We encourage you to support us in our efforts to finance and produce a benefit concert at the Jazz Cafe on the 4th October 2017, featuring the legendary Puerto Rican percussionist, Giovanni Hidalgo.
Born in Puerto Rico, San Juan, Giovanni is widely regarded as the greatest conguero (conga player) of his generation. Giovanni has played with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, Paul Simon and Carlos Santana to name but a few. Technically flawless, musically peerless, Giovanni has relentlessly pushed the boundaries of what is possible as a percussionist. This is an artist who has changed the way we think about percussion ; he has established a new language in the conga playing tradition.
Why are we crowdfunding?
Giovanni was recently diagnosed with type two diabetes. This has caused him to have to adapt his playing style, and he now faces a future of expensive medical costs. This is why we are producing a benefit concert in Giovanni's honour, as your donations and the proceeds from the concert will go directly towards producing the concert and his medical bills in America.
The first time I heard about Giovanni’s condition was in March 2017. I was stunned. My thoughts were drawn to how Giovanni and his family were coping with this new condition. Speaking to Giovanni, I learned that with an open mind and heart, and utilising the Sabar (Senegalese) drumming technique of hand and stick, he has been able to take this set back beautifully in his stride.
I was moved to show my support for Giovanni and later heard about a team of top Latin Jazz musicians coming together to organise a fund raising concert for Giovanni in the Bronx in New York, at the Lehman College of Performing Arts. This inspired me to pick up the baton in the UK, galvanising the UK and European community of drummers, with support and sponsorship from the world renowned instrument-making companies LP (Latin Percussion), DW Drums, GEWA and Protection Racket, who have all kindly donated some of the pledge rewards.
I am Sola Akingbola - percussionist and band member of Jamiroquai for the past 22 years. Jamiroquai are one of the few bands that still regard percussion as an integral part of their musical framework. I have recorded several studio albums and embarked upon numerous world tours. Jamiroquai are currently on a summer and European tour - Automaton - that will reach its climax in South America at the end of the year.
London's Jazz Cafe
I and my team are honoured to be working with this incredible artist. By bringing Giovanni to the UK, and producing this benefit concert at the Jazz Cafe in London on the 4th October 2017 - we offer a rare opportunity to percussionists, drummers, musicians and the general public, to experience the phenomenon that is Giovanni Hidalgo. This will be a night of explosive Afro-Latin jazz-funk.
Where the funds will go
Join us in our efforts and commitment to supporting Giovanni through this difficult period. All donations received here will help with Giovanni's medical bills and contribute to the cost of producing the fund-raising concert at the Jazz Cafe. Production costs include:
. REHEARSAL SPACE
. VENUE HIRE
. BACKLINE CREW
. FILMING AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Be my guest, and join me on this journey, maybe I will even see you backstage! Let's have a #ShowofHands for Giovanni Hidalgo.