by Sola Fasasi
Last week, Nigeria’s premier jazz and soul export Asa joined an exclusive league of musical greats, as she performed at the 44th edition of the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival. Since renowned Swiss Claude Nobs founded the event, it has become an annual gathering place for lovers of jazz from all over the world.
Legends such as Quincy Jones, James Brown, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire, Wu Tang Clan and Nigerian legend Fela Kuti have all performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
“All the musical greats have been at Montreux,” Asa says, revealing that she has followed the festival closely and collected and studied videos from previous editions. “It’s exciting to join the list. This is huge!” she said.
This year’s edition of the annual event held from 1 – 16 July. Apart from being one of the few Nigerians to have performed on the platform of the Montreux Jazz Festival, Asa was also one of the youngest this year, alongside Grammy award-winning jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding and others. However of all the young artistes, it was Asa who was selected to perform alongside Seal at the most prominent venue of the festival, the Stravinsky Hall.
Videos from the show, distributed by Eagle Vision, will be made available to the public in the future.
Asa has been touring the world since January – as has become an annual tradition with her, booked for big cities and small towns across Europe. “Asa was not one to publicise her tours previously as it’s a given for any serious artiste,” a representative said. “But fans have complained about short notice, and so here we are!”
In January she held fort in Montréal, Paris, Marseille and Cannes, moving to Zurich, Lausanne, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid and Berlin in February. In the following months, Asa performed in Australia (Womad Festival), Belgium (Festival les Nuits du Botanique), the United Kingdom (Indigo) and Canada (Festival d’Eté) among others.
Straight from the Montreux Jazz Festival this July, Asa will be in Aix Les Bains, La Rochelle and Nimes in France, as well as Wiltshire in the UK.
Catch her in one of the cities below –
August 5 – Festival Ecaussyteme, Gignac (France)
August 7 – Festival Esperanzah, Floreffe (Belguim)
August 13 – Fête du bruit à Landerneau, Landerneau (France)
August 17 – Stadtpark, Hamburg (Germany)
August 18 – Kultur Arena, Jena (Germany)
August 19 – Kulturzelt, Kassel (Germany)
August 28 – Black2black Festival, Rio De Janeiro (Brazil)
September 2 – Arts Alive, Johannesburg (South Africa)
September 4 – Arts Alive, Johannesburg (South Africa)
September 10 – Chant du Gros festival, La Chaux de Fonds (switzerland)
September 14 – Lagos (Nigeria)
September 15 – Lagos (Nigeria)
September 17 – Lagos (Nigeria)
September 23 – 15ème Festival Femmes Funk, Noumea (New Caledonia)
September 25 – Open air, Noumea (New Caledonia)
October 5 – Music Club Janus, Osaka (Japan)
October 6 – Club Quattro, Tokyo (Japan)
October 9 – Arkas Sasebo, Nagasaki (Japan)
October 10 – Roppongi Hills Aren, Tokyo (Japan)
October 14 – Noumatrouff, Mulhouse (Germany)
October 15 – Nancy Jazz Pulsations, Nancy (France)
October 19 – Casino de Paris, Paris (France)
October 20 – L’Echonova, Vannes (France)
October 21 – Théâtre Le Millandy (France)
October 25 – Koko, London (UK)
October 27 – Festival Nuits de Champagne, Troyes (France)
November 3 – Oslo World Music Festival, Oslo (Denmark)
November 10 – Théâtre Louis Aragon, Tremblay
November 12 – Tollhaus, Karlsruhe (Germany)
November 13 – Muffathalle, Munich (Germany)
November 14 – Theaterhaus, Stuttgart (Germany)
November 17 – Salle les Arènes, Petite Foret (France)
November 18 – Théâtre Simone Signoret, Conflans Ste Honorine
November 19 – St Polten
November 23 – Théâtre Municipal, Coutances
January 14 – 21 Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane
More pictures of Asa at the Montreux Jazz Festival below!