Someone once said that music is the song the heart sings, perhaps this is why it has always been a part of the reverberating cultural fiber that defines Africa.
Not because Africans studied it but because it ingrained, embedded – it runs in the DNA. William Shakespeare wrote that when words fail, music speaks.
Music brings people together, it makes people cry, it draws laughter, it reminds you of a moment in life that you love and hate to remember at the same time.
And this wasn’t any different for Alune Wade who gave an all-star live performance at the Uhuru Gardens on Saturday, November 4th. Where the Safaricom Jazz Lounge turned five.
Immersed in his music, eyes shut and body rhythmically swaying, Wade strummed his four-string bass guitar masterfully, bringing out magical notes that wafted into the starry Nairobi night sky while simultaneously electrifying a spell-bound audience.
Wade dropped numbers from his latest album; HAVANA – PARIS – DAKAR, a collaboration with Cuban Pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa
Music is the language of feeling and passion and his performance was the Grand Finale of a great show that had brought different jazz artists to the stage.
Steeped deep within his ballads was pure delight that only the finest jazz tunes can serve to its audience.
For an artiste, clothes are a significant technique of expressing feeling and creativity.
Clad in a black felt-fez hat, black pants, a black t-shirt with a tweed half coat on top, and a silk polka dot scarf that was neatly tied around his neck – giving him that French artist touch – each piece of clothing told a story about Wade.
The 39-year-old Senegalese bassist and vocalist began his musical journey nearly three decades ago when he picked up a bass guitar at the age of 13 years. In pursuit of becoming a musical mogul, he has travelled around the globe and worked with renowned artistes such as Senegalese Ishmael Lo.
The energy of the crowd undoubtedly spoke of the progressing nature of the Jazz scene thanks to Safaricom’s efforts to keep the music going.
The power of Wade’s music transcended the language barrier lifting the crowd of mainly young Nairobi jazz lovers into realms of delight.
The signature performance easily warmed the crowd into forgetting the chilly breeze and inconsistent drizzle that would have otherwise made it an unpleasantly cold night.
The money raised at the Safaricom jazz event goes to Ghetto Classic, a programme that teaches music to young people from the slums. To date, Safaricom has successfully raised over Sh37 million to support these underprivileged youths.
“In the spirit of Twaweza the aim of having these concerts is to promote local jazz artistes as well as raise money to train artists in the different slum areas through the Ghetto Classics,” says Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.