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February

16th-22nd 2015

Safaricom launched the Safaricom Jazz Festival last year which saw local and International artistes come together in what was Kenya’s largest Jazz festival. This year the festival is set to be bigger and better.

The Festival will be an exciting one week multi-venue music and cultural festival set to showcase the best in emerging and acclaimed talent from Africa and beyond. This year’s headline artiste is Jonathan Butler. Tickets go on sale on Monday 26th January. Dial 1511 to get yours!
Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler

The youngest of 13 children, Butler grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, ruled by Apartheid and segregation. He began his singing career at age 7, releasing his first album in 1973 and winning the Best New Artist Grammy in South Africa the following year at age 12. He made history by being the first black artist played on white South African radio while earning three gold records in 1975 as he became a teenager.

A decade later, Butler moved to London, and released his first album internationally. The self-titled set went gold in 1987 in the UK and in the USA. In concert, Butler remains a captivating and powerful performer, pouring his heart into selections from his immense catalogue. In addition to being a popular draw at headline dates, festival shows and music cruises, Butler thrives on interacting with his fans. He is set to headline this year’s Safaricom International jazz festival, at the Ngong Race Course on February 22nd. Don’t miss out.

Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler

The youngest of 13 children, Butler grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, ruled by Apartheid and segregation. He began his singing career at age 7, releasing his first album in 1973 and winning the Best New Artist Grammy in South Africa the following year at age 12. He made history by being the first black artist played on white South African radio while earning three gold records in 1975 as he became a teenager.

A decade later, Butler moved to London, and released his first album internationally. The self-titled set went gold in 1987 in the UK and in the USA. In concert, Butler remains a captivating and powerful performer, pouring his heart into selections from his immense catalogue. In addition to being a popular draw at headline dates, festival shows and music cruises, Butler thrives on interacting with his fans. He is set to headline this year’s Safaricom International jazz festival, at the Ngong Race Course on February 22nd. Don’t miss out.

Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler

The youngest of 13 children, Butler grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, ruled by Apartheid and segregation. He began his singing career at age 7, releasing his first album in 1973 and winning the Best New Artist Grammy in South Africa the following year at age 12. He made history by being the first black artist played on white South African radio while earning three gold records in 1975 as he became a teenager.

A decade later, Butler moved to London, and released his first album internationally. The self-titled set went gold in 1987 in the UK and in the USA. In concert, Butler remains a captivating and powerful performer, pouring his heart into selections from his immense catalogue. In addition to being a popular draw at headline dates, festival shows and music cruises, Butler thrives on interacting with his fans. He is set to headline this year’s Safaricom International jazz festival, at the Ngong Race Course on February 22nd. Don’t miss out.

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  • Ack van Rooyen

    Born on New Year Day 1930, Ack Van Rooyen graduated cum laude from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague in 1949. He subsequently joined the Arnhem Symphony Orchestra where he played until 1952. He is a charter member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble as well as Peter Herbolzheimers Rhythm Combination and Brass. Ack is based in Holland where he works with his own quintet, the Dutch Jazz Orchestra and in duo with JurajStanik. He was a staff teacher at the conservatory in The Hague and continues to lead workshops and coach Bigbands throughout Europe.
  • Nicolas Kummert

    Jazz saxophonist, singer and composer Nicolas Kummertmain project is Nicolas Kummert Voices, a quintet that recently released its second album, “liberté” on Prova Records. Beside this, he just created DRIFTER with long-time friend Alexi Tuomarila on piano and an all-singing band called eNKawith Axel Gilain. Nicolas is also active on the African music scene and also on the DJ scene. In his young career, he recorded over 30 CDs as a leader or as sideman and played in more than 40 countries worldwide. His versatility and openness to all styles of music is obvious in his own projects.
  • JurajStanik

    JurajStanik, a winner of the prestigious Pall Mall Swing Award,is a well-known musician in the international jazz world. Juraj is a main subject teacher at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands. Stanik plays fresh modern jazz and is inspired by Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and so many other great musicians, without ignoring his own creativity. Many times a subtle reminiscence of Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, Bartok and Messiaen can be heard in his musical concepts. A lot of his compositions are specially written for his piano-trio.
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  • Richard Bona

    Richard Bona was born in the Cameroonian village of Minta. There aren't many musical artists who inhabit both the past and the future as fully as Richard Bona. There aren't many people who've made themselves at home in so many different places. He's lived in skyscrapers and chateaus and huts. He's performed in Paris, Mumbai, and Sydney. He's run for his life with a panther at his heels. Richard Bona sings mostly in his native Douala, but the vulnerability of his plaintive sound is unmistakable across barriers of language. His bass solos are wildly inventive, fervently imitated and transcribed by young musicians all over the world
  • Yuval Cohen

