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Kenyan bands steal show at Safaricom Jazz Festival – PHOTOS

Kenyan bands on Tuesday thrilled jazz lovers at the 5th Safaricom International Jazz Festival which was graced by celebrated Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango.

The event at Carnivore grounds Nairobi, which coincided with Labour Day, was well attended despite the rains and a chilly weather.

Before Dibango, a two-time Grammy Award nominee, took to the stage at exactly 7pm, the fans in attendance had been kept well entertained by a host of local acts.

James Gogosimo and Ulopa Ngoma perform on stage during the Safaricom Jazz Festival held at Carnivore Gardens on May 1, 2018. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

Among those who serenaded the crowd was songbird Nyota Ndogo’s younger brother Juma Tutu, who brought the Swahili Jazz mojo to the stage with his performance, which included his hit song Nakupenda Kama Sukari.

Juma also introduced a surprise guest in the form of the King of Bango music from the Coast, the legendary Joseph Ngala popularly known as Mzee Ngala.


The emcee of the day, voice coach Kavutha Mwanzia kept the party going and was on hand to welcome her husband of 10 years, Jacob Asiyo. The distinguished pianist left the crowd wowed by his skillful performance.

Another notably Kenyan acts who stole the moment was 35-year-old singer, Jazzman and instrumentalist Edward Parseen. The latter gave an electrifying performance with his renditions of Jua Cali’s Kwaheri, Sauti Sol’s Live and Die in Afrika.

Saxophonists Edward Parseen performs on stage during the 5th Safaricom Jazz Festival held at Carnivore grounds on May 1, 2018. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

The Nairobi Horns Band also got some acknowledgement from the crowd for their unique performance, a blend of trumpets and saxophones. The show wouldn’t come to an end without Gogosimo Band stepping on stage.

Over the last five years, Safaricom Jazz has brought to town a long list of acclaimed local and international acts, including the late Hugh Masekela, Richard Bona, Jonathan Butler, Salif Keita and Alune Wade.