[PHOTOS] Kigali Jazz Junction returns in style

The second season of Kigali Jazz Junction opened in style with ecstatic performances by Ben Ngabo Kipeti, Hope Irakoze and Neptuzes Band over the weekend.
Herbert Rock on the saxophone. / Richard Irakoze.
Herbert Rock on the saxophone. / Richard Irakoze.

The second season of Kigali Jazz Junction opened in style with ecstatic performances by Ben Ngabo Kipeti, Hope Irakoze and Neptuzes Band over the weekend.

Unlike the previous season of Kigali Jazz Junction, the first edition of the second season was unique as organisers proved to be more creative.

Ben Ngabo Kipeti (second right) with the Neptunez band kicked off the show. / Richard Irakoze.
Hope Irakoze during his perfomance. The stage had a unique look of a garage. / Richard Irakoze.

The first thing that stood out was the stage. It was designed in form of a garage with a wide range of garage equipment like tyres, car doors and spare parts, which all delighted the revellers.


To complete the stage makeover, Neptunez band members appeared on stage putting on overalls usually donned by mechanics.


The event started at 8pm sharp and everything happened as scheduled.

About 250 people attended. / Richard Irakoze.
Thrilled fans enjoy themselves at the event. / Richard Irakoze.

Although the turn up was not very good, old school singer Ben Ngabo Kipeti took to the stage first and warmed up those who attended with a thrilling performance.

Backed by the band, the singer performed most of his popular songs including Lyangombe, Mama Ndare, Umuntu Ni Nkundi, Umulisa Par, to name but a few.

In what was a face-off between old and new school, Ngabo’s performance was followed by that of 2013 Tusker Project Fame winner Hope Irakoze, who has since made a name as a live music performer with a powerful bass.

Neptunez band did a good job preparing the ground for Irakoze, with a performance of their own. When they were done, the TPF winner took the crowd through a selection of Stevie Wonder’s groovy songs, of which the people helped him to sing along. His performance moved everyone as many failed to hide their excitement while the singer was performing. They cheered him and freely danced.

Artists Mani Martin and Nirere Shanel did not miss out on the latest version of  Kigali Jazz Junction. / Richard Irakoze.
Eric Kabera of Rwanda Film Festival also attended. / Richard Irakoze.

Irakoze also performed a few Rwandan traditional songs and some of his songs like Maria and VimbaVimba, his latest song which he ‘Jazzfied’ as he explained, to fit in the night’s theme.

“The performance was great but as you know jazz is something that our people are beginning to pick interest in,”

“This is why I had to pick some of the popular local and traditional songs and put them in jazz style. I would say the genre is picking up fast in Rwanda,” said Irakoze after performing.

The singer treated the crowd to nonstop renditions of jazz ballads for over an hour, leaving the fans yearning for more.

Remmy Lubega of RG Consult thanks the audience. / Richard Irakoze.

“The show was awesome. Both Ben Ngabo and Hope Irakoze were so good though I think there should be more time for such performances because I find two hours not really enough,”

“Event organisers need to invest much energy in promoting jazz music, but also people need to come out and support such events. Going by the attendance, a lot needs to be done,” said Jasmine Uwamahoro, one of the revellers who had attended the first edition of the second season of the Kigali Jazz Junction.

The next edition will take place in September.


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