Safaricom International Jazz Festival

Safaricom International Jazz Festival
  • Photo by Safaricom International Jazz Festival

Safaricom International Jazz Festival is a celebration of live jazz music held yearly and every February in Nairobi, Kenya. The week-long festival was started in 2014 under the watch of the late Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, a self-professed Jazz lover. Its foundation was inspired by the successes of Safaricom Kenya Classical Fusion and the Niko Na Safaricom (I have Safaricom) Live Concerts.

The aim of Safaricom International Jazz Festival has always been to bring together talented musicians from across the globe. Previous main acts have been Jazz greats such as Jonathan Butler, Richard Bona, Hugh Masekela, Branford Marsalis, David Sanborn, Alune Wade and Manu Dibango among others. In addition, the festival is credited for its nurturing of the Kenyan Jazz scene. Furthermore, Safaricom also hosts the Safaricom Jazz Lounge twice a year.

Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore (in red t-shirt) at the 2014 Safaricom International Jazz Festival. Photo courtesy of NMG.

The late Cameroonian Saxophonist, Manu Dibango performing at the 2018 Festival Edition. Photo Courtesy of SJIF..

An energetic crowd at a past Safaricom International Jazz Festival Event. Photo Courtesy of SJIF

All proceeds from ticket sales go towards supporting Ghetto Classics. Ghetto Classics is a non-profit, community-based programme seeking to change the lives of youth from low-income areas through live jazz and classical music. As a result, the Ghetto Classics Music Programme has already received close to KES 60 Million ( USD 563,027.40) from 2014. This amount has gone on to benefit over 1,400 children from Nairobi, Mombasa and later, Kisumu.

In 2019, the Safaricom Youth Orchestra and Ghetto Classics were lucky to be chosen as the opening act for the year’s Safaricom International Jazz Festival Edition. Worth noting is that the Safaricom Youth Orchestra is yet another musical project launched by Collymore in April 2014. The orchestra is made up of 70 children between the ages of 10-18 years from diverse backgrounds who are gifted in music.

On 1st July 2020, his widow, Wambui Kamiru Collymore and Kenyans marked the first anniversary of Bob Collymore’s death with the hashtag #CelebratingBob The Bob Collymore Foundation has since been set up.

See also The Hoperaisers Initiatives

Address & Contact Details

Michael Joseph Centre - Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya.

Opening Hours

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