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Steve Rhodes was a brilliant musician -Soyinka

30 May 2014, 20:29

Lagos -Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday night described the late musicologist, Steve Rhodes, as a brilliant musician worthy of emulation.

Soyinka made the observation while declaring open the maiden photo exhibition on the life and times of the late musician and broadcaster.

 With the the theme "Steve Rhodes: Six Years After’’, the event  is taking place at the Freedom Park, Lagos and will end on June 5.

Rhodes died on May 29, 2008, at the age of 82.

"We all know the contributions that Rhodes made in the music industry; I recall COJA, with Rhodes at work.We know his productivity and contributions to the society in general, which is what exactly to celebrate on Democracy Day,” he said.

He commended the organisers of the exhibition, the Steve Rhodes Foundation (SRF).

Steven Bankole Omodele Rhodes was a veteran broadcaster, musician and showbiz impresario.

He bestrode the arts community for over six decades, producing, managing and creating arts and culture.

e attended CMS Grammar School, Lagos, and Dennis Memorial School, Onitsha, Anambra, for his secondary education.

He spent 11 years in England and Germany to further his education.

As a jazz musician in Germany, he played with some bands and followed them on concert tours of Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

While in England, Rhodes met fellow Nigerians and Africans with whom he shared the passion to return home to contribute their quotas to nation-building in the post-independence era.

He joined the Federal Ministry of Information and became the first Nigerian Controller of Programmes of the Western Nigerian Television.

Trained as a musicologist in Germany, Rhodes also worked in the defunct Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), which later became the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

He was instrumental to the setting up of the West African Dance Orchestra at the radio station.

Rhodes founded the famous Steve Rhodes Voices (SRV), a group of young choristers, who won laurels in various music festivals at home and abroad, especially in the 1970s.

The group later metamorphosed into the Steve Rhodes Orchestra (SRO).

Rhodes directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the COJA Games in 2003.


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