it. They took the ordinary aspect of friendship and turned it into a jazz tune that we won’t forget 😉

More than just music

International Jazz Day has become a social event rather than a music and art event and many important concepts such as freedom, peace, friendship and unlimited number of messages are behind it which has made this a very important day and event for us.

Jazz for us is a way for us to enjoy snippets of the world through all the international artists who come and grace our stages. It has become a way for us to embrace and showcase our culture and community, a way for us to inspire innovation and creative freedom.

It’s also beautiful opportunity for our stars to shine. A number of Kenyan bands have risen because of the platforms given to them by stages such as Safaricom Jazz and are still on the rise bevabec of all the love we keep showering on them each time we go see them perform. Which reminds me…

Please go see these artists performing live!

You have no idea how good it feels for an artist to see a huge crowd of people coming to watch their work. Be it an art show, a play or a music event, please go see them live. It will be worth your while, trust me!

While we’re on the subject, celebrated Kenyan jazz acts Nairobi Horns Project , Shamsi Music, Jacob & Kavutha Asiyo, Kato & The Change Band and the Ghetto Classics will be on stage alongside other international artists at the Carnivore Grounds for the 2019 International Jazz Day celebrations. Tickets go for only Kshs 2,000 bob on Masoko.com & all the proceeds go to the lovely Ghetto Classics Orchestra. Please make a point of coming through to celebrate African Jazz with us, yes? ❤️


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