A Gospel According to Jazz
Rarely does one have the privilege of being in the presence of unashamedly God-worshipping musicians who have mastered their craft, won countless awards and accolades, toured the world, mentored other musicians to greatness, and still express themselves in a down-to-earth way that speaks humility at all levels. Mine was last Thursday as I soaked in Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown, Gerald Albright, Shelea, Kevin Whalum and John Stoddart perform alongside Kenya’s AfroSync Band.
This was part of the Safaricom International Jazz Festival, at A Gospel According to Jazz concert at Carnivore Gardens, Nairobi.
AfroSync Band was picked from a pool of over 40 bands to be the opening act. Once they got on stage and started playing, we had no doubts they were the best pick.
MacKinlay Musembi donned a Kenyan scarf on his trumpet, leaving no mistake where his heart is.
George Mutinda was on percussion and had much fun expressing his passion.
Tim Riungu on sax.
Zach Amunga was on keys. The low position I had while shooting and his placement on stage didn’t allow me to get a good shot of him playing.
After a short break, the main acts got on stage and all of a sudden, we found ourselves in church.
John Stoddart was brilliant on keys. At one point, he played us the song he sung to his wife on their wedding day!
Kevin Whalum and Shelea.
One of the highlights of the concert was when Kevin Whalum sang about loving God in child-like way, using words that though incomprehensible are a genuine expression of love.
Kirk teared up when he spoke about the mass shootings that have rocked the US. We’re praying with you Kirk.
Many of us didn’t know until she told us: Shelea was on the ‘Jumping the Broom’ soundtrack!
We were approximately 2,000 people in attendance and everyone had fun.
This was definitely several notches above the last Safaricom Jazz concert in February. At this pace, I’m already looking forward to the next one.
You can view more photos here.