Jonathan Butler on stage
Image: Instagram

At the Nairobi Jazz Festival this past weekend, Jonathan Butler gave one of his most thrilling performances to date, leaving jazz music fans clamouring for more.

Cries of "Again! Again! Again!" filled the air as admirers insisted on hearing a performance repeated from one song to the next.

The main act at the Saturday night Jazz festival at the Bomas of Kenya was Butler, a guitarist, singer, and composer from South Africa.

High-end attire, sophistication, and delicious food were interspersed throughout the International Jazz Festival and paired with an array of mixed drinks.

With his rendition of the worship tune Holding On, Butler—who is well-known for both his jazz fusions and worship songs—wowed the audience.

 "I'm holding on since you've been gone. I keep holding on. Holding on. Ooh baby... " the crowd sang along with Butler even as emotions took the better part of the fans.

The 62-year-old got the audience up and dancing, with some even making their way closer to the stage to follow his tunes.

Butler's performance also saw a white woman still some of the spotlight.

Despite not following the beat of the songs, she enjoyed the music as she danced on stage.

She once removed her shoes in an attempt to feel more at ease on the dance floor.

As Butler concluded each song and transitioned to the next, the people dancing near the podium engaged in a once-in-a-lifetime rush to get a chance to shake his hands.

Many admirers were eager to touch Butler's hands, so Butler obliged and satisfied their desire.

When one woman had the chance to perform with Butler on stage, she grabbed the chance and gave her idol a hug. This woman was the luckiest of them all.

By the time Butler finished his two hours on stage, many fans were relieved that the Sh4,500 they paid to be part of the event had finally paid off.

"This is my first time at a Jazz concert and I enjoyed it. I had never really listened to jazz, or given it a chance, but now I get it. The instrumentals were amazing," one Mary Anne Wamboi said after the show 

Elijah Simiyu who was in the company of her daughter said he was delighted to enjoy the music with his eldest. 

"Attending these jazz concerts is something we do often and we will come to the next one," he said.

This was not the first time Butler was the headliner of a jazz festival in Kenya.

In 2015, Butler headlined the Safaricom International Jazz Festival. 

A quartet of Nairobi-based horn musicians named Hornsphere put on another captivating concert.

When Hornsphere performed a jazz rendition of Chronixx's original song Skanking Sweet, the audience was blown away.

A jazz rendition of Rhumba, originally performed by the Kenyan group Wanavokali, was also performed by them. This version is off their most recent album, Formation.

Jonathan Butler on Stage.

Hornsphere used x (Twitter) to express their gratitude to everyone of their fans that attended the Jazz festival and made their time enjoyable.

"A dream turned into reality! Hornsphere and The Unit band took the stage at the Auditorium of the Bomas of Kenya for the unforgettable Nairobi International Jazz Festival. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us and made this moment truly special," Hornsphere said. 

DJ Andre gave performances as well. The events began with acts by friends and Jacob Asiyo and Kaima.

About midnight marked the end of the event, with a ladies' group called Beathogs drawing the curtains for the day.

In collaboration with Twakutuza Trust, DonJulio, and Safaricom, Radio Africa Events organised the Nairobi International Jazz Festival.