Meet The Band Stars To Grace The Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari 2015

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The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari is here and is slated to take place on 2nd October at Victoria Hall, Kampala Serena Hotel. Today we bring you a profile of nine fine band musicians to take you on that day.

Meet the nine fine musicians who make up the House Band that will back the three Jazz and Soul headliners for this year’s 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari.

All these musicians are also solo artists in their own right. This is an incredible ensemble of musicians.

Vanessa Haynes

This is Vanessa Haynes; a very, very gifted singer. She will be singing harmonies at The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari, Friday 02nd October.

The Soul Diva is currently the Lead Singer in Incognito.

Vanessa Haynes is a London based singer who’s been on the scene for 8 years. Her solo album Stay With Me has received rave reviews from the industry, and produced singles Embrace and I Wonder.

In 2008 Vanessa became backing vocalist to the Legendary artist Van Morrison performing around the world with him until October 2009.VanessaShe’s worked and recorded with other artistes like Billy Ocean (US Tour 2009), Chaka Khan, LuLu, Anastacia (Here Come the Girls Tour 2009), Leon Ware (2009) and Mario Biondi (2010).

She became one of the lead singers of the Internationally acclaimed UK Jazz/Funk band INCOGNITO in 2009.

Vanessa can be heard singing lead on Life Ain’t Nothing But a Good Thing on Incognito’s new Album Transatlantic RPM also featuring Mario Biondi, Chaka Khan and Leon Ware. Recently, she completed several tracks on Incognitos new CD “Surreal”.

She performs a mix of Soul and R&B standards and originals with some Jazz standards thrown in. With her powerful, cultured, voice and her commanding stage presence, she is quite stunning.

She works with a fantastic band that features some of the country’s finest “groove” players including bassist Paul Carmichael (Flight), Richard Bailey (Incognito, drums) and Tim Cansfield (Seal, The BeeGees, guitar).

“Chic, sultry singing, stylish and overflowing with promise; her future is guaranteed as a fixture in the soul firmament.

Vula Malinga

This is songstress Vula Malinga. She will be singing sweet harmonies at The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari, on Friday 02nd October.MalingaBorn in the United States to South African parents, she was raised in Hackney, London. Her religious parents supported her singing talents by allowing her to join the church choir, which resulted in her becoming one of lead singers for the famous London Community Gospel Choir.

This brought her to the notice of Basement Jaxx, with whom she sang lead on their single Oh My Gosh. The collaboration continues to this day, and led to her supporting fellow Basement Jaxx singer Sam Sparro on his tour.

In 2007, she sang lead locals on BBC South’s re-recording of the hymn Amazing Grace, created to help mark the 200 years since the passing of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.

In 2008, Malinga began developing her own music under her own record label, DivaGeek Records, releasing her first single Wondering Why in October.

In 2009, she sang support vocals to Dizzee Rascal on his new album Tongue N’ Cheek, and has supported him on live appearances, including: Live Lounge, Later… with Jools Holland and the 2009 BBC Electric Proms.

She’s just completed a Live Album project with Jazz and Soul star Lalah Hathaway.

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Mo Pleasure

This is the illustrious Mo Pleasure. He will be the Music Director for The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari, on Friday 02nd October.

Mo Pleasure, has earned a reputation for being something of a musical x-factor, bringing his elusive and exciting je ne sais quoi to a myriad of musical settings in a variety of ways – bass, keys, trumpet, musical director, producer. As a solo artist, Mo has established a sound that gracefully incorporates several genres while maintaining a consistent sound that is organic, sophisticated, and funky.Mo PleasureAs an acclaimed touring musician, his status has been cemented. Ever since he was plucked from his senior year of the University of Connecticut to play bass with Ray Charles on his world tour, Pleasure has racked up an impressive list of touring credits that highlight his versatility. After his career-initiating stint with Ray Charles, Mo set up shop in New York City scoring work as a session and live player. In both roles, he performed with some of the most accomplished talents in Jazz and R&B including George Duke, Natalie Cole, Dianne Reeves, Jonathan Butler, Rachelle Ferrell, Michael McDonald, Oleta Adams, Roberta Flack, Marcus Miller and Frankie Beverly and Maze, to name a few.

