Jazz and classical music lovers were treated to a unique musical experience during the inaugural Concert in the Dark event hosted by CBM Kenya at the Kenya National Museum. As the name suggests, Concert in the dark is a revolutionary experience blending music, darkness and communication together, for the purpose of raising awareness about the challenges that persons with vision impairment face in their daily activities. In a unique twist, the event featured visually impaired ushers, who guided the sighted around the event stands and eventually to the dark auditorium.
Imagine a musical experience that opens new horizons of emotion and excitement. Just like anyone would ask, how will the musicians perform in darkness? How can an orchestra play in darkness? What would it be like listening to the music without the sense of sight? YES the artists actually performed in pitch darkness and without a single mishap, guests were empowered to participate in an active music listening experience, with limited sense of sight. Both the artists and the audience will never forget what it was like to perform, listen and experience performances without the distraction of visual conditioning and social etiquette.
This unique concert was hosted by the very talented actor and Capital FM presenter Maqbul Mohammed, with breathtaking, elegant and soothing performances from the Kenya National Youth Orchestra (KNYO) and the magic of jazz maestro, Aaron Rimbui and the Quartet. And in more than one way, the concert combined the best of classical music and Jazz tunes.
The Orchestral performance was spectacular, revealing all the details in score and perfect balance – all part of the charm and magic of the performance. KNYO seamlessly combined the distinct sounds of western orchestra music and great collection of Zilizopendwa music. The result was a rich, vivid sound that left a lifelong impression on all the listeners.
The event headliner Aaron ‘Krucial Keys’ Rimbui, dazzled the guests with his virtuosity on the keys. He played alongside guitarists Kato Change and Asaph Uzele, with Amani Baya on the drums. The quartet produced a spectacular and enjoyable Jazz melody in which tension and relaxation electrified the meaning and emotional significance of their performance. They played a rendition of ‘Maiden Voyage’ by great American pianist Herbie Hancock, in pitch darkness. They dedicated the song to children suffering from cataracts, whom shall be beneficiaries of the proceeds from the event.
Giving his remarks and vote of thanks CBM Kenya Chairman Joseph Okello, reemphasized CBM’s commitment towards improvement of quality of life of persons with disabilities in Kenya and prevention of avoidable disabilities. “Cataracts are the leading cause of avoidable blindness. Proceeds from this event shall be channeled towards Children cataract surgeries in Kenya. So far, we have managed to offer cataract surgeries to over 50 children and we believe we shall be able to perform more this year through your support and the support we have received from our corporate partners.”
To loud applause from the guests Mr. Okello appreciated the event sponsors, including; Citi Bank, Brainwave, Proem, Chairmania, Chandaria Foundation, Kiter Engineering, Ivex Enterprises, Skylux and Tribeka. Through the event CBM Kenya managed to raise Ksh. 1,497,817 comprising of both cash and donations in kind.