French zouk singer Slai coming to Kigali

Saturday February 2 2019

Patrice Sylvestre aka Slai

French zouk singer and songwriter Slai (Patrice Sylvestre) will be the headline act at the Kigali Jazz Junction February Edition. PHOTO | COURTESY 

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French zouk singer and songwriter Slai (real name Patrice Sylvestre) will be the headline act at the Kigali Jazz Junction February Edition to be held at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village (Camp Kigali). The event will be Slai's first performance in Rwanda.

The 45-year-old singer is one of the world's most renowned French musician with his distinctive zouk sound.

He has released six albums -- Fresh, Slai, Escale, Cara, Caraibes, Double Six and Florilege. Florilege was number 14 in French albums charts and was certified double gold.

With hits songs like Flame and La Derniere danse (ne rentre pas chez toi ce soir) and other 70 songs to his name, Slai has enjoyed a music career spanning over two decades and is considered one of France's best Zouk singers.

He has collaborated with Leila Meyn, David Diaz, Melissa Nkonda, Teri Moise, Fanny, Claudine Pennont, DDK and Tanya Saint Val among others.

With Guadeloupean ancestry, Slai was born and bred in the suburbs of Paris but spent his adolescent years in Guadeloupe before finally returning to France in 1996. It was in Guadeloupe that he picked the West Indian musical culture that led him to zouk.


Slai will be performing alongside Rwandan artists Yverry and the Neptunez Band, the resident band of Kigali Jazz Junction.

“We had been pursuing Slai for some time now to perform in Kigali because he topped the audience's wishlist of the artists they wanted to see at the Jazz Junction. It will be the first time for RG Consult to host an artiste from France. So, the zouk and kizomba lovers should expect to have a great time. Jazz lovers will have their time with the Neptunez Band,” said Remmy Lubega, the chief executive of RG Consult, a Kigali-based creative, production and event management company that also brought Don Moen to Kigali in January.

Lubega says that the February edition is a precursor of other events planned for 2019 that will take Kigali Jazz Junction “a notch higher than what we had last year with Zahara (South Africa), Ringo (South Africa), the late Oliver Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe) and Mbilia Bel (DR Congo).”

The Kigali Jazz Junction February will also observe a moment of silence in memory of Oliver Mtukudzi who headlined the event late last year. A proper tribute show for the Zimbabwean musician is scheduled later on in the year, during the International Jazz Day celebrations in April. Half the show is planned in honour of Mtukudzi's influence and importance in the African music scene.

The Kigali Jazz Junction February Edition will open its doors at 7.30pm. The tickets are going for Rwf10,000 ($11) for an ordinary ticket, Rwf20,000 ($22) for a VIP ticket, Rwf30,000 ($ 33) for a VVIP ticket and Rwf240,000($267) for a VVIP table of eight.