Eventually, he scored a full-time gig with Najee as musical director and keyboardist. The pair struck gold with their co-composition “Tokyo Blue.” He continued to score work with top artists of every genre including Alex Bugnon, Roberta Flack, Rachelle Ferrell, Earth Wind & Fire, Maxwell, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and most recently, Christina Aguilera and David Foster. He has appeared at all the major worldwide jazz festivals, earning a following of his own among devotees of soul, jazz and “grown folks’ music.”

He’s also made great use of his classical music chops as a featured concert pianist, performing Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. Mo had the opportunity to combine his appreciation for dance and love of music when he played piano to accompany the Boston Ballet. As a songwriter, Mo has developed a distinct voice all his own. In addition to his gold record with Najee, his compositions are also featured in film. Movie soundtrack credits include “Talkin’” featured in the Disney movie “Three Men and a Little Lady” and the EWF single co-written with Philip Bailey, “Cruisin,” featured in Spike Lee’s “Get On The Bus.” “Brazilian Rain,” a song co-written with Earth Wind & Fire bandmate, the legendary drummer Sonny Emory, was featured on Ramsey Lewis’ Urban Knights project.

Embracing new media opportunities, Morris’ work can even be heard in Verizon Wireless’ How Sweet The Sound Internet campaign.

There are many Television and Video performances to Mo’s credit, including Ray Charles BBC Special, Lopez Tonight, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, VH-1 Storytellers, Mad TV, BET on Jazz, VH1, The Tonight Show, Earth, Wind & Fire documentary Shining Stars and HBO Special – Janet Jackson in Hawaii.

Two of Mo’s collaborative projects were released independently in Spring 2005. Devoted Spirits’ Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire and Audio Caviar’s Transoceanic. Audio Caviar is a collaboration featuring Mo on piano, bass, trumpet and flugelhorn; Ralph Johnson on drums and Denmark guitarist Steen Kyed.

In 2009, Mo accepted the great honor of playing in Michael Jackson’s final touring band that was scheduled to perform in the late superstar’s historic comeback residency at London’s O2 Arena this fall. Turning heartbreak into artistic catharsis, Mo and the rest of Michael’s band performed at the soul-stirring memorial service for Michael Jackson on July 7, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Now, in the wake of Jackson’s untimely passing, Mo’s musicianship has earned him a place in history as a cast member of the highest grossing concert documentary film of all time. In addition to his solo activity, Mo became the fourth member of Native Son, a band of all-stars including John “JR” Robinson (drums), Bobby Watson (bass) and Michael Thompson (guitar). Their debut project, Son Talk explores the intersections between jazz, funk and rock.

Mo’s first offering as a solo artist, Elements of Pleasure, was released in 2006 to critical acclaim. The release expanded his worldwide following and established him as a producer and multi-instrumentalist with an unmatched flair for synthesizing many elements into one cohesive musical statement.

Scheduled for release in 2010, Mo’s second solo effort, Mo’Elements of Pleasure is a much more personal work, drawing upon years of personal experiences all over the world. Using his multi-instrumental prowess, Mo’Elements of Pleasure promises to take the listener deep into the heart of Mo’s sensitive soul with tales of sensuality, romance, love for the environment and humanity.

Karl Vanden Bossche

This is Karl Vanden Bossche aka Groovinstein! He is a Percussions specialist. He’ll be the percussionist at The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari, Friday 02nd October.Vanden

Karl Vanden Bossche’s family originally from Ghana, came to London in the early sixties. Karl who was born and grew up in London did not have a musical background in his family. In his very early years, his brothers exposed him to reggae and soul. As he got older more musical genres like Jazz-Funk and Pop widened his musical taste and while at secondary school, his teachers noticed he had an ear for music.

Between the age of 15 and 17 was very important time for Karl, because this is when he started to go and check out live music, he met a DJ called Sylvester Tenkorang (who introduced him to Latin Jazz) and became a member of his first band which was called Phase 1. The band was made up of friends who had been checking out bands like Level 42, Morrissey Mullen, Breakfast Band and Light of the World, who were big influences in their lives.

He decided to pick percussion, because it looked easy at the time. OH BOY. As time went on most of Karls friends went on to proper jobs, this is when Karl bogged down and started to practice to music.

From there onwards things just fell into place, most important was going to gigs and meeting other musicians, asking questions about how they got started, where to go for jam sessions, etc. Karl was always in some kind of Reggae or Funk band, but his first break was joining a band called King Salsa. In this band, he meet some musicians who recommended him to more popular bands.

