Serena plot: The often much-anticipated Jazz Safari is here for its edition and tonight will see Karyn White perform alongside Kirk Whalum. It’s White’s first time in Uganda. Edgar R. Batte writes.
Friendly, warm and welcoming is how American singer Karyn White could describe her stay in Uganda, on Wednesday. The artiste billed for songs like Can I stay with you, Superwoman, Secret Rendezvous, I’d rather be, The way I feel about you, and more, is in Kampala for the eighth edition of Nile Gold Jazz Safari tonight. The do is at Kampala Serena Hotel.
“There is a lot of anxiety coming to Africa for the first time. I don’t know how I would feel connecting to the history. I feel very welcome being here,” she says, before expressing her readiness to bring down the house at the musical safari.
“The band I am performing with is simply amazing. Kirk Whalum is amazing. It is going to be a really great show. There will be many up-tempos and funk. I am across a Tina Turner and Pattie La Belle, so it is going to be wild and hot,” she explains, with a smile.
She added that she would be doing her old and new tracks. White is back to doing music and performing after taking a 17-year hiatus.
Tshaka Mayanja is one of organisers of Jazz Safari and he explains that they chose White to headline the anticipate gig because jazz safari is about pedigree, consistency of an artiste and the kind of crowd that they are trying to build.
The age bracket targeted are people 30 years and older, who appreciate and enjoy old skool music. “What chance do you have to go to a live concert and watch an old skool artiste? It is not easy, so once a year we think that we can bring in an artiste that our crowd can enjoy — the soul beat,” he explains.
Artistes like Howard Hewett, Jonathan Butler, Regina Belle, Keith Sweat, Joe Thomas, among others, have performed at the even before. Mayanja says jazz is all about consistency and that is why they have stuck to bringing in music icons.
Before the invite for this year’s edition, Mayanja says American smooth jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum had always looked forward to coming to Uganda.
“For 25 years, Kirk has wanted to come here. It so happens that one of his sisters is married to a Ugandan, so he has always heard interesting things about Uganda,” he adds.
Last weekend, Alex Ndawula did a mix CD of White’s music for 30 minutes and the crowd kept on its feet, many surprised that she was the voice behind some of the international hits.
Mayanja says like has been tradition, there will be free drinks all night, thanks to sponsors, Nile Gold, Coca-Cola and Rwenzori.
Gates open at 6pm and Show time is 8pm. Platinum tickets have sold out but gold tickets are still on sale at Serena Conference Centre, at Oasis Mall — Nakumatt and Game in Lugogo.
200k – Gold
350k – platinum.
The catch: It does not matter which part of Serena you sit during the music safari, any place is a good section to get your groove on.