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Cameroonian jazz musician Manu Dibango is expected to headline Safaricom’s International Jazz Day celebrations on the 1st May.

Dibango is well-known for his Grammy Award-winning track Soul Makossa that topped the charts in 1973 and went on to be sampled by various musicians including the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and Rihanna.

With over 40 albums and several film soundtracks to his name, Dibango has enjoyed a music career spanning several continents over five decades, during which he has worked with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrel and the late, great, Grammy Award nominee  Hugh Masekela.

Bob Collymore, Festival Founder and Safaricom C.E.O said that it was a privilege and a dream come true to host Manu Dibango kicking off the events that will lead to the 6th edition of the Safaricom International Jazz Festival next year.

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“Not only is he well known and loved world over, he brings to our stage an energy and fire that has been well stoked through a lifetime of passion for jazz, and puts us in the same league as some of the biggest jazz festivals on the continent,” he added.

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Dibango will be joined on stage by his band, the Soul Makossa Gang and a sterling line-up of Kenyan jazz artists including Mwai & The Truth, Afrosync, Edward Parseen & The Different Faces Band, James Gogo, Swahili Jazz Band, Chris Bittok and Eddie Grey.

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Also set to perform are husband and wife duo Jacob & Kavutha Asiyo, Sham si Music, Limericks, Mambo Tribe, Ghetto Classics and Nairobi Horns Project, who will be performing with Africa Plus from South Africa.

Collymore stated that it will be an opportunity to honour local jazz talent that have been on the Safaricom International Jazz Festival stage previously.

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“They have played a big role in making this event what it is today, so it’s only fitting that we celebrate them in this way,” said Mr. Collymore.

The company marked the 5th anniversary of the Safaricom International Jazz Festival last month which has since 2014 donated close to 40 million shillings in proceeds from the event to the Ghetto Classics music programme.

The funds have been used in expansion of music programmes for over 1400 underprivileged boys and girls in Nairobi and Mombasa with the aim of nurturing talent and providing them with an alternative source of recreation and income.

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