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FESTIVAL 50: VICTOR OLAIYA, DAVID BULL, ROLLING DOLLAR TO RELIVE OLD MEMORIES

By NBF News

Shina Ayinde Bakare with Fatai Rolling Dollar
Are you a lover of good highlife music? Do you still relish the memory of the 1960s through the 70s and early 80s when music was golden? Are you dying to see veterans like Victor Olaiya, David Bull, S.F Olowookere, Orlando Julius, Dele Ojo, C.K Mann, Stan Plange (both from Ghana), Tunde Oshofisan, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Alaba Pedro, Ebenezer Obey, Idowu Animashaun and a host of others perform live on stage?

Then the Lagos City Banquet Hall is the place to be on Saturday, October 16, 2010.

There, the music stars of yesteryear will re-enact the days of yore as they gather to perform at the Golden Tones Concert put together by Femi Esho's Evergreen Musical Company. According to Esho, it is for this set of veteran artistes that he created a programme dubbed, Festival 50: Musical Memories of Yesteryear. And as the title indicates, he is creating a festival around the memories of the musicians and their music in this 50th year of Nigeria's independence.

Esho says: 'Highlife and its variants originated from Nigeria, Ghana and a few other African countries that it can be described as our gift to the world. Over 80 highlife maestros are known to have performed across the length and breadth of Nigeria. As at today, less than 20 of them are alive with their ages ranging between 65 and 80, and only about 10 of them are known to actively play music. We feel that the situation portends a great danger for our contribution to the world of music, something that has the potential of being a major income earner for the country if properly harnessed.'

He adds thus: 'What we are trying to do is re-enact the memories of the event of 1960. During the Golden Tones Concert, living musical legends will be on stage along with other revered veterans. About 1000 guests are expected to grace the occasion and we know that they have a lot to look forward to as our main sponsor, MTN, has promised to enrich the attendance.'

But then in the course of the concert, not less than 30 veterans will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards in various categories like Founding Fathers Awards, Golden Voice of Independence Award, and Most Outstanding Instrumentalist Award, among others. Also at the event, the Evergreen Music Foundation will be launched with a special appeal for support from Nigerians.

'We want Nigerians to pledge their support no matter how little to further the cause. The benefit is that ultimately, the works of our maestros will not die with them,' Esho states.

As part of the Festival 50, however, the organizers have planned a symposium with the theme, Walking the Tunes Through the Years. The symposium will attempt to provide a road map through which vintage music could deliver benefits to Nigerians. In addition to this, an exhibition of some works of the vintage artistes would be on display.