Bez, Jagua Nana on cue for MUSON Festival

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A hail of musical and dramatic performances will be on stage at the MUSON Centre, Lagos from October 16, when the annual MUSON Festival will begin.

From the staging of Cyprian Ekwensi’s popular novel, Jaguar Nana, to a jazz feast featuring Imoleayo Balogun and Bez, among others, the festival promises a lot of fun.

The organisers say this edition has to be so intense because it is the 18th, which is considered a landmark. As a result, it is themed ‘MUSON, Coming of Age’’.

According to the General Manager/Chief Executive, MUSON, Mr. Gboyega Banjo, the society has packed memorable feats into its age that it deserves to celebrate in a special way.

He says, “There is a convention, particularly in western societies to associate 18 with the age when adolescents are generally no longer considered minors and are granted the full rights and responsibilities of an adult. A young person’s transition from childhood to adulthood is therefore referred to as a “coming of age”. In the same way, we make the claim that the 18th year of our Festival does mark a “coming of age.”

“This claim is further buttressed by the strides that the Musical Society of Nigeria has made in other areas of its core activities since it was founded in 1983. Its concerts have matured in frequency and quality. They are now held more frequently and are incrementally of higher quality and increasingly feature outstanding Nigerian artistes and performers.”

He notes that the festival will begin with ‘My Kind of Music’, the personality programme where a select cast of eminent Nigerians provide a rare glimpse of their persona to an invited audience. Against the backdrop of their favourite music, they discuss their musical preferences and how they relate to aspects of their lives, personal beliefs, philosophies and more.

“This year’s star-studded cast include the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; scion of the Awolowo family and former Nigerian Ambassador, Dr. (Mrs.) Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu; former University of Ibadan Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, and former Federal Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Chief (Mrs.) Mobolaji Osomo,” he says.

Coming as a musical, Jagua Nana is produced and directed by, Wole Oguntokun, one of Nigeria’s most consistent contemporary directors.

While an art exhibition organised by the Visual Arts Society of Nigeria will also hold on October 22, this year’s ‘Classical Concert’, featuring the MUSON Symphony Orchestra conducted by MUSON’s new Artistic Director, Composer, Cellist and Kora player, Tunde Jegede, is slated for October 19. The orchestra will perform the very popular Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin and other works by renowned international and Nigerian composers.

The organisers further note in a statement, “The MUSON Festival devotees will be treated to a new and exciting festival offering on Monday, October 20, 2014. The Society of the Performing Arts in Nigeria (an esteemed partner of MUSON is contributing to this year’s Festival programme a Dance Workshop and Concert. The workshop, which is free for all interested participants, will take place at 2pm on that day and it will focus on Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary and Latin. The Dance Concert which will follow at 6pm on the same day, will feature “IO” a mini production described as “a non-stop, breath-taking theatrical production, a merging of different genres of Arts, ranging from drama, to dance music, to spoken words and singing, to live painting” It promises, according to SPAN, to be “an entertaining, innovative, and crafted production that will keep the audience smiling and applauding through the night.”

Also on the list are the MUSON Day Concert, Gala Choral Concert and the Jazz Night.

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