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Abuja’s jazzy night with U.S. Navy band & Age Beeka

Nigeria was not left out this year as she joined the rest of the world in that celebration last weekend. Thrilling guests were the Top…

Nigeria was not left out this year as she joined the rest of the world in that celebration last weekend. Thrilling guests were the Top Brass part of the Nepal, Italy, U.S. Navy Band and Nigeria’s own Age Beeka. The brass band which is an ensemble that specialises in classical, jazz and military music made a grand entry into the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, with a solemn rendition of the hymnal, ‘Just a closer walk with thee’.

They set the pace for the evening which rolled into a jazzy night as the band along with Age Beeka provoked some nostalgia through popular tunes from the era where music was an escape route for the mind from the sufferings of black slaves.

There was a rendition of Mel Brooks’ “The lazy settlers” which got the audience feet-tapping and fingers-snapping. This was followed by the hip hop version of folk song, ‘Midnight in Moscow’ which was originally from Russia but was made popular by an English jazz band.

Although it was a band comprising wind instruments, they amazed the elated audience with customised melodies cutting across different music genres, so much so that even children had their fair bit of fun as they danced to tunes from Mary Poppins.

The U.S. Missions to Nigeria in a release said, “This month, we are pleased to welcome the U.S. Navy band, Top Brass, to Nigeria to help us celebrate Black History month with American music, which is profoundly influenced by the African-American experience.

According to records on the marking of this celebration, “The remembrance was founded in 1926 by United States historian Carter G. Woodson as “Negro History Week”. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African-Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass. The celebration was later extended to a month in 1976.  

It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in the month of October.

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