Thursday, 24 November 2016

82nd birthday of Zeal Onyia

(Born 24 November 1934, Asaba, Biafra)
Masterly trumpeter, composer and public intellectual whose 1958 composition, the effervescent “Egwu jazz bu egwu Igbo” (“Jazz is Igbo music”), leads him to research Igbo contribution to the development of jazz, African American classical music, in Germany and the United States, and receives the highest accolade of his career when none other than Satchmo himself, Louis Armstrong, visiting Lagos, Nigeria, in 1961, and listening to Onyia play at Surulere stadium, inquires in that unmistakeably popsian voice, “Who is that hip cat?”
(Zeal Onyia and band play “Money trouble” and  “Lumumba” latter composition is in memory of  Patrice Lumumba, leader of the the Congolese restoration-of-independence movement and prime minister,  who had been brutally murdered on 17 January 1961 by an amalgam of the forces of the notorious pro-Belgian Congolese putschist Mobutu Sese Seko, a brigade of Belgian special forces and operatives of other West espionage services [recording details of this performance, including, especially, full band personnel, are unknown except that it was sometime in 1961. Could anyone with more information on this recording please contact me and any updates will be duly acknowledged. Thank you, HE-E])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

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