The year 2016 ended on a high note for jazz legend Erik Paliani as he had two successful shows that left the audience wanting for more.
Spread across two days in Lilongwe and Blantyre, Paliani gave Malawians a show to remember in gigs that arguably marked return of the South African-based artist.
Now, Paliani is back with another show at the BICC on April 22.
The gig has excited the legend who is on sojourn to promote his Chitukutuku album, both locally and internationally.
“I decided to dedicate this year to Malawi having travelled and mostly been away for almost 17 years and having learnt and gathered tonnes of jazz and music theory knowledge, I decided it was time to take this new genre to Malawi.
“I certainly feel very excited especially looking at the fact that a lot of Malawians seem to have caught up with this jazz. From the feedback we got from our two previous shows I feel extremely excited to finally present my music, my band and hip jazz to the Lilongwe audience. We will remind ourselves of the jazz that we have in our culture. Remember the world agrees that Jazz came from Africa,” said Paliani.
Paliani’s first show was at Chameleons, then at the Mibawa Multi-Purpose Hall in Blantyre. In these two shows, he was headlining alongside the famous Lulu. However, for his third show on April 22, he will be the headline act.
“I have teamed up with Qoncept Creative to bring to Lilongwe an event which we have titled Jazz on Canvas,” Paliani said.
He said he will be performing yet again with his Jazz Quartet which features Paliani on guitar and vocals, Chiling’oma JJ Munthali on bass, Dan Sibale on Saxophone and Lyton Chisuse on drums.
Through his shows, Paliani also wants to prove that jazz is more than a music genre but rather a language that the world needs to embrace.
“A lot of people still regard Jazz as a boring or old people’s genre. Yet jazz has managed to always adopt to new times and yet not lose its originality. Jazz enthusiasts regard it as a way of playing and a musical thinking as opposed to jazz being a genre. This way of playing can be old or new, African or Malawian.”
“In fact there’s a lot of jazz in Malawian music, especially traditional music, hence we will be bringing jazz from an African point of view with a special emphasis on Malawian jazz identity,” he said.
Paliani promises a scintillating show different from the last year’s shows.
“Here we are going all out to educate as well as entertain. It will be an exciting show.
There will be an art exhibition by Elson Kambalu from 4pm, where patrons will have a chance to appreciate and buy somebeautiful pieces. There will also be some delicious food and cocktail before proceeding to the performance which will commence exactly at 8pm,” He said.
Paliani however could not explicitly say if he was happy with the previous performances, knowing the challenges that are associated with jazz.
“I know that I am playing a style of music that might not be extremely famous in Malawi. But I see that there has been a new birth in jazz appreciation here in Malawi especially after the visit of Earl Klugh and my good friend Jimmy Dludlu to Malawi and others who have performed jazz here in Lilongwe.
In 2009 Paliani hosted a couple of jazz workshops here with leading Malawian guitarists including Lulu and Ernest Ikwanga.
“I see they have also created a beautiful bed of Jazz thinking on the ground, making it easy for me to present a hefty dose of International Malawian jazz,” he said.
Meanwhile, Qoncept Creatives says during the show, Paliani will also “collaborate with some young artists during performance,” according to the entertainment firm’s Creative Director Q Malewezi.