By Bamuturaki Musinguzi
Published October 25, 2016
A British reggae superstar and a leading US American trumpeter have performed at a charity jazz festival in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
Prior to their performance at the 9th Nile Gold Jazz and Soul Safari held at The Cricket Oval Lugogo on October 8, 2016, Maxi Priest and Lin Rountree who is also known as The Soul-Trumpeter said at a Press Conference at Sheraton Kampala Hotel on October 6, 2016 that they do not want their material branded into any form of genre, insisting that all they play is ‘music that encompasses all types of repertoire.’
“We play with almost everybody from jazz, to rock, to pop. It is not unusual for us in this age to playing all genres of music. It is the way forward and it is the way it should be,” said Priest, a a reggae vocalist and one of the most internationally popular reggae singers since Bob Marley who has been credited for successfully managing to fuse reggae music with R&B and dancehall. “It is about appreciating all types of music and allowing yourself to grow. It is my appreciation of the art of music. I don’t want to be pigeonholed. I don’t want to be set in one genre at all let it be reggae, pop or anything.”
Saying “We are products of the evolution of jazz and rhythm and blues and that is why we do not want to label things,” Rountree said the art form began with soul, rhythm and blues, the beat and the drum” and that “All genres are connected.”
Rountree said jazz “is about a feeling and not the type of music” and that “It is the music you can feel and feel it right in the heart. It touches on all genres revolving around the jazz form. …It is feel music and how you interpret the feel.”
Both musicians concurred that live music performance is the way to go.
“Music is still finding its way. It is still finding its feet. It is moving in circles and it has come back to live music. If you can’t play live then get out,” Priest said of the trend.
“Now it is back to live music and if you can play then play. I think that is where it should be. I cooperate with everybody, wherever and whenever so long as he has a beat,” Rountree said.
Priest, whose first performance in Kampala was in 1996, ‘wowed’ his fans with his golden hits when he stepped on stage at at 10.39 PM. Among the songs he played Wild World, I Believe, Should I, and Just A Bit Longer Baby.
Jackiem Joyner, an established contemporary urban jazz, gospel and R&B instrumentalist who is also known by the stage name Lil Man Soul and Rountree joined Priest as he performed his Crazy Love, My Girl and Holiday. Maxi Priest also did his Close To You, House Call, On and On, and signed off with Prayer to the World at 12:20 AM.
The Soul Trumpeter, that is Rountree, played Every Day, In the Day and a rendition of Michael Jackson’s You Rock My World.
Joyner performed a couple of his own songs and renditions of Tevin Campbell’s Can We Talk and Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall.
Not to be left out at the concert were Ugandan legends Moses Matovu, Tony Ssenkebejje and Eddie Ganja who opened the live performances with Twali Twagalana, Amazzi Genyama, Eyali Akwagala, and Hanifa, a rendition of Johnny Bokelo’s Tambola na Mokili.
While Keys Mutebi did his late dad (Peterson Mutebi)’s hit, Nyongera ku Love, Lilian Mbabazi came on for Philly Lutaya’s Empisazo Zikyuseko. They concluded with Kyi Kyetunonya.
Proceeds from the 9th Nile Gold Jazz and Soul Safari will go The Maureen Mugoya Breast Cancer Ward at St Francis Hospital in the Nsambya neighbourhood of Kampala.