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Ivory & Gold vows grand ‘Ragtime Jazz’ festival

As the ‘Ragtime jazz’ festival moves towards the end, a grand gala event for jazz fans has been set for today, June 18 at Serena Hotel-Kigali.
(L-R) Danny Coots, Anne Barnhart and Jeff Barnhart.
(L-R) Danny Coots, Anne Barnhart and Jeff Barnhart.

As the ‘Ragtime jazz’ festival moves towards the end, a grand gala event for jazz fans has been set for today, June 18 at Serena Hotel-Kigali.

With a line up of revered performers among them the Ivory & Gold, a USA based jazz band composed of three members, Jeff Barnhart on piano and vocals, Anne Barnhart on flute and Danny Coots on drums, the hope is that the festival will be a memorable one.

The show will see some of our own Mutsar’s band, a group of female drummers from Butare and Rwanda’s Belgium based artist, Ben Ngabo taking part.

Local comic, Atome will also have a lot more to explore and set for greater heights as he maintains his originality.
The grand concert will start at 7:00 p.m, with a movie presented by actor/producer Eric Kabera— entrance at Rfw15000.

Ivory & Gold was born in 2001, first carving out a reputation as a talented husband-and-wife (Jeff Barnhart and Anne Barnhart) team. Today, the band celebrates the greatest examples of American jazz, ragtime, Broadway and gospel hits.

The band has toured nearly 100 countries across the world.
Ragtime, as a style of music is approximately around 120 years old and started in the United States, but influenced by African rhythms.

In an interview, Jeff told The New Times that the style was initiated by the fled slaves in America after their Civil War, who incorporated their rhythms into American music, shifting the rhythms and making  it their own music and all a sudden this new music of ‘ragtime’ came well with very steady beats.

The band was invited by the Swiss Bureau of Cooperation, in collaboration with Eric Kabera of the film festival to perform in the country.

“When we were invited, we certainly jumped to the chance. We thought how much fun it would be and Rwanda being a strategic place with strong and positive effects…the country is already doing well,” Jeff said.

He added that the band also had an opportunity to work with one of Rwanda’s successful musicians, Ben Ngabo, who taught them the country’s rhythms and the forms of music.

“We find it exciting to integrate Rwanda’s music with ragtime, the fusion will create an extraordinary sound and music,” he said.

Well, it remains to be seen, as Jeff assures variety, diversity, extreme fan and the type of music that has never been heard before.

“It will all be made up from the spot. What will happen tonight, will only happen once and never happen again,” he vows.


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