This year’s Nile Gold Jazz and Soul Safari was last Friday and what a show it was: Epic!
Gates to Lugogo Cricket Oval, the host grounds for the event, opened as early as 3pm; revellers wasted no time in accessing the venue as soon as the gates were opened.
By 5pm a fair crowd had gathered in the spacious Cricket Oval and was enjoying cool oldies music played by Club Guvnor’s resident DJ, Selector Jay, the person who was in charge of the disks that night.
The party began at 5:30pm with the legendary Afrigo Band’s Moses Matovu; Tony Ssenkebejje, and Michael Kitanda. These took the audience on a journey of their classics over the past 40 years. What a way to begin a party!
As always, they didn’t disappoint though, the biggest surprise of the night was Lillian Mbabazi. Backed up by the legends, former Blu*3 member Lillian Mbabazi nailed it on Afrigo Band’s classic, ‘Empissa Zo’. With her amazing vocals, the audience appeared not to have missed Joanita Kawalya, the original voice behind the song.
The show partially hit a climax at 7pm when Lillian performed her hit, ‘Vitamin’. This was fused with Afrigo Band’s hit, ‘Sikulimba’ towards the end. The song got almost all present to their feet with each trying out their best dance moves and ‘normalcy’ only returned when jazz stars Jackiem Joyner and Lin Roundtree took to the stage at about 8pm.
These kept the audience entertained with their skills on the saxophone and trumpet. Some of the notable moments were when they played Michael Jackson’s song, ‘You Rock My World’. It wasn’t until 10:30pm that the long-awaited artiste, Maxi Priest, took to the stage.
But before he came on stage, the person behind the Jazz Safari Franchise, Shaka Winston Mayanja spoke to the audience, and thanked them for the support for the time the Jazz Safari has been in existence.
In the same spirit, he thanked Nile Gold, the principal sponsors of the event since its inception.
“We started from a parking lot and Nile Gold was the only sponsor we had at the time. We moved to Serena and five of our shows have been a sell-out. We’ve now outgrown Serena and here we are, at the much bigger Cricket Oval. I want to tell you that my wealth is not in the bank, it’s you people who have been attending the Jazz Safari for the past years and we don’t take you for granted that’s why we always bring you the best……”
Indeed he brings them the best because shortly after releasing the microphone, the MC of the night, Gaetano Kaggwa invited Maxi Priest on to stage.
The mood was already ecstatic as almost everybody was back to their feet.
Backed up by his band of instrumentalists, Maxi Priest, who was dressed in all-black from jumper to shorts and a pair of red sneakers supplemented with a red hat and black glasses, performed among songs among which included Wild World, Close To You, A Little Bit Longer, If I Gave My Heart To You, Holiday, My Gal Dis and his mega hit; House Call among others.
The crowd danced and sang to almost all the songs though, it was House Call that ‘stole’ the day. Backed with one of the best vocal DJs in the US, Maxi Priest resurrected the sweet memories of the 90’s when he perfectly performed the song, popularly known by Ugandans.
His vocal Dj did a wonderful job, making the audience not miss Shaba Ranks, whose part he performed. The American also brought more life to the show with his additional lyrical flavour to Maxi’ Priests performance.
Inevitably, the show came to an end at 12.30 am but the audience had got their money’s worth. Tickets to the show had been priced at sh130, 000 for gold and sh250,000 for platinum.