Friday, October 05, 2012

The 319th good thing about Lagos: girls can play jazz

Last April, just looking for something to do on a Saturday night, we went over to the Muson Centre (The Musical Society of Nigeria) for an advertised concert. We knew nothing about the groups, but the bands were advertised as 5YZ Men and Girls Rule. We learned that most had been students in the Muson's music school.  We heard some some quite good jazz, as well as R&B. My experience has been that the majority of jazz groups, especially in Nigeria, are made up of men playing the instruments, sometimes with a female vocalist. But it was a nice change to hear a jazz band that was all women -- girls really -- just out of school. Yes, you could tell they were young, but they really showed some promise and had some quite talented musicians. 

Ok, you could tell the girls were female -- the "look" was important to them.  For their second set they added wigs, changed the clothes and came out singing some covers of Jackson Five and the Supremes.

The guys in 5YZ Men were older and had more experience.  They had even played at a Jazz Festival in Ohio.  The program said that they had all received acceptance and partial scholarships to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, which is a great jazz school, but, as of yet, none of them had been able to raise the funds needed to attend there.
 Nigeria is a place with some great musicians!

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