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Music of Friday, 30 April 2004


Seyi Solagbade ?Shakes? Alliance Francaise

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The fusion and blending of a variety of music to introduce new creations has in recent times assumed amazing proportions.

Last week, yet another interesting fusion was exhibited at Alliance Francaise in Accra by the young Nigerian multi ? instrumentalist Seyi Solagbade and his Black Face Band, who performed some his recent compositions in a powerful and magnetic concert.

With a dramatic blending of Jazz, Afro Beat, Funk, Juju and popular Nigerian music, the group delighted the capacity audience with music that appears hard but nevertheless maintains a soft nature.

The thirteen piece band included a lady dancer/backing vocalist who employed an array of instruments including the saxophone, trombone, trumpet and a set of Western and traditional African drums.

Solagbade?s lyrics comprise subtle comments on the current social-economic situation in Africa, HIV/AIDS, investments, health and other issues that tend to create awareness and the need for a concerted effort to confront these problems.

Moved by the captivating music and stagecraft of Solagbade, a number of people jumped to the dancing floor as the rest of the audience joined in singing after being urged on by the musician.

Earlier, the internationally acclaimed Nigerian saxophonist, Orlando Julius, who is currently in Accra for a number of projects exhibited his prowess at the saxophone with wild rhythms that seemed to shift from note to note with great intensity.

Born in the early 1970s, Solagbade, begun his career as a singer in a Lagos church, a move which helped nurture him into a career that has also become an obsession.

After a number of experiments with all kinds music, Solagbade, who plays eighteen musical instruments, formed the Black Face Band in 1994 in a bid to further develop and promote Nigerian music.

Consequently, the group undertook a highly successful performance tour of several Nigerian cities which earned them massive respect as they endeared themselves to the hearts of music fans.

Black Face Band is currently on a West African Tour with scheduled concerts in Lome, Cotonou, Bobo Diolasso, Ouagadougou and Bamako.

The concert was organised, sponsored and presented by Alliance Francaise and the French Embassy in Accra.

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