Christmas is here again! And with it the annual “Magic in the air”….joy, laughter and good will to all (…and yes, in the ideal world). Nevertheless, though time may have passed and many of us have grown old, there still is something undeniably magical about the season. It may be in the songs, the holiday, the excitement in a child’s eyes, or it just might be because we want it to be. This is about the only time of the year when we are allowed to be children again….and that is what Christmas Magic! is all about: Reviving the joys of the season, bringing out the Magic in you because you are the wand and you…are the magic.
To ignite the Magic, nothing like a gathering of like minds ready to remember what Christmas is all about. Loving, Giving, Sharing. So, come join the Christmas Magi on December 15 at the MUSON Centre as a cross-section of artistes unleash their magic and take us down the path of discovery. These include young, old and in-between… and next year, it really could be you. But…back to the present. December 15, we will have Olufunmi, Yinka Davies and Piper MacLeod take us down their path to discovery….heralded by The Magic Ensemble, supported by the Magi Contest. You don’t want to miss it. Green carpet at 5:30.
It’s all about Christmas; it’s all about Magic…the Magic in you!
First in her family to pursue a professional career in music, Oluwatosin Phebean Oluwadare (otherwise known as Tosyne or Phebean) claims her discovery of her talent and passion was self-made and stemmed out what she terms her “exploring nature”.
She started first as an alto singer in her teenage years while at the same time playing the recorder. At 18, she decided to move over to the saxophone as she believed it held greater promise of synergy and expression for her (especially with her alto singing background). She got her first lesson on the soprano saxophone in May 2006 under Seun Busuyi. As she developed, she got introduced to the music of renowned saxophonist such as Kenny G, Kunle Ajayi, and the great maestro Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. For her, being a female saxophonist holds a lot of challenges as well as fun and inspiring moments as it still is predominantly a male-dominated field. However, born after three boys, she has no worries fitting in!
She has featured in various concerts including the World Music Day 2008, Lagos State House Thanksgiving 2009 and 2010, Excel 2008 At TBS, Lagos Heritage Festival and so on. She also had an international debut at the recently concluded Nigeria at 50 celebrations in Beijing, China, where she performed with the MUSON Diploma School Choir. Based on her training and foundation in classical music (she has Grade 8 Practical certificate in the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London Examination ) as well as her feel for contemporary music, she has performed and adapted saxophone concertos various orchestras, quartets and bands such as the: DKO orchestra, Hope string quartet, the Steve Rhodes orchestra and OPE female.
Phebean’s goal is to make history through majoring in a blend of gospel, contemporary and African music at large.
With over a decade of professional guitar playing, Philip Uzo, has become quite a guitar virtuoso in his own right. He started playing the keyboard casually in the mid/late 90’s after watching his younger cousin play at his father’s church. Notwithstanding, he did not take music too seriously, as he was bent on being a nuclear physicist. What led to a change in his resolve? His exposure to a clip of Bob Marley on stage some years later. This exposure inspired him to dive head, shoulders and feet into music. With a firm grasp on his new found passion and a desire to pursue it, he first started with the alto recorder, moved over to the trumpet before falling in love with the guitar “at first sound”. In his own words, “I heard the sound of the guitar, it appealed to my soul and we immediately connected”. He sees this connection as a sort of “divine intervention/calling”.
His formal path to mastery of the guitar started in a music school organised by his local church, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) and has meandered through various experiences/encounters. These have led him to broaden his horizons and play with almost every notable artiste in Nigeria and beyond. These include: Tee Mac, Lagbaja, Yinka Davies, Ara, Mike Aremu, Ayetoro, Bary Hayes (UK), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Elaine Harrison, Karen Patterson (United States of America) to mention but a few. He has also appeared on many stages nationally and internationally, such as the Lagos Jazz International Festival, Side with Courtney Pine 2008, Copaccabana 2007, Drummers Collective Nigeria 2007, Jazz Minds 2005, Nigeria Games Village, South Africa World Cup 2010, Lagos Jazz Series2010 and many more!
He currently is completing his music diploma studies at the Musical Society of Nigeria diploma programme.
From a family of six, Joseph popularly known as Lanre has three elder brothers who have greatly influenced his life experiences and choices. He acquired leadership qualities from one, writing from another and trumpet skills from the third.
Having started music lessons as a choir boy under Kehinde Okunsanya in 1993, Lanre moved through playing the drums to developing an interest in the trumpet. His trumpet lessons were however interrupted by his pursuit of a degree in Sociology at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. This he successfully accomplished graduating with exceptionally good grades. In spite of his academic success and contrary to the expectations of friends and family members, he made a return to the trumpet in 2004 when he was given his first trumpet by his brother Muyiwa Kunnuji. The subsequent lessons he received from Muyiwa proved to be invaluable and the basis upon which he laid the foundation of a promising music career.
With a distinction in Grade 8 Trumpet Playing examination of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) London, he has served as a member of the MUSON Symphony Orchestra, 5 Yz Men Jazz Quintet (which had her debut international performance in Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA at the African American Cross-Cultural Works Blues and Jazz Festival, September 2009) and Funsho Ogundipe’s Ayetoro. He has also performed in several concerts held in honour of great men and events. These include a concert in honour of the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Koffi Anan as well as the Celebration of the 233rd American Independence in Nigeria (where he played the ‘Star Spranggled Banner’). His major influences are Muyiwa Kunnuji and Miles Davis.
