Erik Paliani sets festival on fire



Musician Erik Paliani and Jazz Quartert made up of Dan Sibale on saxophone, JJ Munthali on bass guitar and Lyton Chisuse on drums proved their mettle as they conquered Nkhotakota Music Festival with their sound.

Paliani took the audience on a roller coaster journey of jazz music that has not been fully embraced in the country.


But jazz is a powerful genre that gives artists all the freedom to shine with the instruments and that is what Paliani and team did on Saturday.

When master of ceremonies announced that Paliani and his Jazz Quartet was next, the impressive audience did not give him a big cheer probably because some were unfamiliar with his music having stayed for long in South Africa.

The former Love Aquarius member, who has set up a studio in Mchinji where he wants to give jazz the attention it deserves and also work with artists, who would love to plough into the genre, showed his masterly on the guitar.


He made the guitar talk attracting a delirium of cheers from the audience, who got attached to his music little by little until it got to the top.

After some time, Paliani announced that it was time to move off the stage and pave way for Code Sangala better known as C.O., but the audience did not want to let him go.

He came on stage unknown to some but at the end of it all, he conquered the audience and he also proved that experience matters as his stage work was classic.

He gave the audience a bonus of one song before bowing out and got a deservingly huge applause.

His set had a package of songs that included the famous ‘Chitukutuku’.

“This was massive; the way the audience responded was out of this world. This is what we want to do, we want to take jazz to every place. Actually jazz is already there but we are just bringing it out,” Paliani said.

JJ, Chisuse and Sibale all said they were happy to team up with Paliani, who they described as a legend and further said people should watch the space.

One of the fans Joyful Phiri, who watched Paliani for the first time, said:

“He is an amazing artist, I have never watched his live performance and this was my first but I am impressed. The way the instruments were talking on stage I was moved I hope he comes back again,” Phiri said.

During the festival which started in the morning up to the night, there were also other performances and they included Daughters Band, Gumba Band, Gule Wamkulu and Annemarie Quinn.

Nkhotakota Youth Organisaton Executive Director, Robert Mbaya, described this year’s festival as marvelous.

“I think this year has been good and the patronage was also good coming from people from all walks of life. We had Malawians, Mozambicans, Ugandans and Norwegians among others,” Mbaya said.

He also said that the performances were classic and that they would want to improve every year.

“We want to improve as we go along to attract top acts. Through this festival we are getting known and one of the things we started it was to promote arts and culture,” he said.

He said through the festival people of Nkhotakota have also managed to see some of their favourite artists live and also inspired the youth.

The festival started in 2014.

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