Abrass band of the United States (US) Naval Forces, Europe, “Topside,” captivated guests at Freedom Park, Lagos when they performed a special rendition of the late Afro-beat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s classic “Water No Get Enemy” to the delight of music lovers, who sang and danced along with the band.
For the second time this year, Topside, was visiting Nigeria with the aim of bolstering the US-Nigerian relationship through the power of music, it was said.
Whether it was “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Stand By Me,” “Lion Sleeps Tonight,” or “Water No Get Enemy,” the high-energy performances of the band were well received by the audience.
On the first day of their visit, the band performed American and Nigerian tunes to the delight of approximately 300 children and youths at the Johnson Jakande Tinubu Park in Alausa, Lagos.
On Monday, the group of nine musicians conducted a masterclass for established and emerging local musicians, including members of the Nigerian Trumpet Guild. Building on their long-standing partnership, the US Navy band shared best practices with their Nigeria Navy, Air Force and Police counterparts.
“We’re really excited to be playing for our Nigerian partners again, our last visit to Lagos was so well received,” said Musician third Class Michael Parker, a member of the Topside band.
The US Navy band also performed at a special reception to commemorate the 2019 Africa Partnership Station (APS) Mission. The event was held at the Nigerian Naval Dockyards, Victoria Island, Lagos and was attended by US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Kathleen FitzGibbon; US Naval Forces Europe Deputy Chief of Strategy, Resources and Plans, Rear Admiral John Gumbleton; Nigerian Navy’s Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji; alongside Nigerian political and business leaders as well as members of the diplomatic corps.
Topside was in Nigeria to support the visit by the USNS Carson City, which has been deployed in the Gulf of Guinea on the Africa Partnership Station (APS) mission. APS is US Naval Forces Europe’s flagship maritime security cooperation programme, focusing on maritime safety and security through increased maritime awareness, response capabilities, and infrastructure.
It would be recalled that Topside visited Nigeria in March to support the 2019 Obangame Express exercise sponsored by the US Africa Command. The latest visit underscored the strong bilateral relationship and people-to-people ties between the United States and Nigeria.