Highlife music, a fusion of African traditional rhythms, Latin/Carribean melodies and Big band swing jazz, will come to life again in Lagos as a tribute concert is set to hold in honour of five of the greatest vocalists of the golden age.
The concert, which is slated for Saturday October 19, will showcase the works of Bobby Benson, Tunde Osofisan, Celestine Ukwu, Rex Lawson and Inyang Henshaw – all performed by the West African Highlife Collective which will be led by 91-year-old percussionist and Highlife veteran, Tony ‘Akatakpo’ Odili.
The West African Highlife Collective is a global gathering of Highlife’s veterans and it has performed internationally and locally, notable of which is Felabration.
‘The Cafe of Dreams’, a film celebrating the Dolphin Cafe, one of Nigeria’s greatest ever Highlife dance-halls of the golden age (1955 – 1967) will screen before the commencement of the concert, according to the information made available to TCN by the organisers.
Highlife music is a fusion of African traditional rhythms and Latin/Caribbean melodies and Big Band Swing Jazz. In its heyday in the 1950s and early 1960s, it dominated West Africa’s ballrooms and dance halls, and “could truly be termed West Africa’s musical lingua franca.”
Saturday’s concert aims to showcase the works of a few of the greatest vocalists of the golden age of Big Band Highlife and bring vigour back into the high life scene.