Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The 170th good thing about Lagos: Visiting musicians joining with local musicians

The USS Nashville has left Lagos now, but last week the Navy brass quintet that they had brought into town treated us to a concert at the Muson center with some different music than what they had performed at the school. I jump at every cultural opportunity I can get here -- and these were really fine musicians, so I welcomed the chance to hear them again. During the week they were in town, they performed at other schools besides the American school and made time to do a lot of outreach. The first half of the concert they performed a variety of music and then in the second half of the concert, they welcomed to the stage the Nigerian navy band. This group was miles away from the US group in musical quality, but matched them with enthusiasm. I thought it was nice that they were able to even field a band, because getting instruments and musical instruction here is very difficult. The mostly Nigerian audience really enjoyed the Navy band's music selections.

After the Nigerian navy band left the stage, the US Navy musicians returned to the stage and invited some Nigerian musicians to join them on the stage in a jam session. They had held a master class that day with local brass musicians and they were at the concert with their instruments. This was really fun to see and they did a great job jamming together. One of the Nigerian trumpeters was especially good.

They closed with a rousing jam session of "When the Saints Come Marching In" that got our New Orleans native Counsel General and some of the consulate staff on stage dancing and clapping in appreciation.

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