By Kalungi Kabuye
What usually happens at visiting artists ‘Meet and Greet’ parties is that first they show up very late, pose for pictures for a few minutes, and then leave.
Someone forgot to tell the jazz artists here for Friday’s Jazz Safari, because they turned the whole session into one of the finest jam sessions ever held in Kampala.
Music students at jazzville after a workshop with musicians who will play at the Jazz safari
First they held a workshop for some music students (who will never forget that night for the rest of their lives), then they got their instruments, got on stage, and played the night away.
One of the great strengths of jazz is the improvisation, where each musician plays what he wants and goes to where he wants to go.
The rest can either follow him (or in this case her), go off on a tangent, or pull him back to where they want to go. That is jamming, and that is what happened on Wednesday night at Jazzville, Bugolobi.
Formality was thrown to the winds in the true spirit of jazz, and it was everyone for themselves. It got even better when young Ugandan saxophonist Maureen Rutabingwa joined the veterans on stage, and really held her own. That really brought the house down.
When they finally left the stage, jet lag was undoubtedly kicking in, local artists including Myko Ouma, Booker and Bisaso took over the stage. It was a night like had not been seen in Kampala for a long while, and might not be seen again.
It will not even be seen on Friday at the actual concert, because the band will be playing rehearsed stuff, not the true spirit of improvisation. It was a moment when one says, ‘I was there.