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Standard Group, Ghetto Classics celebrate International Jazz Day

By Jacqueline Mahugu | May 1st 2021
Ghetto classics orchestra music conductor Brian Mwarika conducts classical orchestra instrumental music played by the Ghetto classics at the Standard Group headquarters Mombasa road during the celebration of International Jazz Day on April 30, 2021. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The Standard Group yesterday joined the world in celebrating the 10th International Jazz day by hosting a livestream featuring Ghetto Classics. The orchestra’s repertoire was diverse, playing songs by stars ranging from Sauti Sol to Coldplay.

The Facebook Live event, dubbed ‘Just a Bunch of Treble Makers’, was aired on different platforms including KTN News and Standard Digital.

Ghetto Classics is a musical orchestra based in Korogocho slum, Nairobi and is ran by Art of Music, which aims to transform the lives of children in Nairobi’s informal settlements. These include Huruma, Dandora and Mukuru kwa Reuben, as well as students from Farasi Lane and Muthangari Primary Schools in Nairobi.

The event highlighted renowned Kenyan jazz artists such as vocalist Marcus James Jozee aka James Gogo, who is founder of the Gogosimo Band.

“The jazz experience for me is beautiful because I have managed to meet a lot of international musicians and talk, share and change the way I think about jazz music,” said Gogo.

Other artistes feted at the event were Ricky Nanjero and his band, Ricky na Marafiki, as well as the Nairobi Horns Project (NHP).

NHP founder Mackinlay Mutsembi said that while Nairobi has a relatively strong music and jazz scene, the appreciation for music in general in the rest of the country is yet to grow. 

“The jazz industry in Kenya is still growing but of course it is now more exciting because a lot of young people have joined. More people have taken up playing instruments than before,” said Mutsembi.

The event, which viewers followed on the hashtag #boogiewithstandardentertainment, was hosted by Brian Aseli.  

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