Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sax Appeal;Who wins the battle of the sax this year?

Mike aremu and yolanda brown

         As Top saxophonists and jazz performers from across Europe, North America, and Africa prepares to hit Lagos for the third edition of Mike Aremu’s Sax Appeal, the lingering question on the mind of the anticipating Lagos crowd is: who among the several acts billed for the night will win the battle of the sax on the big night.


Already Tagged ‘‘concert of the year’’ with a long list of top performers billed for the show including Grammy award winning phenomenal jazz artist Kenny G, MOBO award winner Yolanda Brown from the UK, South African eclectic performer Judith Sephuma, Nigeria’s Kunle Ayo, talented singer Waje, and widely travelled saxophonist Mike Aremu. And also, a surprise international act to be announced at the concert. 

    Mike Aremu who himself is a well known performer, band leader and crowd puller, created sax appeal in 2009 as a series of live shows to promote the culture of live musical performances in Nigeria and since inception it has been a story of mission being accomplished - featuring the biggest names in Jazz music and amazing saxophonists year after year.

Sax appeal has thrown up unforgettable moments in concert experiences in Nigeria. The numerous awe inspiring and spell binding performances will forever be remembered and come July 3, from across the princely seats of the Expo hall of the Eko hotels and suites, the ever thirsty Lagos crowd will be starring at the stage with the hunger for more of what it has witnessed in 2009 and 2010.

One of the high points of the event last year was how Mike Aremu and his friends thrilled guests with sax call-and-response sessions, pantomime, theatric duets and acapella. They went all the way blowing the saxophone non-stop in delightful manners all through the night, convincing everyone it’s what they do best. And guests could not resist standing up and dancing away.

This year’s co-headliner Kenny G is a phenomenally successful instrumentalist who has attracted fans and wowed audiences around the world. Judith Sephuma is the minstrel that thrilled and enchanted guests with her attractive sound at last year’s event. Yolanda brown is a top performer who continues to recruit fans from all over Europe. Kunle Ayo has the pedigree of being a fantastic master of the guitar. And of course Mike Aremu is a distinguished performer with a proven dexterity on the saxophone. Who among these sax heavyweights will win the battle of the sax on the big night?

Predicting who among these fine musicians will stage the best performance on the day might prove tricky but one thing guaranteed is, it will go down as one of the biggest nights in music.

Kunle Ayo has performed in all three editions of the event, Yolanda Brown and Judith Sephuma appeared at the concert last year. Singer Waje will appear this year as a first timer. Kenny G will be coming to Nigeria for the first time and to Lagos where he has a large fan base.
Kenny G is a smooth jazz saxophonist who majorly plays the soprano saxophone and also the alto and tenor on occasion. He appeared on several of his album covers holding the soprano saxophone which is the third smallest member of the saxophone family. Mike Aremu is well known as a master of the bass saxophone just like Judith Sephuma too. Yolanda Brown is very artful with her trademark bass saxophone.
Mike Aremu’s vision band is interestingly made up of corporate professionals and academics with whom he has performed across Europe and Nigeria.
Several names and performers like Tosin martins, Bez, and Cobhams have performed at past editions of sax appeal including Yinka Davies and rapper MI who staged an amazing live performance of rap music backed by a full band of instrumentalists.

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