Traditionally as part of the annual MUSON Festival, there is a Jazz nite component where an international Jazz artiste is billed to be the headline act for the event. However this year’s edition tagged Hi-life Nite sponsored by Midwestern Oil and Gas was different as two home based legends Dr. Victor Olaiya and Sir Victor Uwaifo headlined.
The venue was the Shell Hall of the MUSON Centre and it was a dinner/dance affair with veteran promoter, broadcaster and journalist Benson Idonije on hand to conduct the proceedings as compere for the evening.
The evening started with a new revelation on the live music circuit, The Girls Rule Jazz Band, an all girls ensemble of 7 instrumentalists who delighted the audience with familiar tunes that were well received.
Next on was the ‘Evil Genius’ of High-life himself Dr. Victor Olaiya with his band of over 40 years serenading the audience with hit after hit from his wide selection of songs.
His signature white handkerchief was of course at hand and once in a while you heard him croon “Bo bo bo bonsue”. To the delight of all he had two of his sons Bayode (a banker with one of the leading new generation banks) and Biodun on trumpet and of course as his hype men.
At 71, the next act Sir Victor Uwaifo did not show any signs of ageing. His moves on stage belied all that as he moved acrobatically from one end of the stage to the other doing many things people half his age would have contemplated twice before attempting. Ever the showman, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist moved from instrument to instrument starting off his performance with the flute then his invention the spinning guitar and the trumpet.
His one hour performance was electrifying as he added another dimension to it by introducing two young dancers who executed perfectly choreographed steps to his playing. He of course closed his set with two of his popular tracks ‘Joromi’ and ‘Guitar Boy’ to the roaring crowd’s delight.
The All Girls Rule Jazz band came up again to roundup the event, but thing weren’t quite finished yet as they started playing Dr. Olaiya’s tunes which prompted him to join them on stage. The obviously emotionally Olaiya couldn’t resist this movement and he reached into his pocket to bring out his signature white handkerchief and a bale of naira notes which he started ‘spraying’ the ladies.
The music moved to another level and Dr. Uwaifo joined the fray and was also ‘assaulted’ by Sir Olaiya’s naira bonanza to the delight of the audience who by then had gathered in front of the stage dancing. For what perhaps was the first time in a long time, the two Victors played together their tunes backed by the all girls rule jazz band and true to the payoff of the Muson Hi Life Nite 2011…Two Victors No Vanquished.