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Jazz & Soul Safari: The Beginnings, The Evolution & Growth, The 10th Anniversary, The Future and A Road Trip to Remember


The Beginnings
The dream, the idea, to bring Jazz to the masses across East and Central Africa was first conceived by TShaka Mayanja, a well-known Music Promoter, Producer, Songwriter and Lead Bassist to the band, Blackroots Unlimited. TShaka later shared this idea with his friend and host of the popular Jazz Evening show on Radio One FM, Elijah Kitaka.
With support from some generous sponsors the first Jazz Safari concert dubbed, “The Sizzling Jazz Safari”, took place on the 19th December, 2008 right outside Ange Mystique at the parking lot. The event featured Saxophonist Eric Marienthal, drummer Oscar Seaton and host of other local and regional artists.
And from that inaugural event Jazz Safari was born and off to a good start.

The Evolution and Growth
On its second edition, in the following year, it moved from the humble beginning that was Ange Mystique’s car park to set camp at the grand space that is Kampala Serena Hotel’s Victoria Auditorium. More recently, as of last year, they moved the event to an even bigger space, The Lugogo Cricket Oval Stadium in Kampala to cater for the growing audience.
Beyond the space, and more importantly, Jazz & Soul Safari has over the years, attracted some of the biggest names in the business. From the likes of Saxophonist Gerald Albright, Grammy award winner Regina Belle, the soulful Karyn White to the jazz guitarist the late Chuck Loeb among other world renowned artists.
Ten years on, since inception, Jazz & Soul Safari has surely come of age.

The 10th Edition: Johnnie Walker Jazz & Soul Safari 2017
So what’s in store in this year’s event as Jazz & Soul Safari celebrates its 10th Anniversary?
This momentous year Jazz & Soul Safari has turned things up a notch higher as it welcomes onboard a new title sponsor, the world-revered whisky, Johnnie Walker to bring you-- Johnnie Walker Jazz & Soul Safari 2017.
This year’s event features the Angolan diva, Yola Semedo, who will showcase the best of Kizomba music. Yola Semedo is popularly known for tunes such as Volta Amor, Nao Entendo among others
And for all you Jazz purists, one of the world’s premier saxophonist, Marcus Anderson, will be taking the stage to bring you Jazz & Funk to your heart’s content. The celebrated artist is well known for tunes such as Cup of Joe, All About you and a host of others.
The event will take place on Saturday, 2nd September at the Lugogo Cricket Oval Stadium in Kampala under the theme “Wear your dancing shoes
You sure don’t want to miss it!




The Future
So what does the future hold for Jazz & Soul Safari? I believe the founders and organizers are best placed to let us in on what their future plans look like.
However, from my perspective, as an avid fan, I hope the project gets to fulfill its original dream. The dream of promoting Jazz across the region through multi-city multi-day Jazz tours. This, I believe, is possible.  
Jazz & Soul Safari is a strong and established brand and can now attract the requisite sponsorship and resources enough to pull this off. In the year 2009 through the concerts it conducted in Nairobi and Kigali we got a glimpse of what’s possible. This can be done.
Jazz & Soul Safari should also look to collaborate with other local complimentary festivals (e.g. the likes of Cool Waters Jazz &Roots Festival, Safaricom International Jazz Festival and others.) across the region and see how to synergize around mutual objectives.
All in all, the future is ever brighter and the possibilities are endless.
Kudos Tshaka, Elijah and Co for a job well done. Here is to another 10!

The Road Trip
As I wrap up, I would like to invite those of you who would like to join in on the fun to come along as we take to the road for a trip to Kampala to be part of these momentous celebration.
For the 3rd year in a row we’ve put together some exciting tour packages. This time round we've partnered with Go Places, to facilitate your return travel to Kampala among other offerings.
For more information please see link below on the details of the various packages on offer and how to book: http://digital.goplacesonline.com/2017/08/04/johnnie-walker-jazz-soul-safari-go-places-holidays/ Book Now!

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