Annual jazz concert Lagos Jazz Series will this year be bringing American rapper Mos Def (now known as Yasiin Bey) to Nigeria. The rap artist performs today 27 November at the Muri Okunola Park. Also on the festival’s 2015 line-up are the Robert Glasper Experiment, The Collectiv3, Christian Scott and Seun Kuti. Local fans of Yasiin Bey will be expecting a duet between Kuti and Bey.
Although primarily a jazz festival, the Lagos Jazz Series provides its audience varied servings of genres. From reggae to hip-hop to R&B to Afrobeat. As such, previous editions of the festival have had a varied bunch perform. Acts as diverse as Dede Mabiaku, Burna Boy, Omawumi, Hugh Masekela, Bob James with Fourplay, Morrie Louden, Jesse Jagz, Marcus Miller, Roy Hargrove, and Efya have performed at one or more of the festival’s many venues.
Yasiin Bey, who moved to Cape Town, South Africa in 2013, has performed in Kenya since his relocation. "I'm staying," he said about the move to Cape Town. "It's a beautiful place. It has the ocean, mountain, botanical gardens and beautiful people."
The festival itself, as established by Mr Oti Bazunu, has become a haven for jazz and live music lovers in Lagos. “The theme of this year’s jazz series is We Dare To Think Different,” Bazunu told an interviewer. “And we aren’t relenting. Interestingly, this year features world music meeting African music.”
Interestingly, some of the artists confirmed for the festival this year share interesting connections. Robert Glasper Experiment has produced songs for Seun Kuti; as noted earlier Seun Kuti has worked with Yasiin Bey in the past; and The Collectiv3 has spoken about a fondness for the music of Mos Def.
The festival will also see soul singer Ayo Awosika on stage as well as the Pablo Escudero Flamenco Troupe.