Rwandan music lovers, especially those into Jazz, converged at the Serena Kigali Hotel on Friday night where they were treated to an evening of entertainment from a diverse selection of musicians at the monthly Jazz Junction. This month’s theme was dubbed ‘Divaz Jazz Experience’.
The event, which was the fifth edition was organised as a tribute concert for Neptunez Band lead female vocalist; Masha Davids Mukalazi, who performed with the band for the last time before she relocates to Kampala, Uganda to pursue her solo career.
The show kicked off at 8pm with Remmy Lubega, the band’s director, opening and welcoming the audience to the venue and immediately after, the band, led by the band’s saxophonist; Herbert Rock stepped to the stage playing the acoustic version of King James’s hit single ‘Ndagukunda’.
This performance was followed by singer Lydia Lillian Namudope’s performance alongside the band’s instrumentalists as they did renditions of various artistes including Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Ed Sheeran, among others.
Before leaving the stage, Namudope was assisted by Masha and the duo did songs like ‘Sign, Sealed, Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘Aint No Sunshine’ by Bill Withers and Adele’s ‘Skyfall’.
Mukalaza used this opportunity to thank her fans and pledge to come back bigger and better.
“Thank you so much for all your support; my fans, the band members, and friends for believing in me. It’s absurd that I’m leaving but I promise I’m going to work hard and my actions will speak. I don’t want to be forgotten,” she said.
The main guest slot was Barbra Bannett, a US citizen and a classical music tutor with vast experience in jazz and classic modern music. She was welcomed on stage at exactly 9:35pm and she performed songs like ‘This is My Story’ and ‘Amazing Grace’.
The most surprising part of Bannett’s performance was when she performed ‘My Saviour’ in Kinyarwanda. The performance didn’t only earn her a standing ovation but was the main highlight of the evening.
The annual Jazz Junction Party ended at about 10:50pm, leaving those in attendance yearning for more.
Meanwhile, Lubega revealed that the upcoming edition will be special as Neptunez band will feature Rwandan prominent artiste, Mani Martin.
The previous edition took place at the same venue and featured Uganda’s award winning singer; Maurice Kirya.
The monthly event is organized by RG-Consult Inc., a creative and events agency in Rwanda, in conjunction with Neptunez Entertainment Company.