‘Night with the King draws’ closer

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By Ntsebeng Motsoeli

MASERU — Nnenna Freelon, an internationally acclaimed American Jazz artiste, says she cannot wait to wow revelers at a fund raising event at Maseru Sun Cabanas tomorrow.

Dubbed “A Night With the King”, the event will see Freelon and her small band perform for King Letsie III, distinguished guests and other Jazz lovers.

The event seeks to raise funds for the renovations of Scott Hospital in Morija where the King was born.

“I am looking forward to performing for the King. I have been performing all over the world. Performing for heads of states is not a regular kind of gig. So I feel honoured to be here,” Freelon said.

Her A-listers revelers include US President Barack Obama for whom she performed in Hawaii last year.

Yesterday she paid a brief visit to the King at his home in Matsieng.

She says her performance on Friday will be an energetic one.

“My performances are full of energy,” she says

A holder of a degree in Health Care, Freelon says it is just a “happy coincidence” that she has been asked to perform for the cause of raising funds for the refurbishment of the hospital.

“I assume the organisers have seen the need for renovations at Scott Hospital and for me to help in that process,” she says, adding that she is passionate about the good health of the spirit, body and mind.

She says she is happy to learn that the King is very familiar with her music.

On her first day in the Mountain Kingdom, Freelon was already raving about the country calling it “a hidden treasure.”

“This place is a hidden treasure. It is good news,” she said.

The six-time Grammy Award nominee has performed and toured with big names in music like Ray Charles and Ellis Marsalis.

She has been nominated for the “Lady of Soul” Soul Train Award, the 2010 “Woman of Substance” by Bennett College for Women, the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame for her artistry, the Eubie Blake Award and the Academie of Jazz of France Award.

She has also recorded film songs for shows such as the Mad Men, and sang a remake of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to The Moon for the The Visit move that stars Billy Dee Williams. She also made her feature debut in Mel Gibson’s What Women Want.

The charity event is organised by Standard Lesotho Bank, Metropolitan Lesotho, Lets’eng Diamonds and the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC).

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