Marcus Anderson

Lugogo Cricket Oval was turned into a jazz fest as the Jazz & Soul Safari turned 10 on Saturday September 2nd. To toast to the milestone, world-revered whisky Johnnie Walker created the perfect blend as the new title sponsor, with the event being aptly renamed the Johnnie Walker Jazz & Soul Safari.

Guests were ushered into Johnnie Walker hospitality lounges and regaled with Johnnie Walker cocktails crafted by master bartenders, setting the pace for a delightful evening.

In true celebratory spirit, the Jazz Safari amplified musically, living up to the billing of this year’s theme titled “Wear your dancing shoes.”

The show was opened with performances from homegrown talents Herbert Ssesamba, Myko Ouma and Michael Kitanda.

Johnnie Walker Uganda Brand Ambassador Marcus Kwikiriza was the evening’s master of ceremony and he utilised the musical intervals to mentor jazz enthusiasts on how best to enjoy their various whisky blends that were on offer at the show.

Marcus Anderson, one of the world’s most sought-after saxophonists kept his promise of putting up an unforgettable show as his one and half hour set left jazz aficionados wanting more. An artiste of extraordinary jazz pedigree, with an enviable eight album discography to his name, his was a performance to remember, with fans grooving to his incredible Jazz-funk and soul.

As promised by the organisers, the 10th edition of the Johnnie Walker Jazz and Soul Safari was about Rebirth, Renewal and Reinvention. Discerning Ugandan music enthusiasts were introduced to the world phenomenon that is Kizomba music.

Angolan Yola Semedo who is regarded as one of the finest exponents of Kizomba enchanted her Ugandan audience with the spectacular and soulful sound of the popular genre. Originating in Angola, Kizomba is a ‘first cousin’ of Zouk, and is characterised by a slower and usually very romantic rhythm. Little wonder lovers coupled up as Semedo took them through the steps that accompany the soulful and groovy Kizomba music.

Commenting on the new union between jazz and whisky in Uganda, Diageo Scotch Brand manager Annette Nakiyaga said; “Johnnie Walker is a brand that represents continuity and success, which is what the Jazz & Soul Safari stands for. It has been the pick of events on the entertainment calendar for the 10 years of its existence, in much the same way that Johnnie Walker has stood out as the whisky of choice over the ages.”

Continuing with their tradition of giving back to society, Jazz Safari founder Tshaka Mayanja revealed they are starting a music programme at the Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped in partnership with Rotary Uganda.

Lugogo Cricket Oval was turned into a jazz fest as the Jazz & Soul Safari turned 10 on Saturday September 2nd.