BY SAM ANOKAM
In line with the vision of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State to transform the state into a tourism hub in Africa ,the first ever Bayelsa International Jazz Festival slated for December 7, was unveiled recently inYenagoa, the state capital.
This was disclosed by Dr. Enokie Bribena, Managing Director, Bayelsa Hotels and Tourism Development Company Limited. Bribena who spoke on behalf of the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation , DN. Mackson Fefegha, said that the maiden edition of the jazz festival with the theme: Rhythm of Life is packaged as part of plan to market the tourism potentials of the state.
According to him, “Africa Movie Academy Awards, the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant, and the National Festivals of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) and the resultant effects of these events have been tremendous to say the least.”
Zeroing in on the jazz festival, Director General of Bayelsa State Tourism Development Agency, Mrs. Ebizi Ndiomu Brown stated that the choice of jazz music as a genre to drive this process is informed by the rising profile of jazz music locally and internationally.
She explains further, “Jazz music is enjoying quality patronage by the elite and even the upwardly mobile young men and women climbing the corporate ladder.
On hand to thrill fans at the festival are Hugh Masekela, the African Jazz music Icon and Somi, the Rwandan born America based Jazz music super star. On the home front, several other Jazz artistes and a Brass band from Cotonou will also entertain Jazz music lovers.
Mrs Brown also stated that the jazz Festival will help to deepen and expand the tourism bouquet of Bayelsa State by promoting sustainable and responsible tourism in the state.
“There is no gainsaying that an event such as the Jazz music fiesta we intend to organise will without doubt expand the economic fortunes of the state due to the multipliers effect that the event will generate. What we are doing today with the Jazz Festival is laying a solid foundation for global acceptance of Bayelsa State as a tourism destination in Africa.” She added.