Lanre, standing as one of the most promising Musicians of this generation, has the dream of bringing the under-represented traditional Egun Music style (from South West Nigeria), to the World Scene. With his passion for writing, he also intends to venture into Music Journalism.
Ibukun Kafaru started playing the piano at the age of 8 on Grailland, under the tutelage of David Nwamara and Mrs Biola Aluko. As the years unfurled, his musical journey led him through various tutors from within and outside Nigeria until a twelve year interruption ensued at the age of thirteen. Notwithstanding, his musical pursuit was undampened as he continued learning to play and perform compositions of the various classical greats through self tutoring and the positive influence of friends. He also enrolled for a degree in Chemical Engineering at the Ladoke Akintola University during this time …though he found himself playing around with choirs in his spare time.
In 2002, his first musical composition, Beauty of the Peoples (a vocal duet accompanied by piano) was performed at a concert/album lunch at the MUSON Centre, Lagos by Tayo Akindele (now Dr. Tayo Akindele) and Nosa Osayamwen (DJINEE). Beauty of the Peoples received a standing ovation for its simplicity and permeating effect.
In 2005, he met Harry Ibifiebo, his first organ teacher, and for four months took 2 hour classes thrice a week. Following this, he moved on to his second organ teacher, Mr. Leye who he met at Lokoja in 2004. Under his tutelage, he was drilled for 6 months, which led to an expansion of his mind and technique/skills to encompass new horizons. This was his breaking point into independence.
Today, he plays the organ during Hours of Worship on Grailland alongside Prof. Ngozi Chinwah and does a lot of piano accompaniment voluntarily for anyone who is interested in solo performances.
Focused on “Community Development through Entertainment”, Christmas Magic! 2010 served both as the first phase and launch pad of community development projects in various communities. It featured 5 new generation artists:
Lanre Kunnuji (trumpeter)
Tosin Oluwadare (saxophonist)
Ibukun Kafaru (pianist)
Phillip Uzo (guitarist)
Obinna Ifediora (singer)
performing both classical and contemporary/self-composed pieces for the initiation of community development projects in 5 different communities (Ikorodu, Makoko, Olodi-Apapa, Ikeja and Mushin respectively). The result, based on a combination of judges scores and audience votes, saw three communities: Makoko, Ikeja and Ikorodu emerging as the final selection with Makoko leading the votes.
We would like to thank those of you who have elected to attend (or are considering attending) the maiden edition of Christmas Magic!. With this decision, you have chosen to join the new generation of progressive thinkers where Art moves beyond the confines of pure entertainment into the realm of community development. The realm where we as individuals can initiate greater good with what we have either great or small.
Above being an out-right evening of fun and entertainment, which it promises to be, it also is an evening that begins a development project in one community. A community selected from a pool of communities suggested by friends, fans and development oriented people. You can lend your voice to/elect a community by dropping a note on the Christmas Magic Page or mailing us (via firstname.lastname@example.org ). Beyond this, by your presence at the event, you also aid in the final selection of the winning community through your in-house vote during the event. Therefore, you can be sure, as you leave that night, you would leave knowing you have put a smile on some people’s faces by just being there.
For those of you who have made enquiries about the ticket sales, the tickets would be out this weekend (N 5,000 Regular). If you would let us know your day location, we could advise you as to the best pick up point. For group purchases of ten tickets (regular), a bonus eleventh ticket (VIP) is given.
This event relies a lot on community organisation… how we can use what we have to contribute to the improvement of society. Thus, the development funds are raised via ticket sales and information is spread via our personal network of family and friends. So, even as we look forward to your presence, we entreat that you invite as many of your like-minded friends as you can. Please spread the word and help make this Christmas a really special one for someone out there.
Thank you so much. We look forward to receiving your feedback and meeting with you soon.
Experience the Magic of Christmas … 23rd December 2010…
What really is Christmas Magic? Christmas Magic! is a wonderful experience of the spirit of Christmas (beauty, joy and giving) as well as music. When we say music…we are not talking of just hip hop, reggae, classical or jazz … but a refreshing blend of a wide variety of genres from one end of the spectrum to the other. Beyond being a sit and enjoy concert…it is also… a C-O-N-T-E-S-T. That’s right, a contest; but not a contest like every other. Not a contest of wills, or of strength, neither is it a contest of pride or riches…it is a contest of love.
Anyone of you ever wondered how you could do more with the little you have? How you could make/initiate a change like all the great people you ever learned of? That is what this is about. 5 absolutely excellent new generation artistes have come together to initiate community development through their knack for music and entertainment. Each representing 5 different communities (in which they have no personal stake whatsoever), they perform to win a gift for their elected community and not themselves. Why? Who are these artistes and what are these communities?
A collection of music-loving and development focused people have elected, this Christmas, to support development by attending a concert with the aim of initiating community development through entertainment. Beyond the recreational aspects – getting top-notch entertainment and interacting/networking with like minded folks – they also get to lend their voices to the choice of communities and the final vote of the winning community. Who are these people? And Why?
Find out Thursday 23rd December at the MUSON Centerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (limited tickets available)
The train is picking up speed as we head towards December 23rd … MUSON Centre, Onikan. A night of fun, music and friends, with a bit of networking on the side (who knows, you just might meet the person that brings the magic into your life or business next year while you are bringing magic into someone’s life somewhere this year)
More great news? For N5,000, you have no excuse…Christmas Magic 2010…be there! (VIP: N10,000)