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AFRO4 Band leads invasion of Bremen, Germany with ‘Jazz from Africa’ at Jazzhead! 2024

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  • April 11, 2024
  • 4 min read
AFRO4 Band leads invasion of Bremen, Germany with ‘Jazz from Africa’ at Jazzhead! 2024

By Editor

AFRO4 Band (Nigeria), a band comprising three Nigerians and a South African, will feature today, April 11, 2024 at the Jazzahead! 2024 – a global platform for jazz performers and enthusiasts which holds in Germany every year. Jazzahead! 2024 brings together musicians, industry professionals, and jazz enthusiasts from around the globe. It is a unique convergence of a trade fair, conference and showcase festival. In 2023, it brought together 2,800 professionals from 51 nations across various sectors, including artists, bookers, labels, agencies and more.

The Nigerian band, comprising Bright Gain – Nigeria (bass), Adewale S. Adeyemi – Nigeria (leader, drums) – Yamaha Brand Ambassador, Luyanda Madope – South Africa (piano/keyboards) and Victor Ademofe – Nigeria (trumpet/flugelhorn/percussion) is the first to feature at Jazzahead!

According to the bass player/engineer, Peter Fisher, who facilitated the representation, “For the first time, the continent of Africa has been awarded three out of the eight slots at the ‘Overseas’ showcase dedicated to emerging jazz bands/artists. A jury of African jazz practitioners, together with Jazzahead! Artistic Director, Goetz Buhler, had narrowed the applications down to 20 from all corners of the continent before selecting the final three which are AFRO4 Band (Nigeria), Alune Wade (Senegal), and Christine Kamau (Kenya). Also for the first time, a dedicated Africa Jazz umbrella stand where artists, promoters and media participated was made available to meet with global jazz music stakeholders.”

Also, for the first time, there is a dedicated AFRICA JAZZ umbrella stand where artists, promoters, media participate will be available to meet with global jazz music stakeholders.

Tracing the origin of the band, Fisher, wrote: “October 2023, Lagos, Nigeria, I receive an e-invite to a listening party of the debut album for a new group called AFRO4 Band. On closer inspection, I recognized the images of three of the members, whom I had met over the last 6-7 years while I was working on my African Jazz radio show, “Jazz and Conversations”. What I heard that day at the listening party was a sound that had been sculpted to appeal across all generations and also across the African continent. They had re-worked the music of some of the greatest music icons from yesteryears on the African continent such as Miram Makeba, Prince Nico Mbaga, and Ebenezer Obey, and created a sound to connect both the old and young generation. The members of the band are masters on their instruments with more than one hundred plus years combined of playing and performing their craft.”

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Bassist, Bright Gain (left); Pianist, Luyanda Madope; trumpeter, Victor Ademofe and drummer, Wale Adeyemion arrival in Bremen, Germany

While speaking in an interview, Managing Partner and Executive Producer of AFRODYSSEY Music Ltd and the band, Geoffrey Kwale, said, “AFRO4 has a special interest in projecting the diverse African genres that reflect the continent’s traditional music, though jazz influenced. We are focused on the various sounds of Africa as a whole, taking you on an African ‘sonic journey’, also stressing that “the time has come for Africa to play its music with a global flavour, celebrating ‘African standards’ as performed by the great African musicians from the past”

The ‘Jazz from Africa’ project was initiated by a group of prominent jazz figures on the African continent, and aims to showcase the diversity and vitality of African jazz, and highlights the unique voices and perspectives that emerge from the continent. The collective includes Peter Fisher from Nigeria, Dudu Sarr from Senegal, Walter Wanyanya from Zimbabwe, Claire Diboa from Cameroon, Mantwa Chinoamadi and Lesley Wells from South Africa, Amro Salah from Egypt, as well as Julia Kastl and Stefanie Schumann from Germany. As part of this initiative, AFRO4 Band has come to fill the world with sensational jazz. The band has a mandate to do music beyond the conventional Afrobeat, because there is so much more to African music than Afrobeat, considering the varieties of genres within the African music. The ‘Jazz from Africa’ initiative is also aimed at fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of African jazz within the global jazz community.

Kwale summed up the experience thus, “For us at AFRODYSSEY Music Ltd, we feel gratified that we will be participating at jazzahead! 2024. That our main act AFRO4 BAND is selected to represent Africa is most exhilarating. We especially feel very happy that these four great musicians in Bright Gain, Wale Adeyemi, Luyanda Madope and Victor Ademofe will be in Germany to make all of Africa proud.”

More information about Jazzahead can be obtained at https://www.jazzahead.de/en while visitors from the African jazz scene can join the Africa Jazz stand (Booth #: 6E40)by registering at https://www.jazzahead.de as co-exhibitors on the stand.

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