AFRO TUESDAYS:EVENT REVIEW’ AN EVENING OF AFRO JAZZ’

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I wondered why it is single people will always be the one who get the most wasted at events. For the first time I truly understood. How do you go to an event whose theme is love and you are there,single? It is depressing to be honest.Anyway I am optimistic about finding the bae,after all the year is still young.

I arrived at the event an hour after it was officially meant to begin.(I know, I need to stop that habit).The event was going down at the Alliance Francaise in the courtyard.It looked so pretty.I got a seat at the back which I discovered was a great place to sit if you are to write  a review.

The first act on stage was  Halisi The Band.What I recall about them is they were in mostly black and white . They really sang but no one was paying attention. Their last song which was Thum Mora at least got our attention.They then left the stage and next up was Kalahi.

I have watched Kalahi perform three times in different events.She always stands out.Her outfits tell you that she is an artiste and this time was no different.She did not start by talking to us which I was thankful for and where I was seated you could hear the same thankful sentiments.She was in control from the moment she stepped on stage. Her interpretation of each song was spot on.Now when it came to her band,I could not help but feel that they were not in the zone,not in sync. At some point the band and Kalahi had a hitch when she went off key,the band covered for her and  Kalahi handled it so gracefully you just had to let it slide.

Le Band was up next and they had a really cool intro with those stage lights and their amazing band.The actual performing members were two then at some point three (a shy cute boy with a beautiful voice).I thought they were four or more of them,ah well. They had groupies,screaming girls who you could not ignore. Their actual singing was nothing special and for the better part of their performance they resorted to giving us instructions on how to dance. On the dance floor is where the band’s attention shifted to.From where I was seated people were now talking amongst themselves,Whatsapping,going to get food and drinks, basically not paying attention.

Prisca Ojwang had a task getting us back to attention but she hacked it.She looked lovely and she was another performer who clearly took the time to prepare.However she broke the magic spell she had cast on us by talking.When she said that she usually talks alot at her shows my heart sank. Let it be said however that she was among the few performers who actually performed Afro Jazz pieces.I loved ‘Lies I told me’.Her song ‘Elusive Baby’ sounded so good thanks to the band but I couldn’t catch all her words.

Finally was Ricky with his  Marafiki Band who stepped on stage when people were already leaving and drunk and restless but when he began playing I now knew it was not in vain I came to the event.Now that is what Afro Jazz is about.I had to leave at that point but I was somewhat satisfied,not all hope was lost.

The first Afro Jazz event I attended last year was so much fun.Really small,intimate and there was actual jazz.We had so much fun and I was so  glad that I went.I expected this year to be bigger and better.I was underwhelmed and I think so were most people.

First of all I think there were a couple of acts that should not have been there simply because their genre does not fall under Afro Jazz.Perhaps then the event should have been called an Evening of Afro Fusion. This is very important because the crowd that came there was actually a mature one waiting to be serenaded with some smooth jazz numbers.Instead we were assailed by singers who turned into dancers, screaming girls, lots of storytelling and just a sprinkling of what was offered on the menu.

These smoke machines,were they discovered yesterday? I remember at some point a certain act going there and the whole band was engulfed in the smoke.I mean good heavens,the machine is perfect for pictures but quite distracting for everything else.Keep it to a minimum.

I don’t know how many times I should say this but whether you are the performer or band member if you are on stage please make a little effort and try and dress up.I mean really how would I know you were in the band if you weren’t carrying an instrument? Look the part.I know most of you probably came from work or school but you knew way before we did that there was going to be an event,so look for a nice shirt,a nice bowtie you get my drift,yes?The girls and some guys made an effort to look unique but most band members  not so much .

We still need a lot of work to do in terms of composing songs.I mean good heavens why would you let us know that you had no idea what to write as a song for this particular event but then you came up with the piece you are about to sing? Your lack of preparedness showed. Melodies and harmonies sung in accapella are no evidence that you are a great singer.Anyone can be taught that but we go to such events for those hooks and bridges we did not see coming. Also screaming’fans’ do not translate to good music.They may not even know any of your songs so please be weary.Groupies are there for the hype not as a gauge of how good you are as an artiste.

Darlings can you also stop telling us to follow you on Facebook,Twitter and IG(Instagram).PLEASE!If you are good trust me we shall look for you and find you.Besides I thought if you were really artistes you would be telling me to find you on Soundcloud,Reverbnation (at least some of you mentioned Mdundo),you get my drift?Just stop it,please!

Like I said MCeeing is hard.The two MCs to me were almost unnecessary. They had a hard time capturing our attention,cracked bad jokes and were unable to draw us in mostly because we were already bored.At some point the people next to me left saying ‘hii event haina psyche'(this event is not exciting).A lady I was seated next to said Ricky’s was the best performance of the day because people didn’t have to be coaxed into dancing they just naturally did when he started playing.Performers,take note.

I left dissatisfied and sincerely hope that the organizers will improve.Ricky na Marafiki good job for giving younger artistes a platform to share their music with the world.There are not so many established artistes that would do the same.You have something good  just tweak it.The only way to go is up.

Yours truly,

Red.

 

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4 thoughts on “AFRO TUESDAYS:EVENT REVIEW’ AN EVENING OF AFRO JAZZ’

  1. Hi, thank you for this objective feedback, it’s the best analysis we’ve got about our show.
    We have seen the event from your point of view. We promise you nothing but the best on our next show.

    Simon,
    Manager,
    Ricky Na Marafiki.

    Like

    • I am honored that you took the time to read this.We at the Bar genuinely want to help our industry improve.
      Keep doing what you are doing. I hope to atttend another one of your events in the future:)

      Like

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