Event Review: Safaricom International Jazz Festival 2019
1st of May 2019, Safaricom hosted yet another successful Jazz concert that just so happened to fall on International Jazz day. The emphasis being on celebrating African Jazz people brought out their best African print and artier making the festival so multicultural and colorful. From face paints to Maasai jewelry to kitenge fashion, Kenyans never disappoint when given a chance to show off and show out! As it was expected to rain there was nothing but clear blue skies and the beautiful Nairobi sun that made each Colored outfit look just a bit spectacular.
So I got there at 1:30 pm just in time for the South African band “ Afrika Groovers” who brought the South groove with them. The crowd was still slightly dull with most people arriving and getting food and drinks as they got comfortable.
At 3:00 pm Shamsi music took to the stage with an electrifying African inspired performance. They categorized their songs into stories of an African kingdom talking about gathering the people, going for war and then coming together in peace having won the victory. You could see the excitement and joy on people’s faces by how they joyfully sang along to their famous song “Murata”.
Then came the beautiful couple, Jacob and Kavutha. When I say gracefully I mean Kavutha, her voice is the most angelic powerful thing you will ever hear. She commands the crowd with her vocals but still leaving lots of room for Jacob to shine all complimented by their sweet little jokes and teases.
The Nairobi Horns Project brought the house down. I definitely enjoyed the entire set but my favorite part was the reggae tribute they did for Njambi. Mahn! When I say fire! I mean it. Guys brought out their inner Rasta man for this one with everyone dancing and feeling the music in honor of Njambi. The Nairobi horns project definitely left the crowd crying out for more.
Paco Sery & Cheick definitely stole the show with their drums and piano. As the sun set and the lights came on with everyone with a drink in hand the vibe was just right. The crowd definitely moved closer with so much excitement of what they had been waiting for all day. The performance was definitely a memorable climax to the festival.
All this to say that my friends and I will definitely be back for more at the next Safaricom International Jazz festival.
Review by: Vanessa Ndinda