Karl is one of the leading percussionists in Europe, and has played for such legendary artists like: Sade, Pasadenas, Lighthouse Family, Robert Palmer, Incognito, Brand New Heavies, John Martin, Des’ree, Simply Red, Joss Stone, Ms Dynamite, Natasha Bedingfield, Steve Winwood, Frank Mccomb and more.

Mark Walker

This is musician Mark Walker, a sublime Keyboardist.

He will play the Keyboards at The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari  on Friday 02nd October.Mark Walker

In 1994 Mark was called into London to work with various artists and tours. It started with the popular R&B girl group Eternal in Europe for 6 weeks in 1995 who were the supporting act for the popular boy band Take That.

Since then his career has continued to blossom, taking him to the biggest stages and venues and giving him the opportunity to work with world class artists including: Simply Red, Anita Baker, Gloria Gaynor, Alexander O’Neal, Matt Goss, Westlife (4 years), Blue, 5ive (2 years), All Saints (2 years), E17, Shola Ama, Will Young, Gabrielle, Ruby Turner, Jocelyn Brown, Aswad, ABC, the debut tour with German pop idols No Angels and also a few Japanese artists too.

Currently Mark has just finished touring with Alexander O’Neal and Kelly Rowland (Destiny’s Child) and is producing music and still working with various artists on a regular basis.

Tony Remy

This is guitar virtuoso Tony Remy. He will be sharing his guitar prowess at The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari, Friday 02nd October.

Tony Remy

Tony Remy is one of the world’s most exciting guitar players of any genre. His hard-edged rhythmically driven approach is enriched with jazz intuition and bluesy soul. Live on stage, his relentless invention and incredible raw energy can set the crowd on fire. The reputation he has gained within the jazz community worldwide is fast making a legend out of this North London musician.

Tony started his professional music career in 1986, although he was on the Jazz scene earlier. He recalls: “I had a band called “Cube 60” in ’84 with Winston Clifford, Joe Bashorun and Nick Cohen. We were crazy about Miles Davis, Weather Report, Steps, The Brecker Brothers, so we were writing and playing that stuff. I also had a rock band called “Secretary Bailey”.

Then in ’85, “Cube 60” developed into “Desperately Seeking Fusion” with Frank Tontoh, Jason Rebello and Julian Crampton. That was really my first outing as bandleader”.

Tony released his first solo album “BOOF” in 1993 on the American Jazz/fusion label GRP. Tony’s second album “METAMORFOLLOW-G” was released on Alltone Records in 1997.

Tony’s playing draws on many different guitar styles. Guitarists like John Scofield, Hiram Bullock, Mike Stern, George Benson, Jimi Hendrix and BB King have all contributed in shaping Tony Remy’s style.

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Tony has toured and recorded with a wide range of musicians which include: Courtney Pine, Jason Rebello, Julian Joseph, Freddy Hubbard, Jean Toussaint, Steve Williamson, Lonny Liston Smith, Lenny White, Omar, Steps Ahead, Gary Barlow, Simply Red, Us3, Cleveland Watkiss, Pee Wee Ellis, Ronny Laws, Nelson Rangell, Connor Reeves, Maysa Leak, Down To The Bone, Matt Bianco, Karen Ramirez, Noel Mckoy, Annie Lennox, Craig David, Incognito, M-People and many more.

Tony has played and recorded a live DVD with THE JAZZ CRUSADERS, he recorded with DAVE LEE AKA JOEY NEGRO and THE SUNSHINE BAND.

In 2005 Tony recorded with HERBIE HANCOCK on his album “POSSIBILITIES”. Tony appears on KAREN RAMIREZ’ album “DISTANT DREAMS” live in Glasgow”, and with ANNIE LENNOX on “LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND MELLOW “DVD (various artists) and her “BARE ALBUM JAPANESE IMPORT FEATURING ‘COLD’ LIVE” Tony collaborated with NOEL MCKOY on his “MIND IS THE KEEPER” (1997), MAYSA LEAK’s album “JAZZ FUNK SCAT” and FRANCIS LELLANNE’s album titled “REPTILE”.

Tony played with THE NDR BIG BAND featuring PEE WEE ELLIS. Another band that Tony involved with is STONE SOUP “contains nuts” featuring KCB from US3, JULIAN CRAMPTON, GEOFF WILKINSON and TONY REMY. Tony is a musical director for DON BLACKMAN and RAHSAAN PATTERSON.

