Travel and tourism is expected to receive a boost as Nigeria joins the rest of the global community to celebrate the 2016 International Jazz Festival.
The festival which is a brainchild of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be held in Lagos and will feature Grammy award winners and jazz icons such as Lekan Babalola- two-time co-Grammy winner with the Eko Brass Band, Dare Art-Alade, Yinka Davies and Herbert Kunle Ajayi.
Others are Bright Gain, Adeh and the Spectacle Band-Afrojazz guitar Supremo, Ubong Ntia, Sam and the Jazz Apostles, featuring Dera, Dotun Bankole Band, Victor Ademofe Band, Omolara, Dapo Fasuyi, and Organic Jazz.
Lagos on World Tourism Map
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode who will be hosting an Evening of Jazz at the State House in Ikeja, has expressed optimism that the activities lined up for the forthcoming Lagos International Jazz Day will go a long way to showcase the tourism potentials of the State to the World.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja when he played host to some of the groups collaborating with the State government on the forthcoming concert, said apart from being the financial and commercial hub of Nigeria, his administration would work hard to equally transform Lagos to the tourism hub of Africa.
“We want to emulate and even surpass the International Jazz Festival in Cape Town, South Africa and then be on the world stage and that is the significance of this collaboration that we have decided to go into; during the electioneering campaign, we did promise that we will use entertainment and arts, tourism and sports to propel Lagos to the next level and this is one of the ways through which we hope to achieve that. We want to use entertainment to grow our economy, create jobs for the people and create that global picture of what Lagos is.”
“Like you are all aware, Lagos is the financial and commercial hub of Nigeria and we want to be the tourism hub of Africa and we are going to use the Jazz family to start that journey and that is why we are hosting the concert here at the Lagos House,” Ambode said.
The groups on the courtesy visit include Lagos International Jazz Festival Group, Runway Jazz and Satchmo Jazz.
Leader of the delegation and Chief Executive Director of Inspiro Productions, Mr Ayoola Shadare said Jazz had gone beyond just music, but a veritable instrument that can be used to grow the economy if properly managed.
South African example
According to Mr Shadare, the South African government generated over a billion Rand from the Cape Town Jazz Festival; Lagos could do far better if properly managed.
He, however, appreciated Governor Ambode for showing genuine interest in the Jazz Festival, especially with the massive concert billed to take place at the Lagos House on April 30.
Similarly, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde has declared readiness of the State government to successfully organize the concert.
Ayorinde, while addressing a press briefing on the festival, recalled the success recorded by the State government on the One Lagos Fiesta, a countdown music and entertainment show used to usher in the New Year, 2016 which was held simultaneously in five locations across the state for the first time and said the Jazz Festival was equally designed to give a quantum leap to the tourism potentials of the state.
“It will be an exclusive but colourful evening to identify with UNESCO initiative, welcome an array of Nigerian Jazz musicians to perform at the State House and to share the warm hospitality of Lagos State with the Jazz community,” the Commissioner said.
He said the concert being put together by the State government was in sync with a similar concert being put together by the United States President, Barrack Obama at the White House on April 29, adding that the hash tag of the day would be #LagosAmboJazz.
UNESCO in 2011 declared every April 13, as the International Jazz Day.