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A New Artistic Director For MUSON

Music News

A New Artistic Director For MUSON

As the 18th edition of the annual MUSON Festival approaches, the Musical Society of Nigeria, MUSON Centre, Lagos has announced Tunde_Jegede4Tunde Jegede as its new artistic director.
Jegede who assumed duties at Nigeria’s prime art facility, last week, is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and musician par excellence. He takes over from Thomas Kanitz, a German, who was noted for his exemplary service while at the Centre.
Born in 1972 to a Nigerian father and an Irish mother, Jegede had his education at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (1990-1992) and Purcell School of Music (1981-1999). His appreciation of African Diasporic culture was initiated and nurtured at the famous Keskidee Centre, Britain’s first Black Arts Centre. From an early age he was exposed to resident and visiting artists who worked in a multi-disciplinary mode such as Bob Marley, Walter Rodney, Edward Braithwaite, Angela Davis and Linton Kwesi Johnson. It was here, his path as an artist began.
Jegede’s apprenticeship in African music began in 1978 and was further developed in 1982 when he first went to the Gambia to study the ancient Griot tradition of West Africa, with Amadu Bansang Jobarteh, Master of the Kora (the Harp-Lute found in West Africa). The Jobarteh family are one of five principle musician families within this unique hereditary Oral tradition, which dates back to at least the 13th century.
His appreciation of Western Classical music began with his grandfather’s love of Bach and by observing his work as a church Organist. Tunde also studied Cello from the age of eight and over the years was taught by esteemed luminaries from the Classical world including: Alfia Bekova, Elma de Bruyne, Joan Dickson and Raphael Wallfisch at the Purcell School of music and later the Guildhall School of music.
In 1988 he became fascinated with Jazz and worked and toured with ex-members of the Jazz Warriors founded by Courtney Pine & Cleveland Watkiss. He formed his own Jazz Ensemble, The Jazz Griots, with the sole purpose of exploring the connections between African and African Diasporic forms of music.
In 1991 he pioneered African Classical Music in the UK with the first ever-national tour of the African Classical Music Ensemble, which nurtured his burgeoning composer credentials. In 1995 a BBC TV documentary, ‘Africa I Remember’ was done on Jegede’s music and centred around his orchestral work. In this programme he performed new compositions alongside the London Sinfonietta, which was conducted by Markus Stenz.
 Jegede has vast and thorough knowledge in  African and European  Classical Music  spanning over three decades. His music has been performed all over the world in concert halls such as; Carnegie Hall (New York), the Royal Albert Hall (London), and the Basilque (Paris) by international Orchestras and artists including: the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta, Brodsky Quartet, Smith Quartet and the percussion soloist , Evelyn Glennie.
Jegede is assuming duties just as the MUSON Festival committee is about to officially release the full programme of the festival, which in 18 years has become a yearly landmark in the Lagos and Nigeria cultural calendar.
 The 10-day MUSON Festival 2014 featuring a potpourri of high-quality artistic and cultural productions, holds from October 16th through  26th in the premises  of the Society at 8/9 Marina, Onikan Lagos.

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