What you need to know:
- Yanzi Prudence, Lisa Sonia, Aaron Ddamulira and Edgar Samul were the background vocalists, each recognisably gifted for hitting the low and high keys with ease as the night’s headlining musicians harmoniously sailed patrons through the musical years
In a comfortable three-octave contralto, she soulfully gave justice to Anita Baker’s 1986 classic hit song – Same Ol’ Love. Tonya Michelle Ahenda gave the Oldies Night Special Edition warmth with her musical expression; beautiful singing, body language and stage presence.
Yanzi Prudence, Lisa Sonia, Aaron Ddamulira and Edgar Samul were the background vocalists, each recognisably gifted for hitting the low and high keys with ease as the night’s headlining musicians harmoniously sailed patrons through the musical years.
In the 180-minute performance, there were two musical sets, namely the Jazz Set and Soul-R&B Set. Paul Ntege Junior opened with Paul Jackson Jr’s 2003 rendition of It is A Shame.
Ntege went on to do Jimmy Dludlu’s Point of View before multi-instrumentalist Kaz Kasozi came on to serve some bass and funk in Jonathan Butler’s 7th Avenue, Love Is All and Good To Go, both by Chuck Loeb.
Ntege returned to crown the jazz set with Jimmy Dludlu’s Walk of Life. Aaron Ddamulira switched the tempo and turned the rhythm to blues and soul with Alexander O’Neal’s 1985 melancholic If You Were Here Tonight.
Just like O’Neal sang, as the night moves in, love takes on a new meaning…patrons got hit by the nostalgia of the oldie and sang along as they gently danced, some occasionally whispering into each other’s ears, perhaps about the memories evoked by the music.
Yanzi Prudence’s performance of Brandy’s Almost Doesn’t Count got my friend Eve Zalwango excitedly jump off her seat and onto the dance floor.
With her arms raised, she sang the track word for word before letting me know she was a version of Brandy in high school, and Tamia too.
You should have seen the look on her face when Prudence later did Tamia’s Beautiful Surprise. Lisa Sonia’s version of Madonna’s Live to Tell, off the American singer’s 1986 True Blue album.
Tonya returned to rally the audience into another sing-along as she brought memories alive in What You Do for Love by Phyllis Hyman, and He Wasn’t Man Enough by Toni Braxton.
Edgar Samul swayed hearts with Joe’s Good Gals, Aaron Ddamulira with Teddy Pendergrass’ up tempo Joy.
The good vocals by the different singers were layered in sync with the groovy icing of a live band; each instrumentalist must have earned their place on the set. Henry ‘Drumboss’ Nkambwe and Nehemiah Kasika beat the drums with passion for the jazz and soul-R&B sessions respectively.
TShaka Roots Mayanja did his thing, the best way he knows how, with his fingers and soul while Fred ‘Wallace’ Walusimbi and Festo Mugume were on the keyboard. Besides belting some songs, Ntege Jr delivered well on the rhythm guitar along with Kaz Kasozi.
The stage was set and so for the mood for a long, long oldies theme night at Guvnor where the crowd had filled its ritzy interior partly, thanks to the alternating colour moods.