Jimmy Dludlu Joins Line Up for Lagos Jazz Series

The organisers announced today, that South African Jazz star Jimmy Dludlu has signed on to perform at the first-ever Lagos jaz Series holding in Lagos this week. Dludlu, a multiple award-winning musician, who has performed across many continents and headlined dozens of Jazz festivals across the world, will join Nigerians Mike Aremu, Bez, Ayetoro and Chinaza, as well as visiting Somi, Morrie Louden, Karren Patterson and others to deliver what promises to be the Jazz concert of the year. Long before record companies became aware of the musical genius of Jimmy Dludlu, the media were already celebrating him as the hottest and most stylish talent amongst South Africa' new jazz generation.
Expressions being used to describe his extraordinary talent, his skills not only as a guitarist but as an insightful composer and arranger, underline the music he creates on stage with his outstanding style such as "jazz maestro", "guitar phenomenon" or "guitar wizard of jazz" are known by now as synonyms for the self-taught musician Jimmy Dludlu." Jimmy Dludlu's style includes wide-ranging influences, combining both traditional and modern elements of jazz drawn from among others Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Metheny, to South African legends Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Themba Mokwena, and Allen Kwela. He is particularly drawn to the sounds of west and central Africa, as well as Latin America, but says jazz remains his first love.

His numerous original compositions fall within the tradition of what has been loosely termed Afro-Jazz. Sponsored by MTN, Petrolex, Lufthansa, Constant Capital, Bang and Olufsen, Mercedes Benz and others, the Lagos Jazz series will hold on Friday November 5, Saturday November 6, and Sunday November 7 at Sofitel Morehouse, Federal Palace Hotel and Muri Okunola Park respectively. Morrie Louden, a California native, lit up radio, hogged the jazz charts and attracted high praise from jazz legends with the release of his album Time Piece in spring 2007. Louden stunned listeners with his technical virtuosity, melodic improvisations, and composition skills, with tunes encompassing burning post-bop, sensitive ballads, and bossa novas.
The disc seemingly came from nowhere, with Louden leading an all-star team on one of the year’s best-reviewed jazz CDs. Mike Aremu has flown the Nigerian flag around the world for years now, a world-class saxophone player who draws on traditional Nigerian sounds to create a sound that represents both a creative passion and his own particular culture. He has established his own annual concert in Lagos called Sax Appeal, sold out venues from Lagos to London and brings a strong hometown fanbase to the Lagos Jazz Series. Ayetoro is an internationally acclaimed 12-piece Jazz bandled by one of Nigeria’s most talented composers andpianists Funsho Ogundipe.He began playing piano at age 17 and was a regular at FelaKuti’s Shrine, but formally launched into the Nigerianmusic scene in 1998 with his top 50 hit Something Dey, ablues-flavoured piano-driven tune from an album of thesame title. This tune became the template for a post FelaAfrobeat. After a successful career in law and business,Ogundipe moved to London beginning a musical journeythat has shot him onto live performances on many worldstages alongside other notables, while maintaining workingbands in Nigeria, Ghana & UK. Chinaza is of Nigerian heritage but based out of Germany. Before launching a solo career, she sang background for hot international acts like Joy Denalane, Hattler, Della Miles and Cunnie Williams.

In spring 2004 she started arranging songs and producing her first solo album together with pianist Sebastian Weiss (Rodney Jones, Till Brönner, Jane Monheit, Miguel Zenon, and Gitte Haenning Bez is a fresh breeze blowing through Nigerian soul music. Bez makes alternative soul, an understated and unusual hybrid of Soul, Jazz and R&B music that sets him well apart from the mainstream Afro hip-hop movement. His songs of love and heartbreak are modern acoustic gems that fit right beside the music of singers like Michael Buble, Amy Winehouse and John Mayer. A natural performer with a charismatic and playful stage presence, Bez has already opened for international sensation, Asa, performed alongside Nigeria’s premiere entertainers on the Rhythm Unplugged Concert series and been showcased as part of the exclusive Hennessy Artistry series. From big band shows with his swinging five man band to intimate acoustic showcases led by his masterful guitar playing, Bez is a performer to behold. Born in America, Rwandan-Ugandan singer Somi has been described as ‘glistening with the sheen of an almost-impossibly perfect cosmopolitanism’. Singing in English and three East African languages, Somi’s vocal delivery is subtle, yet the power it exerts is enormous... All these talents; the accomplished and the promising, the strange and the familiar, will gather in Lagos this week, to give Nigerians a musical experience they’ll not forget in a hurry.

It’ll not be a clash of talents, the organisers say. Instead, it’ll be a symphony of voices and instruments; a collaboration of some of the best Jazz talents alive, for the pure benefit of Jazz enthusiasts in this part of the world...

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