The much anticipated event, Runway Jazz, which brought together lovers of the classy worlds of music and fashion took place three weeks ago on April 29, 2016 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
It was truly an unforgettable night highlighted by incredibly thrilling performances starring Grammy award-winning jazz legend, Kirk Whalum, host band – Sweet Sound, former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke, powerhouse Omawumi, Naija’s soul sister – Yinka Davies, Tosin Alao, and Khaline Akinkugbe, and accompanied by a riveting fashion show featuring Yomi Casual, Queen Ahneva Wearable Art and Frank Osodi.
The show which kicked off at 8.30pm, opened with a cultural presentation by the Samson Iroko Percussion Troupe and a jazzy rendition of the National Anthem by Chee. The event was anchored by MC Abbey, Temiloluwa Awonbiogbon and Bovi, who kept the audience entertained with their quick wit and comic presentations through the night.
One by one, the artistes took to the stage and performed their sets to an enthusiastic audience, with each one building the momentum until Kirk’s anticipated performance. From the first note to the last, Kirk Whalum and his band had the audience spellbound and hungry for more, despite the late hour.
Runway Jazz resonated a high level of class, style and grace as notable dignitaries including The Consul General of the American Embassy, John Bray; Hon. Moji Yakubu, Members of the Italian Diplomatic Corps, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Femi Otedola, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, Folusho Phillips, Hon. Habeeb Fasinro, Frank Nweke Jnr, The Chairman of Multichoice Nigeria, and several celebrities from the entertainment industry including Mike Aremu, Ill Rhymz, Monalisa Chinda, Victor Olaotan, Ay, Ajebo, and Wale Ojo, were present to appreciate and support this august occasion.
Speaking on the event, the convener of Runway Jazz, Afolabi Oke stated that “beyond the entertainment value, this historic concert marks the global celebration of UNESCO’s International Jazz day, and shares the mandate to promote global peace, unity, diversity and dialogue among nations.” This was highlighted by the American CG, John F Bray, who brought special greetings and remarked on the significance of Jazz Music as a tool for promoting World Peace.
Donald Duke had also said in an earlier video while announcing his debut performance, that “Jazz is what humanity ought to be – a potpourri of folks, races, temperaments, cultures and attitudes, harmonized into a human symphony that is enchanting and infused with love.”
And that is what the night was about as the organisers who had earlier promised the biggest jazz experience Lagos had yet to see, delivered on that promise, leaving guests in such high spirits and an experience of a lifetime. The evening rounded off with an ensemble “Peace song” written and performed by Nene Uko and accompanied by Sweet Sound and Kirk Whalum.
Runway Jazz, supported by the Lagos State Government, was well-attended and well-received by the audience, and with its successful outing, is a credible addition to the entertainment calendar for years to come.
Check out some of the pictures from one of the best jazz events ever.