1st November, 2013
South African Jazz legend, Hugh Masekela will be leading other jazz greats at the maiden edition of Bayelsa International Jazz Festival billed to kick off on 7 December in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Joining Masekela during the festival to liven up the oil-rich state are some of the most admired jazz legends in the world including America’s Somi, Bright Gain, Gangbe Brass Band (Benin Republic), Lekan Babalola and the Afro Jazz Messengers (United Kingdom) and Nigeria’s diva Ego Ogbaro.
Speaking on the jazz festival, Mackson Fefegha, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation said the festival with the theme: Rhythm of Life, is being organised as a deliberate and strategic plan to market the tourism potentials of the state.
“In the last eight months, we have hosted a couple of events including the African Movie Academy Awards, the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant, and the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) and the effect of these events have been tremendous, to say the least,” he said.
Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, Director General, Bayelsa State Tourism Development Agency, added that the state decided to choose jazz as a music genre for the festival because of the rising profile of the genre locally and internationally.
“Jazz music is enjoying quality patronage by the elite and even the upwardly mobile young men and women climbing the corporate ladder. From New Orleans where Jazz music took its roots, the gospel of jazz music is spreading like wild fire in the harmattan. We believe that our jazz festival will help to deepen and expand the tourism bouquet of Bayelsa State by promoting sustainable and responsible tourism in the state,” Ndiomu-Brown said.
P.M.NEWS Entertainment Cafe learnt that apart from jazz music enthusiasts from other parts of the country, the target audience for the festival will include tourists from far and wide, expatriates in the oil fields, Nigerians in the Diaspora, the diplomatic corps, and government officials at both the federal and state levels.