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February

22nd 2015


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Music has its own language, and we all spoke it at the Safaricom Jazz. With eight world class artistes taking to the stage, Safaricom Jazz cemented itself as the most spectacular live entertainment event so far in 2015.
Jonathan Butler sang, and you could feel the texture of his music if you rubbed your fingers! He exuded the confidence of a hardened musician, making the stage to glow with his raging musicmanship.
When the concert came to an end, the most important thing stood out; children at the Ghetto Classic could get better music instruments and sustained training for another year. Thank you for making that possible.
Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler, the headlining act for this year’s Safaricom Jazz International Festival, 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 was the first black artist played on white South African radio, earning three gold records in 1975.

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. The festival will take place at the Ngong Race Course on February 22nd. Don’t miss out.

Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler, the headlining act for this year’s Safaricom Jazz International Festival, 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 was the first black artist played on white South African radio, earning three gold records in 1975.

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. The festival will take place at the Ngong Race Course on February 22nd. Don’t miss out.

Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler, the headlining act for this year’s Safaricom Jazz International Festival, 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 was the first black artist played on white South African radio, earning three gold records in 1975.

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. The festival will take place 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 Kummert’s main project is Nicolas Kummert Voice, 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.
  • Juraj Stanik

    Juraj Stanik, 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.
  • The Tomer Bar Trio

    The Tomer Bar Trio was established in 2010 and comprises of Tomer Bar (Piano), Alon Near (Bass) nd Aviv Cohen (drums). The Trio performs Tomer's original compositions as arranged by the ensemble at rehearsals. Tomer Bar, born in 1994, has been writing, composing and recording albums since he was just 12 years old! The compositions performed by the Trio express an attempt to connect contemporary jazz with the "local", Israeli orientation, reaching out to Israeli and international audiences.
  • Soweto Kinch

    Award winning alto-saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musiciaans in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes. Undoubtedly, one of the few artists in either genre with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University he has amassed an impressive list of accolades and awards on both sides of the Atlantic - including a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two UMA Awards and a MOBO for best Jazz Act in 2003.
  • Swahili Jazz

    Swahili Jazz is a blend of Mijikenda beats with Asian, Western and Arabic influences. This type of music is enriched in Swahili culture that is linked to Juma Tutu’s background and origin having been brought up in the coastal town of Mombasa. The Swahili Jazz Band has been in existence since 2011. Since then, they have created magical music. They wowed the crowd on December 5th as the opening act for Jimmy Dludlu and promise to continue to dazzle audiences as they continue on their musical journey.
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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.
  • 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 Kummert’s main project is Nicolas Kummert Voice, 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.

Juraj Stanik

Juraj Stanik, 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.

The Tomer Bar Trio

The Tomer Bar Trio was established in 2010 and comprises of Tomer Bar (Piano), Alon Near (Bass) nd Aviv Cohen (drums). The Trio performs Tomer's original compositions as arranged by the ensemble at rehearsals. Tomer Bar, born in 1994, has been writing, composing and recording albums since he was just 12 years old! The compositions performed by the Trio express an attempt to connect contemporary jazz with the "local", Israeli orientation, reaching out to Israeli and international audiences.

Soweto Kinch

Award winning alto-saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musiciaans in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes. Undoubtedly, one of the few artists in either genre with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University he has amassed an impressive list of accolades and awards on both sides of the Atlantic - including a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two UMA Awards and a MOBO for best Jazz Act in 2003.

Swahili Jazz

Swahili Jazz is a blend of Mijikenda beats with Asian, Western and Arabic influences. This type of music is enriched in Swahili culture that is linked to Juma Tutu’s background and origin having been brought up in the coastal town of Mombasa. The Swahili Jazz Band has been in existence since 2011. Since then, they have created magical music. They wowed the crowd on December 5th as the opening act for Jimmy Dludlu and promise to continue to dazzle audiences as they continue on their musical journey.

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.

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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