Tony Remy has been working with PP ARNOLD and is also producing a record for her. Tony’s movie credits include writing scores for “PASSION OF REMEMBERANCE” (1986), “LOOKING FOR LANGSTON” (1989) both by ISSAC JULIAN, “CAREER GIRLS” (1997) by MIKE LEIGH (co-written with actress MARIANNE JEAN BAPTISTE) and two short films for the thames festival produced by FLARE FILMS. Tony recorded an album with BOB FRANCESCHINI in December of 2006.

Tony’s new album “FIRST PROTOCOL”, has been released in February 2007.

Tony has just competed production on TONY MOMRELLE’s new album MESSAGE IN THE MUSIC and is producing an album for KAREN RAMIREZ. He is currently working on some recordings for IVE MENDES as well as finishing another TONY REMY album.

CHECK OUT OTHER GREAT PROJECTS TONY’S CURRENTLY INVOLVED WITH:

– IT’S A EUROPEAN FUSION BAND STREETNOISE – Urbanjazz AND A NEW TRACK IN COLLABORATION WITH THE GRAPE RECORDS “THE BASS LINE”.

Tony’s SPONSORS are Peavey amplifiers and signature guitars, Patrick Eggle acoustic and electric guitars and Rob Williams guitars.

Dexter Hercules

This is Dexter Hercules. He will be the drummer at The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari…. Friday 02nd October.DexterBorn and raised in South London, Dexter Hercules has been playing the drums since the age of 3. Now at the age of 23 Dexter already has many achievements that boast a great CV.

Having already played with artists such as Ronnie Wood, Rita Ora, Eliza Doolittle, Little Mix, JLS and most recently Olly Murs, Dexter is currently also working on his own solo project.

Dexter is accomplished in many different genres of music including Jazz, Pop, Fusion, Rock, Funk and many more.

Francis Hylton

This here is Bassist Francis Hylton. He will be holding down the groove at The 8th Annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari on Friday 02nd October.

Francis Heylton

Francis Hylton is a bassist and DJ from London, England. He’s have been playing bass since the early 90’s, working first for Acid Jazz band Galliano who were signed to Talkin’ Loud records until 1997. In 1996 they toured the album ‘4’ for three months in Europe, followed by a month in Asia and Australia. It was in Japan whilst recording the album ‘Live At The Liquid Room’ that he first met Bluey and Incognito, who were also in Tokyo that evening.

After Galliano disbanded, he went on to work with numerous chart Pop and R’n’B artists from the late 90’s including the late Lynden David Hall for around three years and various World Music artists such as The Afro Celt Sound System from around 2002.

Since 2005 he has been the bassist for Legendary UK Jazz Funk band Incognito, after working with Bluey over the years since their first meeting back in 1996. As well as touring the world several times over, he also co-produces, writes (including five singles over the last five studio albums) and DJ for Incognito as far as Japan and the Middle East.

In addition to his full time role in Incognito, he has also been musical director for Rahsaan Patterson in Europe, recorded with Anastasia, Chaka Khan, Lulu, Miki Imai, Jocelyn Brown and performed live with Mario Biondi, Chaka Khan, Jocelyn Brown, Kerri Chandler and Leon Ware.

In 2009 he played bass on the song ‘Scusa’ with Italian rock legend Gianna Nannini for the soundtrack to the Italian movie “Genitori & Figli: Agitare bene prima dell’uso.” He has since recorded three studio albums, a live DVD and toured Italy and Europe with Gianna.

Some of his biggest influences as a bassist include; Marcus Miller, Jaco Pastorius, Robert ‘Kool’ Bell, Chuck Rainey, Bernard Edwards, Mark Adams, Anthony Jackson, Davide Romani, Prince and of course there are many other bassists and musicians that he looks up to across many genres and eras of music.

He endorses Atelier Z Bass Guitars from Tokyo, Japan and D’Orazio Strings from Italy. In the studio, he uses Phil Jones Bass Amplification.

Bass: Francis Hylton

Drums: Dexter Hercules

Vocals: Tony Momrelle

Vocals: Vanessa Haynes

Vocals: Vula Malinga

Keyboards/Music Director: Morris ‘Mo’ Pleasure

Keyboards: Mark Walker

Guitar: Tony Remy

Percussions: Karl Vanden Bossche

Friday 02nd October 2015, Kampala Serena

**Saxo Jazz-Funk Meets Sultry Soul**

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