Sensational saxophonist Mike Aremu is making plans to mark his two decades of music excellence with a concert. The 20th anniversary event will feature musicians like Tim Godfrey, Sammie Okposo, Tope Alabi, Onos Ariyo, Ibitayo Jeje and a host of others. Apart from the music performances, the event will capture Aremu’s journey to stardom, a story that is indeed worth retelling.
Growing up in Niger state, Aremu was encouraged to play a musical instrument in school. With some basic lessons and determination, he decided to make the full transition and concentrate solely on the saxophone by 1995. He joined House on the Rock’s music team in 1996 having also played with the Compassion Band of the Strong Tower Mission – a charity organisation. As his confidence grew, so did his reputation as a charismatic musician.
In 1999, Mike signed a record deal with Kennis music under which he released two chart topping albums: ‘Dance’ (1999) and ‘No Shaking’ (2002). He made a total of nearly two million from his first two albums, a record in sales for a jazz artist. He has also recorded two songs for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in the United States.
Till date, Aremu has played alongside notable international artists like Kenny G, India Arie, Hugh Masakela, Najee, Bill Laurance, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Winans, Israel Houghton, Mary Mary and Fred Hammond and. He appeared at the John F Kennedy Centre, Washington DC’s main concert arena. He has also made considerable progress in Europe, particularly the UK where he has performed at premium music venues like The Barbican, Apollo London, Apollo Manchester, The Ocean, to mention a few.
He has also sold out a few venues in his own concerts including the famous and prestigious jazz café, twice, and made history as one of the few Africans to ever make such a landmark; London’s famous Jazz venue, Pizza Express Jazz Club and the O2 Academy, Islington. He has performed eight times at the House on the Rock gospel concert Experience.
Mike is the convener of one of the biggest jazz concert series in Nigeria, Sax Appeal, a concept which is geared towards the rebirth and promotion of live musical performances in Nigeria. Sax Appeal has featured renowned artists like Kenny G, India Arie, Jessy Jay, Judith Sephuma, Kunle Ayo, Yolanda Brown, Agboola Shadare, Yinka Davies, Tosin Martins, Bez, Timi Dakolo, Cobhams, Waje and many more. He has also been blessed with various accolades.
Mike Aremu 20 years celebration will take place on Sunday, December 22 at Lagos Continental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos