When the lights dimmed for the start of the Salut Salon Quartet’s concert at Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel last weekend, I, and I believe a majority of the audience who had not seen them in concert before, expected a normal classical music show as per their genre. Turns out that a pleasant surprise was awaiting us. Salut Salon performed way and beyond what you would expect of classical music and took the audience by surprise with their fun theatrics and instrumental acrobatics. What struck me most, apart from their great musical prowess, was the Salut Salon’s great sense of fun and humour on stage. Just when we thought it could not get any better, the quartet spiced things up with the introduction of Oscar – the puppet who performs with the four ladies. It was clear to me that the hallmark of Salut Salon’s performances is seamless blending of spunky fun and musical discipline – characteristics that affords them an amazing connection with the audience and ensures that their act never grows old.
The concert was at a charity gala dinner in support of Ghetto classics – a community program in Korogocho slums that works to nurture youngsters through music. This they do by instilling in them the life skills that go hand in hand with the discipline of studying the art of music. This very noble course gives the children a positive outlook on life and boosts their self confidence and determination to succeed in life despite their backgrounds. Furthermore, the program also provides them with income generating opportunities. The Ghetto classics community program involves over 300 children.
Salut Salon is a musical quartet that was born out of a friendship between Angelika Bachmann and Iris Siegfried, who were later joined by Anne-Monika von Twardowski and Sonja Lena Schmid to form the formidable foursome. Each of them plays an essential part to create the perfect harmony that is Salut Salon. The concert and charity dinner which was made possible by other partners as well, including the German Business Community and the German Embassy was by all means a success, managing to raise Kshs 1.2 Million for Ghetto Classics who also received 6 musical instruments from the event sponsors as a donation to support their music school.
Amid all the beautiful musical moments of the evening, the most touching for me was when members from the two groups cemented the theme of the evening “Salut Salon meets Ghetto Classics” by performing the song ‘Malaika’ together.