Angolan Semedo for Jazz Safari

Saturday July 15 2017

Angolan diva Yola Moutofa Coimbra Semedo

Angolan diva Yola Moutofa Coimbra Semedo popularly known as Yola Semedo will be the headline act at this year’s Johnnie Walker Jazz and Soul Safari. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By The EastAfrican
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Angolan diva Yola Moutofa Coimbra Semedo popularly known as Yola Semedo will be the headline act at this year’s Johnnie Walker Jazz and Soul Safari that will also feature American saxophonist Marcus Anderson.

The event will be held on September 2, at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala under the theme Wear your dancing shoes.

Proceeds from this year’s edition will go towards the Jazz Safari ward the organisers of the event helped set up at Nsambya Hospital in Kampala and sponsorship of the National 50 Overs Cricket League — aptly named The Jazz Safari National Cricket League.

Semedo, a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and music producer is regarded as one of the finest exponents of the Angolan genres of Kizomba, semba and zouk.

The songstress is most well known for her 2014 album Filho Meu and some of her popular singles are Voce Me Abana, Volta Amor and Nao Entendo.

Semedo, who was born on May 8, 1978, in the municipality of Lobito, Benguela province in Angola, is the lead singer for the Impactus 4 family band, composed of four siblings, founded in 1982 in Lobito, by Orlando Mendes Semedo , their father.

Semedo, whose performances also include genres like pop, jazz, neo-soul and R&B was the big winner at the third edition of the Angola Music Awards (AMA), held on May 30, 2015, in Saurimo, Angola.

The singer earned four statuettes, including Best Female Artist and Album of the Year. She also won Best Kizomba for Volta Amor and Best Semba for Você me abana.

For the jazz aficionados, Anderson will showcase his best of jazz-funk and soul as one of the world’s most sought-after saxophonists.   

Not only is Anderson a very popular solo performer with eight albums to date, and has accompanied acts such as CeeLo Green and Judith Hill, he has also featured as a saxophonist with the late Prince’s New Power Generation.

In addition to playing the sax and flute, Anderson plays the piano, bass, is a singer, a writer, a choreographer, a producer and horn arranger.

Announcing the Johnnie Walker partnership, Uganda Breweries’ whisky brand manager, Annette Nakiyaga said: “Johnnie Walker is a brand that represents continuity and success, which is what the Jazz and Soul Safari stands for.

American saxophonist Marcus Anderson. PHOTO |

American saxophonist Marcus Anderson. PHOTO | COURTESY

It has been the pick of events on the entertainment calendar for the nine years of its existence, in much the same way that Johnnie Walker has stood out as the whisky of choice over the ages.”

Speaking on behalf of Stanbic Bank, Sonia Karamagi Kasagga the Bank’s senior manager for marketing said, “We are extremely proud to be associated with an event with such a rich and illustrious history.

"The Jazz and Soul Safari is one of East Africa’s leading musical properties having featured some of the world’s greatest musicians.”

He has has extensively in the US and around the world. His albums include the Marcus Anderson Xperience (M.A.X. Live in Concert) a 2015 limited edition CD celebrating his tenth anniversary performing and recording as a solo act.

The 2015 CD, And Coffee, is an ode to and for coffee lovers, celebrating the launch of Marcus’s recent coffee brand of the same name. The single, A Cup of Joe, received the highest honours as Number 1 on Billboard Smooth Jazz and Number 1 on SirusXM Radio Watercolours.

Recently, Marcus released, My Inspiration, his first solo inspirational CD.

Anderson has achieved many accolades along the way, including a North Carolina Gospel Announcers’ Prestige Award for Gospel Jazz Artist of the Year, thus displaying his musical diversity.

He has performed for President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson, amongst other dignitaries.

As a solo artist, Anderson has been honoured to open for and join on stage artists such as Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway, Brian Culbertson, Esperanza Spaulding, Peter White, Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, George Duke, Wynton Marsalis, Alex Bugnon and Nnenna Freelon.

As the one of the top cultural events on the local calendar the organisers of Jazz and Soul Safari which turns ten this year are switching things up to celebrate the milestone.

World-revered whisky Johnnie Walker is the new title sponsor, hence the event being renamed the Johnnie Walker Jazz and Soul Safari.