    Yuval Cohen’s own sound—whether solo, with his own groups, or with his siblings—is one of the richest, most exciting 21st century sounds in this ever-evolving music called jazz. Lead alto, Member of the phenomenal family group, “the 3 Cohens”, with his sister and brother, Anat and Avishai Cohen. Member of the international duo, Hamamura-Cohen, and leader of his own quartet, playing original music of his. Performed in the US, Europe, Japan, and in Israel (Red Sea Jazz Festival, Caesaria international Jazz Festival, Tel Aviv Jazz festival).
  • Rhythm Junks

    The Rhythm Junks were founded by Steven De Bruyn and Tony Gyselinck. They noticed the fact that the Belgian artists that made it abroad were those that were doing something grand, something unique. This became The Rhythm Junks’ mission statement: a grand, unique mix that couldn’t care less about detained genres and moreover radiates international appeal and ambition. The Rhythm Junks explicitly never wanted to be a blues band, despite the harmonica. These three gents are musical adventurers that exploit this setting to push the limits as they tear down the walls between musical genres, brick by brick.
  • Kavutha Mwanzia-Asiyo

    Kavutha, one of Kenya’s leading jazz vocalists has been singing since childhood. This talent eventually led to her study of voice, at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA USA. A seasoned performer, Kavutha has been the featured jazz vocalist at various jazz themed events in the East African Region Kavutha is also highly sought vocal coach and has been the being the vocal coach on East Africa’s most popular reality singing competition, Tusker Project Fame.
  • Eddie Grey

    As an artist, Eddie Grey has been considered a fore runner in the entertainment circles and specifically for his contribution to jazz in East Africa. His roots in music begin long before he first touched an instrument. He was born in what he describes as an ordinary family in a modest country side setting. He describes music as one of the powerful tools in communication. His passion can be seen as he represents musicians in various non-profitable features including the recent UNICEF Haiti fundraiser among others.
  • The Aaron Rimbui Quintet

    The Aaron Rimbui Quintet was formed in 2005 by Aaron Rimbui. The band began as with Aaron Rimbui(Keyboards) and Asaph Uzele (Bass), and George Mutinda (drums) joining in later. The band functioned as a trio then later welcomed members Willy Rama (percussion) Kato Change (Guitars). The band has opened for such notable acts as Gerald Albright (Sierra Jazz Fest, Nairobi) Erykah Badu (Tusker Lite Experience, Nairobi) Donell Jones (Tusker Lite Experience, Nairobi) and Hugh Masekela (Nairobi).
  • NILE Project

    The Nile Project is a cross-cultural musical collaboration initiative that seeks to address cultural and environmental issues rooted in the Nile basin. By using an innovative approach that combines music, informal education, and an enterprise platform, the project’s mission is to inspire, educate, and empower Nile citizens to work together in hopes of fostering a more sustainable river system. Jorga Mesfin who is a member of the Nile Project is a self taught musician with influences that span the spirit and innovation of Jazz and the ancient and diverse sounds found in Ethiopian music.
  • Kunle Ayo

    For every show Kunle Ayo performs in, he leaves his fans inspired and full of positive energy, and his show in Nairobi was no different. He dazzled the audience on the 4th of September 2014 with his amazing guitar skills and wonderful voice. He was backed up by Kavutha and Jacob Asiyo, and manged to leave the crowd asking for more at the end of the show. He definitely lived up to his name.
  • Jimmy Dludlu

    Jimmy Dludlu was the main act for 2014’s final edition of the Safaricom Jazz series held on December 5th, at the Kasarani Indoor Stadium. His music brought the crowd to their feet on more than one occasion as he jammed the night away. He did not disappoint with musical influence from the likes of South African legends Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu and Hugh Masekela. This was surely one of the best jazz events of the year.
Ack van Rooyen

Born on New Year Day 1930, Ack Van Rooyen graduated cum laude from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague in 1949. He subsequently joined the Arnhem Symphony Orchestra where he played until 1952. He is a charter member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble as well as Peter Herbolzheimers Rhythm Combination and Brass. Ack is based in Holland where he works with his own quintet, the Dutch Jazz Orchestra and in duo with JurajStanik. He was a staff teacher at the conservatory in The Hague and continues to lead workshops and coach Bigbands throughout Europe.

Nicolas Kummert

Jazz saxophonist, singer and composer Nicolas Kummertmain project is Nicolas Kummert Voices, a quintet that recently released its second album, “liberté” on Prova Records. Beside this, he just created DRIFTER with long-time friend Alexi Tuomarila on piano and an all-singing band called eNKawith Axel Gilain. Nicolas is also active on the African music scene and also on the DJ scene. In his young career, he recorded over 30 CDs as a leader or as sideman and played in more than 40 countries worldwide. His versatility and openness to all styles of music is obvious in his own projects.

