Nigeria’s love affair with jazz music stems from post-World War II, with the return of notable pioneer expatriates from Europe, such as Bobby Benson, Tunde Amuwo, Bob Edwards, Soji Lijadu, and Willy Payne among others. Today the capital is home to the most singular of music spots – here’s everything you need to know.
Jazz in Nigeria
Fast forward to the present day music scene, and the people of Nigeria have embraced jazz music as a celebration of freedom and creativity. Nowhere is this more true than at Jazzhole – located on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi, Lagos, this spot is a haven for jazz lovers. Here visitors can browse through an abundant collection of books, CD and vinyls, while enjoying different genres of music from jazz to afrobeats. The venue hosts bijou rehearsals and live music for chill-out evenings with friends and family. Transit through the different timelines of jazz’s musical progression, discover core eclectic music genres, and enjoy the rustic ambience while warming up to an archive of African rooted music with old posters, art and information you wouldn’t find anywhere else!
The space allows for a few tables and chairs at the back corner, where you can enjoy a wide assortment of over 40 varieties of tea and some of the best coffee choices. The coffee crumble cake is a delicious specialty of the cafe, not forgetting the goodness of one of the best freshly-baked carrot cakes the city of Lagos has to offer. Jazzhole is credited as one of the foremost and well-stocked music shops and cultural centers within the country, and numbers one of the top spots to learn about musical evolution.
Founder of Jazzhole
Mr Kunle Tejuoso founded Jazzhole as an adjunct of Glendora Books, the legendary bookstore franchise founded by his mother over 25 years ago. He started Jazzhole at a time when a number of expatriates were resident in Lagos – he wanted to bridge the gap between the international music scene and Nigeria, by providing them with a place to enjoy international music in Lagos. An avid collector of music, art, limited editions and signed copies, Mr Tejuoso began his love for collecting when authentic and original music sources were becoming extinct.
Through his extensive and impressive music archives, the Jazzhole proprietor has become much more than a collector, but a historian of African culture, fighting to preserve music, history and general lifestyle for the future generation. Of his creation he has noted that “I basically curate the store the way I want it. From my book selections to the music on display, there’s always a reason why I do what I do. It’s not a shop where you will find just Sunny Ade and Fela. You can walk in and find music from Morocco and Mali.”
Jazzhole in popular culture
If you’re looking for inspiration as an artist or as a writer, or to carry out research on musical progression and sounds, Mr Tejuosho regularly opens his doors to satisfy enthusiasts, helping to preserve what has come to be known as the Nigerian sound. In addition, Jazzhole often hosts international as well as local acts, for listening sessions, art exhibitions and jazz evenings.
Award-winning novelist and feminist supporter, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made a mention of Jazzhole in her book Americanah as the first meeting place of the characters Ifemelu and Obinze when they returned to Nigeria. Ngozi also mentioned in an interview that Jazzhole is a place where she loves to visit time and again to buy books.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.