Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2010

Jazz 101 as written by TShaka Mayanja

I stumbled upon an article authored by one TShaka Mayanja (Bassist to the Band- BlackRoots Unlimited from Uganda) in the one of Uganda’s Dailies which in a sense validated some of the issues that I raised in a past blog.

The article seeks to answer the following answers:

Is Jazz music for the elite, “wannabe”, show-offs and the rich?

What are the origins of the genre?

What constitutes Jazz music?

How is Jazz marketed in Uganda?

TShaka (Pictured on the Left) kicks off by arguing that the high pricing of the various Jazz Concerts organized tend to attract only those that can afford (who are not necessarily Jazz fans) and there by marginalizing real Jazz fans that would love to attend but cannot afford.

He then gives a short and enlightening history of Jazz.

He defines the genre -Jazz music- or what constitutes Jazz music. He goes further and outlines the various sub-genres that are within the larger Jazz music.

He also argues that a majority of the concerts or shows organized under the guise o…

Event: Otto Lechner & Windhund Music


Otto Lechner, a blind accordionist and member of the famous “Accordion Tribe”, an all star group of world-renowned accordionists who were brought together by American accordionist Guy Klucevsek. Karl Ritter, a true “Guitar King” and Melissa Coleman, Cello, complete the Trio Windhund Music representing different sound worlds, its members are well known for their musical globetrotting. They move around in many areas of music, never restricting themselves to any cliché. The combination of high professional standards of music making, artistic maturity and a common understanding of musical performance spark the creation of pieces which could not have been better written if they had been pre-composed.

Venue: Goethe Institut, Monrovia Street- Downtown Nairobi
When: Saturday 17 July, 6.00 PM
Entry: Free

Boisdale’s Favorite Jazz Musicians of the Last Decade

The Boisdale Jazz blog listed the following as the top 10 shining stars of 2001-2010 that you may find of interest. I must say some of them are completely new to me, anyway he’s the list: Michael Buble – Great voice, Jazz vocalistChrist Botti – Trumpet playerNorah Jones – The multi-talent artist; vocalist, keyboardist and composerMelody Gardot – She also multi-talented. Vocalist, guitarist and pianistJamie Cullum –  Pop and Jazz artistPortico Quarter – Four piece Jazz quarterSade Adu – Songwriter and Jazz perfomerSpencer Day – Upcoming young Jazz artistDiana Krall – Great pianist and Jazz singerHarry Connick, Jr – Multi-talented artist; Jazz composer, singer and pianistFor more on this:

The few I can pick from the list that I know and love their music are make up My Picks, which are: Chris BottiNorah JonesSade AduDiana KrallWho are your favorite Jazz Musicians? Send them to me and we’ll publish them on this blog.

Thank you!

The Case of Local Jazz Concerts and ....The Future

There has been a lot of talk of why Kenya doesn’t attract top notch International Jazz Artists or even field a concert worth its name in terms of quality (staging, sponsorships) enough to entice fans and artists in their world tours.

The same issue was also discussed recently in the weekly radio jazz show on Capital FM, Capital Jazz Club, by its presenter, Jack Ojiambo and a couple of other Jazz enthusiasts that were invited in the show.
Is this a case of poor promotion, lack of local quorum i.e. a good number of Jazz fans ready to pay for such shows or put simply an issue of cost (to pay for the artists) or what really?
And how come our neighbors, the Ugandans have been so successful in this?

The fans, at least from the chatter that has been on going through a number of social networking sites, felt we have the capacity to host and field world class concerts worth rousing reviews.

And I dare say not just for the promotion and appreciate of International artists but also the local tal…

CD Review- Baisikeli By Valerie Kimani

CD Review- Baisikeli
Valerie Kimani, winner of Tusker Project Fame Reality Talent Show, secured a 3 year recording contract with Gallo Records,  and produced this stunning ablum Baisikeli. I can say for a fact this is a superb album no doubt about it. It is a mix of slow, mellow and a number of fast-paced tracks covering various sounds. Here, you’re definitely going to pick out unique nuances of South African and East Africa (Uganda and Kenyan) music intonations. The album features renditions of widely played and still fresh tunes like, “Fever” and “Besame Mucho”. And original, vernacular (Kikuyu) tracks like “Ngugi ii” and “Hoi and Hoi” are some of the highlights of this album. Here you can sense the great command of language (this being her native language- Kikuyu) as she belts outs these two incredible tunes to the listener’s appreciation. This affirms my strong believe in that, our greatest strength and potential to sell locally and internationally lies in us doing more vernacular pie…