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Lagos Jazz Series 2015: Seun Kuti and Yaciin Bey

who's wearing the hat?
who's wearing the hat?

Lagos Jazz Series is back in Lagos, an interesting mix of jazz directions produced in a couple of venues in the course of a week.
Well, this year the line-up was disrupted by the killings of Radisson Blue in Bamako, Mali which caused American artists to cancel their trip until further notice. An unfortunate confusion between Bamako in Mali and Lagos in Nigeria. While both are in western Africa, they are worlds apart. Lagos has not seen any terrorist acts or at least not in recent years. Occasional armed robberies may happen but these remain rare and police is now doing a much better job to prevent them.
chinese vibe from the Collective
chinese vibe from the Collective
Fortunately, not all artists were coming from the US and two big artists made the day on November 27th over a collaboration. First Seun Kuti and Egypt 80. Seun is the younger son of Fela. He is keeping alive the flame of his father Fela Kuti by perpetuating Afrobeat, pretty much in the way his father left it as he died in 1997, thanks to Egypt 80 the band of the father. Second was Yaciin Bey, a Hiphop artist previously known as MosDef before he decided to give up his american citizenship and re-orient himself towards pan-africanism and Islam.
Yaciin Bey and the covered girl
Yaciin Bey and the covered girl
The collaboration showed Yaciin Bey jamming with Seun and his band on Afrobeat songs of Seun and some of his father. He was using his pet red microphone which transformed his voice. The reunion was probably meant to celebrate Africa and highlight what Fela had long campaigned for, anti-corruption and black rights among other things.
Seun Kuti and Yaciin Bey: it took the two to tango
Seun Kuti and Yaciin Bey: it took the two to tango
The concert took place in a park of Victoria Island where listeners could sit on mats while sipping drinks and eating local food. It had a feel of the festivals in other parts of the world where music can be celebrated outdoor in a friendly and relaxed way.
A very nice party indeed masterminded by Oti Bazunu, the father of the Lagos Jazz Series.

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