Kenya: Nairobi Turns Out in Thousands for the Inaugural Bob Collymore International Jazz Festival 2023

Music is often described as the art of sound. It expresses the ideas and emotions of the musician in different forms. You end up feeling the emotion the musician is conveying. In the end, it brings us together and connects us together no matter the distance, language or borders.

Former Safaricom CEO the late Bob Collymore loved music and not just any, but Jazz. He was a fine Saxophone player, who loved playing playing Louis Armstrong’s It is A Wonderful World among many other jazzy tunes. Because of this, he initiated the Safaricom Jazz Festival, which saw several of the world’s biggest Jazz artists perform in Nairobi and in turn became one of Nairobi’s most loved day time event- a must attend.

Its exactly four years since his passing and in his honor and love for the transformative power of music, The BC International Jazz Festival an initiative by the Bob Collymore Foundation held its inaugural Jazz Festival on July 1st 2023 at the Carnivore grounds. Thousands of Nairobians turned up for the event, which had an all star Kenyan line up of the finest Jazz artists in Kenya.

Bob was very passionate about music and its impact on the world around us and one of Bob’s greatest wishes, according to Bob Collymore Foundation, was to see Nairobi host one of the region’s largest Jazz Festivals. For him, music made a difference, not just through the experience of it but the potential to change the world, one beat at a time.

Jazz has been part of the Kenyan fabric since the 1960s, however in the 2010s, it rose to prominence as a direct result of Bob Collymore’s interest in the genre through the immensely popular Safaricom International Jazz Festival experiences. Today, Jazz has evolved the Kenyan music experience, taking its place as a premier Festival experience for audiences, young and old and this is why the BCIJF is keen to carry on his legacy to building bridges and make music more accessible to people from all walks of life.

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