Lagos came alive as fashion, jazz and culture took centre stage at the biggest fashion and Jazz event, Runway Jazz; Special Edition celebrating the city of aquatic splendour at 50.
The Runway Jazz Festival, a fusion of world class Jazz performances and fashion, which commenced on April 29 and came to a close on the April 30th, coincided with the International Jazz Day themed “Promoting Peace, Unity and Dialogue through Art”.
The event, held at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre, was hosted by ace comedian Gbenga Adeyinka and the beautiful Ireti.
Talented 6 years old Ajuoluwa on the piano and 8 years old David Oke on the drums, together, gave a rendition of Whitney Houston’s ‘Greatest Love’ after which Xerona Duke, an up and coming act, took the stage to serenade the audience with her song ‘Free Falling’. Yinka Davies gave a wonderful remix of Victor Uwaifo’s hit music ‘Guitar Boy’, specially dedicated to the executive governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Afolabi Oke, founder of Runway Jazz, acknowledged the Governors support in the area of arts in the state. The diversity of Lagos was in display as different cultural dances were performed. There was a fashion show by Step Up Initiative, inspired by the wife of the Vice President, Her Excellency, Dolapo Osinbajo, who took the podium to promote patronizing made in Nigeria goods. She further talked about her yarn and Ankara outfit which she bought for N1,800 and handmade herself.
In one unforgettable night, two Grammy award winners, American saxophonist, Najee and UK singer and songwriter Joss Stone, gave electrifying performances. Joss Stone in her trademark barefoot, accompanied by Leon, gave wonderful renditions of her songs and got the audience on their feet dancing along to her music. It was a greatly entertaining blast of drums, guitar, saxophone and flutes as Najee took the stage. He thrilled the jazz lovers to his hits like ‘Just an illusion’, ‘If it’s Magic’ and a nostalgic rendition of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Sweet Love’. Quintessential Saxophonist, Yemi Oyelede accompanied Najee to give a smooth Jazz rendition of the national anthem.
Eponymous womens wear label, Jewel by Lisa showcased her collection of beautiful Ankara pieces; a combination of international styles with Nigerian fabrics.
Afrobeat musician and protégé of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Dede Mabiaku evoked the ghost of Fela as he mounted the stage, performing some of the evergreen songs of the music legend to round off the Runway Jazz Festival.
Other notable highlights of the night included Afrobeat saxophonist, Heavywind and Sweet Sound Band, host band, thrilling the audience to some afrobeat and jazz. Made in Nigeria ‘Afrione’ phones were given to two lucky women from the audience.
Indeed it was an evening to remember as it was a gathering of the crème de la crème, political big wigs, captain of industries and music revellers. The event was sponsored by United Bank for Africa Plc’s REDTV and organised by the Sweet Sound Band in conjunction with the Lagos State Government.
Report by Busari Yusuf
Photo credit: King Solomon Ekhaiyeme