Gerald Eze, first class music graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria, is drawing crowds to showcase his innovation. He is attempting to drag the past for a firm handshake with the present to hammer out an agreement on a future firmly rooted in Igbo musical culture. Poet and Journalist, UZOR MAXIM UZOATU, attended a command performance at Testimony Place, Awka, and gives it a thumbs up 👍🏿.

The music was more arresting than a lover’s summons. Call it the music of the spirits that intervolves the ancient and the modern. It was revolutionary music being dished out by the Igbo classical music exponent Gerald Eze and his Ichoku Ensemble at Testimony Place, off Ukwu Aki Junction, on Ifite Road in the Anambra State capital city of Awka on Sunday, August 8, 2021.

The Igbo musical instrument Oja can summon the spirits with the accompaniment of Ubo-aka. The spirit in me was thus summoned to the grand performance of Gerald Eze, a First Class graduate of Music and a lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University. With a supporting cast of multiform musicians he mentored and his students, Gerald Eze bestrode the stage like a revolutionary maestro of music.

The event titled “Uwa Mgbede”, to wit, eventide life, was graced by the pupils walking into the venue wielding their umbrellas. Whole families were around to enjoy the rare spectacle. The Uwa Mgbede experience was romantic in the best sense of the word.

It was enlightening to notice that Igbo instruments like Oja and Ubo-aka could seamlessly mix with the xylophones, guitars and trumpets.

The music was pulsating enough to drag the young and old ones to the dance floor, dancing away soulfully.

~Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

(Poet and Journalist)

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