By John Okeke
In its efforts to promote oneness through Jazz ,DBL in collaboration with Transcorp Hilton Abuja recently organised a jazz event themed: The Story of Jazz in Nigeria (1960 – 2021) to mark the International Jazz Day 2021.
The event which was held at Transcorp Hilton Abuja, was headlined by Yinka Davis.
It also featured music from rising Jazz sensation and performer, Salako, as well as classical music from jazz band; The Maestroes, managed by Ayo Ajayi; the curator. Salako opened the event with a mind blowing performance, one the legends before him would be proud of, to the delight of the audience.
His performance set the tone for a night of history as actor Patrick Diabuah, famed for the Banana Island Ghost movie, took the audience on a journey through the years showcasing the rich history of jazz in Nigeria from 1960 to 2021 as he played Ajala the Narrator. His narration was a performance in itself with the projector spotlighting the pioneers and legends of Jazz music in Nigeria overlapped by music from the Maestro band. The climax of the event was the performance of Yinka Davis who dazzled the audience, as she sang and danced around the stage, at times covering the entire hall.
She also engaged the audience in her performance by giving members of the audience the microphone to sing along.
Yinka Davies proved why she’s often referred to as Nigeria’s First Lady of Jazz with an energetic performance despite the loss of one of her sons in February, who battled with an autoimmune blood tissue disorder. She was colourful, graceful and beautiful.
The event was brilliantly pieced together by Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi, who served as the host of the event, with her embellished oratory and scintillating renditions at intervals during the course of the event.According to the Benjamins-Laniyi, jazz is about oneness and the spirit of togetherness.
“Jazz is a celebration of culture in diversity. It combines instrumentation using the voice and the messenger to create a message of oneness and peace between communities.
As a UNESCO dated event, it clearly is an inspiration for global unity and a consensus of ideas, innovation, creativity and space,” she said