Award winning jazz artists to perform at the Dec #SafaricomJazz Lounge

Safaricom Jazz Lounge December

Safaricom will this December host the latest edition of the Safaricom Jazz Lounge. We were pretty lucky to have Salif Keita at the August Safaricom Jazz Lounge event and he made the crowd go wild with his fantastic performance. The event this time round will be graced by highly acclaimed Grammy award winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown, Grammy award nominee Gerald Albright and fast rising jazz artist Shelea Frazier.

Safaricom Jazz Lounge December
Safaricom Jazz Lounge December

The four will perform their highly celebrated ‘A Gospel According to Jazz’ at the Safaricom Jazz  Lounge event at the Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi and Haller Park in Mombasa on the 3rd and 5th respectively. This will be Mombasa’s first performance of its kind since the launch of the Safaricom Jazz lounge.

Kirk Whalum – “Love Is The Answer” – Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter IV

The curtain raisers for Safaricom Jazz will be Kenyan acts Edward Parseen & the different Faces band and AfroSync who have made a name in the Kenyan Jazz scene. Edward Parseen & the Different Faces Band was formed in 2008 and will be releasing their debut album titled Breaking Ground in January 2016. They have scored other huge gigs since their inception such as International Jazz Day, James Ingram Live in Kenya and Daughters of Africa tour to just name a few.

AfroSync was formed in the year 2014 and they have scored gigs like US Independence day and German Reunification day 2015. They are working on an album that they intend to release soon.

The proceeds of the event as is tradition will go towards supporting the Korogocho based Ghetto Classics music programme. The programme offers music education to over 300 underprivileged youth and has so far benefited from an estimated Ksh. 12 million raised through Safaricom Jazz’s music properties.

A little background on the performing artistes

Kirk Whalum
He was born on July 11, 1958 in Memphis, Tennessee. He plays the Saxophone (tenor, alto and soprano) and the flute. His music style is pop, RnB and smooth Jazz. He toured with Whitney Houston for seven years and had a solo part in her single ‘I will always love you’ the best-selling single by a female artiste in music history.

In 2005, he recorded the Babyface Songbook (2005) with RnB icon Babyface’s best songs of the past 15 years. He has been nominated 12 times for the Grammy and won his first Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Gospel Song for his song ‘It’s what I do’ featuring Lalah Hathaway. Some of the many songs he has released are Keep on pushing, love is the answer and Sunday’s best.

Kirk Whalum – It’s What I Do

He contributed to the 2008 documentary film Miss HIV. He was also the inaugural Jazz legend honoree of the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville Tennessee.

Norman Brown

He was born on December 18th 1970 in Kansas City, Missouri. His music style is RnB and contemporary jazz. He is a guitarist and a singer. He released his debut album titled ‘just between us’ in 1992. His notable collaborations have been with Boys II Men and Stevie Wonder.

In 2003, his producer and he won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album for Just Chilling an album released in 2002. His 2005 compilation ‘The Very Best of Norman Brown’ was one of the best-selling smooth jazz albums of that year. He has collaborated with Gerald Albright in one of his albums 24/7 that was released in 2012.

Norman Brown – After The Storm

On the weekends, he runs a show at Broadcast Architecture’s smooth Jazz Network. He started this job in January 2007. Some of the songs he has released over the years are After the storm and Paradise.

Gerald Albright

He was born on 30 August 1957 in Los Angeles, Carlifornia. He is a multi-instrumentalist playing the Saxophone, Flute Bass, Keyboard and Guitar. He started piano lessons at a very early age but his interest in music really peaked when he got a chance to play around with his music teacher’s saxophone.

Stop, Look, Listen To Your Heart

He has made appearances on the 80’s show called a different world and the 90’s show called Melrose Place. He was also one of the 10 musicians who performed at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. When he is not making music, he is playing golf.
He has released songs such as Slam dunk, My, My, My and It’s a man’s man’s world.

Shelea Frazier

She is a 35 year old who has risen so fast in the music industry in a very short span of time. She is a singer, songwriter and producer who shot into the spotlight following her widely celebrated tribute to Whitney Houston. She did it so well that Bobby Christina, Whitney Houston’s daughter reached out to her to congratulate her. Her debut album is called Love fell on me recorded under Breath of Life Records was released in 2013.

Shelea sings WHITNEY HOUSTON Monster Medley Tribute

She really looked up to Ella FitzGerald and Duke Ellington to influence her music before she found her own style. She performed for President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama during an honorary ceremony for composers Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David. This was thanks to an introduction by Stevie Wonder who was also performed on that day. She performed ‘Anyone who had a heart’ featuring Arturo Sandoval on trumpet. Other songs under her name are, I’m sure it’s you and seeing you.

Tickets for both Safaricom Jazz Lounge events went up for sale last Friday and they retail at Ksh. 1500 for the advance tickets. Dial 1511 to get your Safaricom Jazz tickets via M-Ticketing, or drop by the Michael Joseph Centre. Tickets will be Ksh. 2000 at the gate and Kshs. 500 for students. The Safaricom Jazz tickets are available at select Safaricom outlets (Sarit Center, Thika Road Mall, Galleria Mall, Junction Mall, BuruBuru, Village Market, I & M and Nakumatt Mega in Nairobi and Mombasa and Rex Shop in Mombasa. )

To find out more about Safaricom Jazz Festival go to this link.

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Rachael is a writer, book reader, TV series fanatic, cat person and a sarcastic friend. She writes because she likes to tell stories and give her views on most things. She also runs her own blog at