One stage, one genre, a cause for charity and a good time! The Fifth Nile Gold Jazz Safari takes place today at Kampala Serena Hotel, where celebrated jazz artistes will perform live in concert to raise funds for the Nsambya Cancer ward in partnership with Kampala Rotary Cancer project. We take a closer look at each of the artistes.
Having previously performed alongside Jonathan Butler and Howard Hewett, in two previous Nile Gold Jazz Safaris Albright is one of the most soulful instrumental performers and sought after saxophonists of his time. Albright who also plays bass guitar has previously worked with artistes like Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Jr, The Temptations, and Olivia Newton-John. He has also featured in various concerts touring with Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Barry White and Phil Collins among others. He has also worked on various Jazz projects with big names like Will Downing, Hugh Masekela Chaka Khan and Jonathan Butler. Albright returns to Uganda with his daughter, vocalist Selina Albright.
She is the feminine voice behind the famous song A Whole New World, in the duet with Peabo Bryson. The Grammy Award winning song also features as a soundtrack to Disney’s animation Aladdin. Belle who has eight albums has several hits on the Billboard Soul and RN’B charts and has featured in concerts with Ray Charles, Boney James, Paul Taylor, The Rippingtons, Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Maze and many others.
His musical career started as early as the age of eight when he was introduced to classical music. Meadows later found a niche in playing the soprano saxophone and later tenor, leading him to work with great jazz names like Stevie Wonder and Duke Ellington. He has also done various collaborations with various artistes including Brook Benton,The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofill and Will Downing. As a headliner himself, Jazz lovers and wannabees alike in this concerts will love to see the blend he brings to the stage alongside Regina Belle’s striking voice and Albright’s legacy with the saxophone.
Canadian Rhonda Smith, comes in with great vocals and a touch of Montreal – the home of the famous Montreal International Jazz Festival. Smith who is also a singer and songwriter traces her music roots from an upbring influenced by the French and jazz ambience of Montreal. Award winning Smith who plays the piano, baritone horn, keyboard, guitar and bass has toured and performed with various artistes from Canada as well as celebrated names like Prince, Chaka Khan, Beyonce, T. I, Erykah Badu, Patti Austin, Patrice Rushen, Brenda Russell, Lee Ritenour, Larry Graham and Patti Labelle.
T’Zulu Bass ( aka Tshaka Mayanja)
Tshaka as everyone calls him is the founder of the Jazz Safari, which he started with a colleague Elijah Kitaka and has since become the Ugandan Face of all the previous Jazz Safaris featuring as one of the few Ugandan artistes on the line-up. He started playing the bass guitar in 2002 all though many Ugandans of his time remember him for reggae music, which he promoted extensively. He has previously worked with legends like Aswad, Third World, UB40, Shaggy, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Shabba Ranks and Buju Banton among others. He has also written, played and produced an album titled Dark Chocolate with Angela Kalule and worked with Pragmo to produce and co-write three albums under the group Black Roots Unlimited.