Highly acclaimed American jazz trio BWB will headline the Safaricom International Jazz Festival which will mark its 5th anniversary at the Kasarani Training Grounds on February 25.
The group comprises guitarist Norman Brown, saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun.
While this will be Braun’s maiden visit to Kenya, Whalum and Brown are no strangers to the jazz festival, having performed alongside Gerald Albright and Sheléa Frazier at the Safaricom Jazz Lounges in Nairobi and Mombasa in December 2016.
“This edition of the Safaricom International Jazz Festival has a special place in our hearts for many reasons. Not only are we celebrating five years of great live jazz performances from world renown and locally admired musicians, we are also celebrating the social impact we’ve created through funds raised from the Festival,” said Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO.
“The whole idea of the festival is to make jazz music more accessible and inclusive, and to use this to break down barriers and create opportunities for talented Kenyan artistes to play alongside international stars and appeal to a larger local audience,” added Collymore who is the brains behind the festival.
BWB is expected to perform a wide selection from its massively popular Human Nature album.
The album was released in 2013 and earned the group great reviews for its adaptation and arrangement of some of pop legend Michael Jackson’s greatest hits, including eponymous track Human Nature, Billie Jean, Man in the Mirror and The Way You Make Me Feel, among others.
Safaricom has donated over Sh37 million from proceeds of the jazz festival since it was first held in February 2014, enabling the Art of Music Foundation to scale up its Ghetto Classics programme and expand it to Mombasa, with plans to branch out to Kisumu next year.
The first edition of the Safaricom International Jazz Festival was held in February 2014 and was headlined by New-York based Cameroonian artist Richard Bona.
Tickets go on sale on February 2, at Sh10,000 per head and Sh150,000 per corporate table for the VIP show to be held on Friday February 23. Regular and student tickets will be go for Sh2,000 and Sh500 respectively for the main show.