The Safaricom Jazz Festival Lounge October should be a textbook case for those looking, for Kenya’s growth into very eclectic music consumption. It provided a backdrop of how different we all are.
‘From the very first time I set my eyes on you, girl,
My heart said follow through,
But I know now I am way down on your line,
But the wait is feeling fine.’
By the time Dianne Reeves sang the first verse of her amazing cover of Bob Marley’s classic, I Don’t Want To Wait, she had already worked the crowd a good five minutes with vocal prowess and riffs unrivalled by any locally. The bad had also given it all. It was well past half an hour into her set as the headlining artist. The crowd that was silent all night, save for those at the food court, almost went insane; some even standing and raising their hands. And that was a deep insight into questioning how Kenyans consume art, and music in this case.
By the time the opening act was invited on stage by the MC, the equally gifted jazz vocalist, Kavutha Asiyo, the event’s MC David Muriithi, aka Dj D-Lite, had already set the mood.
The Langata Road traffic had lightened up, and the attendees were trooping in courtesy mini-bus intervals of 2 minutes each, with a great ambient reception in place.
Double Cut who were finishing their musical tour set the pace with some beautiful music.
When Kenyan Maestro Kato Change carried his prized guitar on stage, the sizeable crowd had filled most of the front seats including those marked ‘Reserved.’ The food court and VIP area were also full and busier. Kenyans love their own, and they poured all their love on to Kato and his band.
But when Miss Reeves went up on stage shortly after, they went deep into reserved love deposits and brought that out for her. It was an amazing experience, but also one that had very many right questions being asked.
Paul Otieno is a Creative Director and Storyteller in Creative Writing, Photography and Film. He and his partner, have 3 girls, a 4-year-old and her two years old twin sisters. He says he is the Father of the Dragons. You can find him on all social media platforms as @Paushinski or find him on his blog, www.paushinski.co.ke