Highlife Music Legend Victor Olaiya Dies at 89.

Highlife Music Legend Victor Olaiya Dies at 89.
Nigeria's highlife music legend, Dr Victor Abimbola Olaiya OON," has died at the age of 89.

He died at exactly 12pm on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at LUTH in Lagos state. 

A trumpeter, Olaiya ruled the airwaves in the 1950s and early 1960s with a sound heavily inspired by Ghanaian highlife.

Olaiya was born on 31 December 1930, in Calabar, Cross River State.

He was the 20th child of a family of 24. 

At an early age, he learned to play the Bombardon and the French Horn. 

After leaving school he moved to Lagos where he passed the school certificate examination in 1951 and was accepted by Howard University in the United States to study Civil Engineering.

Olaiya instead, pursued a career as a musician to the disapproval of his parents.

In 1954 Olaiya formed his band, the Cool Cats, playing popular highlife music. 
His band was chosen to play at the state ball when Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited Nigeria in 1956, and later to play at the state balls when Nigeria became independent in 1960 and when Nigeria became a republic in 1963. 

Olaiya renamed his band to the All-Stars Band when they played the 1963 International Jazz Festival in Czechoslovakia.

He is survived by many wives, children, and grandchildren

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