JurajStanik

JurajStanik, a winner of the prestigious Pall Mall Swing Award,is a well-known musician in the international jazz world. Juraj is a main subject teacher at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands. Stanik plays fresh modern jazz and is inspired by Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and so many other great musicians, without ignoring his own creativity. Many times a subtle reminiscence of Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, Bartok and Messiaen can be heard in his musical concepts. A lot of his compositions are specially written for his piano-trio.

Richard Bona

Richard Bona was born in the Cameroonian village of Minta. There aren't many musical artists who inhabit both the past and the future as fully as Richard Bona. There aren't many people who've made themselves at home in so many different places. He's lived in skyscrapers and chateaus and huts. He's performed in Paris, Mumbai, and Sydney. He's run for his life with a panther at his heels. Richard Bona sings mostly in his native Douala, but the vulnerability of his plaintive sound is unmistakable across barriers of language. His bass solos are wildly inventive, fervently imitated and transcribed by young musicians all over the world

Yuval Cohen

Yuval Cohen’s own sound—whether solo, with his own groups, or with his siblings—is one of the richest, most exciting 21st century sounds in this ever-evolving music called jazz. Lead alto, Member of the phenomenal family group, “the 3 Cohens”, with his sister and brother, Anat and Avishai Cohen. Member of the international duo, Hamamura-Cohen, and leader of his own quartet, playing original music of his. Performed in the US, Europe, Japan, and in Israel (Red Sea Jazz Festival, Caesaria international Jazz Festival, Tel Aviv Jazz festival).

Rhythm Junks

The Rhythm Junks were founded by Steven De Bruyn and Tony Gyselinck. They noticed the fact that the Belgian artists that made it abroad were those that were doing something grand, something unique. This became The Rhythm Junks’ mission statement: a grand, unique mix that couldn’t care less about detained genres and moreover radiates international appeal and ambition. The Rhythm Junks explicitly never wanted to be a blues band, despite the harmonica. These three gents are musical adventurers that exploit this setting to push the limits as they tear down the walls between musical genres, brick by brick.

Kavutha Mwanzia-Asiyo

Kavutha, one of Kenya’s leading jazz vocalists has been singing since childhood. This talent eventually led to her study of voice, at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA USA. A seasoned performer, Kavutha has been the featured jazz vocalist at various jazz themed events in the East African Region Kavutha is also highly sought vocal coach and has been the being the vocal coach on East Africa’s most popular reality singing competition, Tusker Project Fame.

Eddie Grey

As an artist, Eddie Grey has been considered a fore runner in the entertainment circles and specifically for his contribution to jazz in East Africa. His roots in music begin long before he first touched an instrument. He was born in what he describes as an ordinary family in a modest country side setting. He describes music as one of the powerful tools in communication. His passion can be seen as he represents musicians in various non-profitable features including the recent UNICEF Haiti fundraiser among others.

The Aaron Rimbui Quintet

The Aaron Rimbui Quintet was formed in 2005 by Aaron Rimbui. The band began as with Aaron Rimbui(Keyboards) and Asaph Uzele (Bass), and George Mutinda (drums) joining in later. The band functioned as a trio then later welcomed members Willy Rama (percussion) Kato Change (Guitars). The band has opened for such notable acts as Gerald Albright (Sierra Jazz Fest, Nairobi) Erykah Badu (Tusker Lite Experience, Nairobi) Donell Jones (Tusker Lite Experience, Nairobi) and Hugh Masekela (Nairobi).

NILE Project

The Nile Project is a cross-cultural musical collaboration initiative that seeks to address cultural and environmental issues rooted in the Nile basin. By using an innovative approach that combines music, informal education, and an enterprise platform, the project’s mission is to inspire, educate, and empower Nile citizens to work together in hopes of fostering a more sustainable river system. Jorga Mesfin who is a member of the Nile Project is a self taught musician with influences that span the spirit and innovation of Jazz and the ancient and diverse sounds found in Ethiopian music.

Kunle Ayo

For every show Kunle Ayo performs in, he leaves his fans inspired and full of positive energy, and his show in Nairobi was no different. He dazzled the audience on the 4th of September 2014 with his amazing guitar skills and wonderful voice. He was backed up by Kavutha and Jacob Asiyo, and manged to leave the crowd asking for more at the end of the show. He definitely lived up to his name.

Jimmy Dludlu

Jimmy Dludlu was the main act for 2014’s final edition of the Safaricom Jazz series held on December 5th, at the Kasarani Indoor Stadium. His music brought the crowd to their feet on more than one occasion as he jammed the night away. He did not disappoint with musical influence from the likes of South African legends Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu and Hugh Masekela. This was surely one of the best jazz events of the year.

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