Saturday night was a special day for Jazz lovers.
On the line-up, music revellers were looking forward to spine-tingling performances from a number of acts that include the internationally acclaimed Kirk Whalum, who was making his maiden appearance in Botswana.For a second year in a row, the scintillating and award winning Jonathan Butler was in the line-up, having performed last year at the same festival. His return clearly proved that he had fallen in love with the local audience and found a third home in Botswana.
Even though the weather was in a bad mood, jazz lovers were not bothered but came dressed for any eventuality and were ready to dance the night away. Hosted at the Stanbic Bank Piazza, other acts for the night included Canadian based Trinity Mpho, Lionheart who is based in the U.K, and Elemotho to mention a few.
A night to remember for many jazz lovers, the event marked the first time that Whalum and Butler were sharing the stage on home soil. And they did not disappoint. Whalum with his saxophone and Butler with his guitar were a marvel to watch, leaving their fans with goose bumps.
Butler, who has mastered the art of dishing out great music, began his performance with his beautifully titled Many Faces from his 2002 album titled Surrender. For those who know one or two of his songs, it was a magical moment to hear and see him perform this song and many others. He would later go on to invite Whalum with his sax to come on stage and the duo produced magic.
Whalum, an American smooth jazz saxophonist and songwriter, declared on stage that he had to wait for an invitation before he came to Botswana and that he was inviting himself back to the country in future. Narrating a story of how he toured with Whitney Houston for a number of years, it was a special moment for those who appreciate and understand what jazz is all about. He explained that during his time with the legendary Houston, they had a number of conversations about God. One of the songs that he performed was his version of I will always love you from his recently released album titled hashtag love cover.
The song, originally sung by Dolly Paton, was a beautiful reminder of the legend that Houston has become. Namibian-born Elemotho was another marvel on the night. And at 40 years-old, he still has the energy to pull off some dance moves. However, a sad development with the show was the low turnout, with many white and black seats left un-occupied. The general seats were even worse. And some even wondered why those who were at the back were not upgraded to the golden circle seating instead of making it look like they were attending a totally different show.