Maxi Priest to join American stars at Ugandan jazz fest

British reggae star Maxi Priest will headline the ninth annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari, due to take place on 8 October at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala, Uganda.

British reggae star Maxi Priest will perform in Uganda.
British reggae star Maxi Priest will perform in Uganda.

He will join American jazz heavyweights in saxophonist Jackiem Joyner and Lin Rountree, aka 'The Soul-Trumpeter'.

This year's edition moves to a new location, after having been held in previous years at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

Max Alfred Elliott, better known as Maxi Priest, is a British reggae vocalist of Jamaican descent. Known for his R&B-infused reggae, he began his career in the mid-80s with South London reggae sound system Saxon Studio International. His 1988 self-titled album, featuring a cover of Cat Stevens 'Wild World’, provided his international breakthough and paved the way for a string of hits during the 90s. He is one of only two British reggae acts (along with UB40) to have topped the Billboard charts in the US, for 'Close To You' in 1990. His other American hits include 'Set the Night to Music' , a 1991 duet with Robert Flack, and 'That Girl' with Shaggy in 1996. More recently in 2014 he released Easy To Love, featuring the single 'Holiday'.


Jackiem Joyner, also known by the nickname 'Lil Man Soul', is a saxophonist and flute player from Norfolk, Virginia who has worked in contemporary jazz, gospel and world music. Never afraid to challenge his listeners, his latest album Evolve is his first on which he wrote and produced all the material.

Lin Rountree began playing the trumpet in Alexandria, Virginia when he was just 11 years old and frequently attended music development programmes at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC. In 2006 he released his debut album, Groovetree on the independent label BDK Records, which was met with international acclaim. Other subsequent albums include Sumthin Good (2008), Soul-tree: The Soul-Jazz Experience (2011) and most recently Soulfunky (2015) on Trippin' N Rhythm Records.

According to Nile Gold Jazz Safari founder and CEO  Tshaka "Roots" Mayanja, this year's artists were carefully selected to represent jazz in all its forms, dimensions and generations, and to attract both jazz enthusiasts and mainstream music lovers. “The artists we’re bringing together are pushing boundaries to create new, unique approaches that explore the true nature of jazz music,” said Tshaka.

Since its inception in 2008, the Nile Gold Jazz Safari has seen its audiences grow steadily to successfully carve out a space for itself on Uganda's live music scene. The organisers say their decision to relocate from the Kampala Serena Hotel to the Lugogo Cricket Oval is a result of the festival's growing fanbase.

For fans there is more good news as the organisers have also reduced the ticket prices. 'Gold' tickets have been reduced from UGX 200 000 ($59) to UGX 130 000 ($38), while VIP tables have been cut from UGX 3 150 000 ($934) to UGX 2 500 000 ($741).

For more information visit the Nile Gold Jazz Safari Facebook Page.


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