Jazz enthusiasts were served with a massive doze of live music they will take forever to forget as three superstars conspired to murder them with a combination of Afro-Jazz, Afro-soul and Funk music.
FOMO had buildt to unimaginable proportions and the signs were already clear that the fans couldn’t wait any longer after the headlining artistes jetted early enough for the do with Darren Rahn arriving almost a week ago while Kidjo had a day to spare prior to D-DAY to celebrate World Jazz Day.
So when the crowd was almost to capacity at Kampala Serena’s Victoria Hall, it started getting agitated by delays and eventually burst into rapturous wild protests and started clapping as they demanded the show kicks off with some shouting ‘Angelique Kidjo’. Time check at this moment is 9:35pm as hosts RS Elvis and Siima shortly merged reluctantly from the back stage at Kampala Serena Hotel.
After a few introductory remarks and Siima showcasing her multilingual skills as she welcomed the guest in French, the host artiste Isaiah Katumwa finally appeared ready to roll, dressed in all black and he too welcomed his guests with the song ‘Welcome’ for the Johnny Walker-sponsored event
He shortly followed it up with classic pieces ‘Gendi’ and ‘My Joy’ before giving a tribute to fallen stars Oliver Mtukuzi and Mozeh Radio with a rendition of their songs. He also gave credit to Blu3, Rema nad Juliana Kanyomozi after performing their songs ‘Sanyu Lyange’, Rema’s ‘Eno Wange’ and ‘Kanyimbe’ respectively.
By this time, the stage was already warm enough for Kitaumwa to invite his guests on stage. Chris Lang and Darren Rahn then joined guitarist Charmant Mushaga as they teamed up on the hosts song ‘Nsiima’ that really got the whole house grooving as the stars played to their strengths with the three saxophonists picking different tones as they were complimented by Charmant’s emphatic guitar prowess to create an electric Afro-jazz blending with elements of Soukous to add the Afro beat fusion for the dance effect. Charmant actually at some point used his teeth to strum the guitar to the excitement of the crowd.
Chris Lang who is an award-winning producer then moved on to the keyboards as Rahn took to the stage as he blew minds away with his compositions among which was a Michael Jackson memorial piece.
Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo after a short delay finally emerged dressed in green African print Kitenge suit and head gear amidst ululations. After performing a few of her new songs, she then told the story behind ‘Agolo’ one of her all-time best hits and favorite of the packed crowd.
The song she wrote while 6 months pregnant is questioning the people about what kind of world they will leave for their children following so much destruction to Mother Nature and how she will pay back. However the crowd seems not bothered with the rich message in the song but just continued grooving.
Just like the others starts before her, she also remembered one fallen star in Miria Makeba the inspirational mother who passed on after visiting Uganda and sang ‘Malaika’ in memory of her soul.
Her versatility was felt as she changed to Funk music with songs like ‘House in motion’ and ‘Cross Eye’ and a tribute song to the queen of Sausa before performing the block buster ‘Wombo Lombo’ at 12:14am.
She climaxed with ‘Mama Afirika’ the song she wrote on New Year’s eve in 1999 to welcome the new Millennium and concluded with ‘Chumba chumba’ dance where some fans from the audience joined her on stage, before show ended 12:45pm still leaving the crowd yearning for more.