International Jazz Day: Lagos Is In Tune With The World – Ambode

imageLet me use this opportunity to formally welcome you to the Government House here in Alausa Ikeja, to celebrate the International Jazz Day with you all. This is where I live, because I believe that Ikeja deserves to be the true capital of the state and therefore should be good enough for the Governor of the state to reside.

We are here today for two reasons: to celebrate with the rest of the world and in particular UNESCO in commemorating this day, which since 2011 has been designated as the International Jazz Day. We celebrate also with the United States of America and President Barack Obama because Washington DC is this year’s jazz capital city of the world and President Obama hosted a similar evening of Jazz last night at the White House.

imageOur other reason is to use today’s event to identify with every musician here today, from far and near…and to use their God-given talents and creativity to announce to the world that Lagos is the true capital of arts and entertainment in Africa and that Lagos is in tune with the rest of the world.

This musical show is a continuation of our promise to Lagosians that we will use tourism, hospitality, entertainment and the arts as well as sports to create jobs and opportunities for our people and to position Lagos State as a destination with rich entertainment content.

We demonstrated that commitment in December, when we decentralized the concept of Lagos Countdown concert and expanded it to a five-day, five-venue show as One Lagos Fiesta. We are aware that no other concert in recent times has witnessed such an array of artistes and turn-out of Lagosians who witnessed the concerts at Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu, Agege and Victoria Island. It was a concert that left no one behind.

In lightening up the state through our Light-Up Lagos Project and providing a water-tight security machinery that has brought down crime by 65%, our aim is to create a 24-hour economy and the template of a city that does not sleep with government that does not slumber either.

imageThis evening’s show took its cue from the success of One Lagos Fiesta. There were at least four different jazz concerts across Lagos yesterday evening with artistes from all over the world, including several Grammy award-winners. I’m happy to inform you that all of them are here tonight, united through music in the centre of excellence which best represents the concept of unity in diversity and borderless brotherhood. It is perhaps the first time that we’d be witnessing this type of bonding and creative energy on a single stage in Nigeria.

I believe this show of brotherliness and synergy is in sync with the values being promoted by UNESCO through the International Jazz Day. Let me assure you that this is just the beginning. The next edition will be the grand precursor to the great ceremony we are planning for Lagos@50. It is our wish that by that time Lagos State would have successfully announced its arrival to the world as a destination of choice and one deserving of the Jazz Capital City appellation.


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