Victor Olaiya and the Girls Rule Jazz Band
In the last two years, Nigeria’s most consistent highlife musician, Dr. Victor Olaiya has been celebrated in grandiose fashions. Evergreen Musical Company Limited rolls out the drums again in his honour in yet another landmark show tagged, ‘Celebrating a Victor and His Trumpet-60 Years After’. Nseobong Okon-Ekong reports
Following the success of his last outing at the MUSON Festival 2011, in which he was paired with Dr. Vctor Uwaifor, in a fantastic performance tagged, ‘Two Victors No Vanquished,’ Sir Victor Olaiya will be on cnetrestage again at the Lagos City Hall on September 16. The MUSON Hi-Life Nite was sponsored by Midwestern Oil and Gas.
At the MUSON event, the ‘Evil Genius’ of High-life, Dr. Victor Olaiya, who hails from Ijesha Ishu in Ekiti State, with his band of over 40 years serenaded the audience with hit after hit from his wide selection of songs, he got the audience which included captains of industry, business men and young couples swaying to his popular tunes. His signature white handkerchief was, of course, on hand. To the delight of all he had two of his sons Bayode (a banker with one of the leading new generation banks) and Biodun on trumpet.
During the activities marking Nigeria’s golden jubilee in October 2010, Olaiya was again on focus in a concert tagged, Giant Jubilee (Golden Tunes Concert) a most successful celebration organized by Evergreen Musical Company Limited during which 45 of the greatest Nigerian and Ghanaian artistes including Bobby Benson, E.T. Mensah (Ghana), Fatai Rolling Dollar, Ebenezer Obey, Sunny Ade and Rex Lawson to mention a few were celebrated and given various awards, some posthumously.
The latest effort to honour Olaiya on Septemeber 16 at Lagos City Hall who was born on December 31, 1930 in Calabar, the Cross River State is once-in-a-life-time event that will also feature the music of some other great musicians and some new generation artistes from Nigeria. Having clocked 60 years of active music performance, since his first outing in 1951, the honour by Evergreen is most deserved.
Some of the activities built into the programme of the day include a “This is Your Life” celebration performance by young and
contemporary musicians and Dr. Victor Olaiya’s children. There will be a formal presentation and launch of Dr. Victor Olaiya’s “Heritage Compendium” (An 80-track compilation of Olaiya’s works over the 60-year period). Expectedly, it is an evening of Highlife music renaissance featuring Dr. Victor Olaiya’s All-Stars Band and the prolific Evergreen Band. The session will be known as with “Dancing Through The Years”(A Walk in Time Through the Highlife Dance Hall).
Dr. Victor Abimbola Olaiya whose musical dexterity earned him a doctorate degree in music from Czechoslovakia and titles
such as “The Wizard of Highlife” and “The Evil Genius of Highlife Music” is presently the oldest most active highlife legend in the whole world after the demise of Bobby Benson who passed on 24 years ago and Jerry Hansen leader of Ramblers Dance Band of Ghana who passed on three months ago at the age of 85 years.
Several musical maestros have passed through his tutorage - these include, but not limited to, the great Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Dele Ojo, great trumpeter Zeal Onyia, Rex Jim Lawson, Crosdale Juba and several others. He has also touched the lives of several non-highlife musicians such as King Sunny Ade, General Ayinla Kolington, late Ayinde Barrister, Dele Abiodun, Shina Peters, Abass Akande Obisere etc. all of who used Dr. Victor Olaiya’s Stadium Hotel in their early years as a daily rotational base to perform.
The event which has been endorsed and supported by Lagos, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun state governments will attract virtually all Nigerian highlife/juju and new generation artistes who will come and pay homage to the undoubtedly greatest and most active highlife icon in the world.