Burna Boy to feature at Lagos International Jazz Festival

The Lagos International Jazz Festival, taking place on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 April, has announced a list of performers for the annual event.

Burna Boy
Burna Boy

The participants include Mike Aremu, Sharp Band, Mike Aremu, Sharp Band, Orliam, Herbert Kunle Ajayi, Skata Vibrations, Seun Olota, Adeh and Akeem Lasisi, while pop act Burna Boy is expected to put in a guest appearance.

Last month, the ‘Don Gorgon’ singer released a video for the single ‘Rizzla’—a single from his sophomore album On A Spaceship (2015). The festival, itself is dedicated to the pop star’s grandfather Benson Idonije, a famous music critic who turns 80 this year.

Leading up to the event, organisers Inspiro Productions have arranged a few jam sessions, with performances around Lagos. The festival proper takes place in two major venues: a luxury event at The Bay Lounge in Lekki, Lagos and a regular event at Freedom Park on Lagos Island, the usual venue for the festival.

Besides Inspiro Productions, the Lagos state will also be hosting an event in commemoration of the International Jazz Day and its 50th anniversary as a state. The official premises of the governor will be used in the celebration, which is tagged ‘Lagos in tune with the World’.

Speaking about both, the Lagos state Commissioner for Information and Strategy said, this is another opportunity to open up Lagos to the wold.  “The Lagos International Jazz Festival is to hold at the Freedom Park,” he said, “while on the 30th Ambode and stakeholders of the Jazz industry in Lagos State will celebrate Lagos International Jazz Festival at the State House.”

The Lagos International Jazz Festival is inspired by the Cape Town International Festival. The latter is known to draw a considerable audience and major investments into South Africa—a success Lagos state appears keen to replicate.

“Half of the people who went for the festival were from outside South Africa,” Ayoola Shadare, head of Inspiro productions, told This Day about his encounter with Cape Town’s festival. “It was a festival that had about 35,000 people. That meant that at least 17,000 are obtaining visas to go to South Africa every year and they would buy flight tickets, book hotels, hire taxis, spend money and impact the economy.

“That is what the Cape Town Jazz Festival got the mandate to hit one million Rand to affect the GDP of South Africa. Even though there are years when it seemed as if the festival was having setbacks, it had become too important to let lack of funding not let it happen. The model was unique: one venue, five stages, 40 international artists. No other festival does it better in the continent.”

The 2015 edition of the Lagos festival was dedicated to Rashid Lombard, founder of the Cape Town Jazz Festival.

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