International Jazz Day is an annual event celebrated on April 30th around the world, dedicated to promoting jazz music and its role in promoting peace, dialogue, and cooperation among cultures worldwide. 

In 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated April 30th as International Jazz Day, and since then, the celebration has been taking place globally, bringing together musicians, jazz enthusiasts, and communities to celebrate this unique and vibrant genre of music.

Jazz music has a rich history in Nigeria, dating back to the early 20th century when it was first introduced by African-American sailors who docked in Lagos. These sailors played jazz music in local clubs, and their music soon caught on with local musicians, inspiring them to incorporate jazz elements into their own music.

One of the earliest Nigerian musicians to incorporate jazz into his music was Fela Kuti, who was heavily influenced by the music of jazz legends like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Fela Kuti was a pioneer of Afrobeat, a genre that combined elements of jazz, funk, and West African rhythms. He became one of Nigeria's most prominent musicians, known for his socially conscious lyrics and his unique fusion of musical styles.

In the 1950s and 60s, Lagos became a hub for jazz music in West Africa, with local musicians forming their own jazz bands and performing in clubs across the city. Many of these musicians were influenced by the sounds of big band jazz, which they heard on the radio and in recordings by American and European jazz musicians.

One of the most famous Nigerian jazz bands of this era was the Oriental Brothers, who were known for their unique blend of jazz, highlife, and traditional Igbo music. The band was formed in the early 1970s by the Okoro brothers, who had previously played in other highlife bands. They quickly gained popularity in Nigeria and across West Africa, becoming one of the most successful Nigerian bands of the 1970s.

In the 1980s and 90s, jazz music in Nigeria continued to evolve, with musicians incorporating elements of funk, reggae, and other genres into their music. One of the most influential musicians of this era was Orlando Julius, who had been active since the 1960s but gained new popularity in the 80s and 90s with his unique blend of jazz and Afrobeat.

Today, jazz music in Nigeria continues to thrive, with a new generation of musicians incorporating jazz elements into their music. Artists like Burna Boy and Wizkid have gained international recognition for their fusion of jazz, Afrobeat, and other genres, continuing the legacy of Nigerian jazz music and cementing its place in the global music landscape.

In 2023, the International Jazz Day promises to be a memorable event as jazz lovers worldwide come together to celebrate this unique genre of music. The celebration will be an opportunity for people to reflect on the rich history of jazz music and its contribution to the world's cultural heritage.

If you are a lover of jazz and you are in Lagos, Nigeria on the 30th of April, 2023, the place to be is Umutu Restaurant located on Victoria Island.

Umutu Restaurant is a popular restaurant located in Lagos, Nigeria. It is known for its delicious and authentic meals. It is named after the Umutu community in Delta State, which is known for its rich cultural heritage.

The restaurant's ambiance is warm and welcoming, with comfortable seating. The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring that customers have a pleasant dining experience.

Umutu Restaurant is also known for its love for jazz music performances, featuring local Nigerian musicians, and foreign jazz musicians. The restaurant has become a popular spot for jazz music lovers, offering a unique blend of delicious cuisine and live entertainment (every last Sunday of the month).

This year, to celebrate the International Jazz Day, Umutu Restaurant will be the host of 5 fantastic jazz music performers: Imoleayo Balogun (Saxophonist), TopSticks (Female Drummer), Wole Jesutomi (Bassist), Femi Slide (Trumbonist), Mr. Sam & The Jazz Apostles (Pianist).

The gate fee is N5,000
Table for five (5) N20,000
Payment to: Umutu Coffee Ltd. (Zenith Bank: 1014086035
The gate opens at 4:30 PM.