Gospel saxophonist, Kolawole Bekes was born in Ondo State and raised both in Ondo and Lagos State of Nigeria. From a young age KolaSax was encouraged to develop his musical talents and at seven years of age his Father (Hon Olorunfemi Bekes) had already taught him how to play the Piano, a considerable portion of the hymns and choruses frequently played at church. KolaSax started his first piano lessons at the age of seven; he did enjoy them and did as he was told. As time passed, KolaSax found joy in playing the piano and he thought it was going to end in playing the piano, but little did he know that God had an entirely different plan for his life.
Years passed by until one day at age 18, KolaSax’s ears were struck by the beautiful, sultry tone of the saxophone. From that day, his dream was to become one of the world’s best saxophonists. A regular and ever increasing practice regime became part of KolaSax’s daily agenda, together with playing alongside other musicians and taking personal lessons. KolaSax’s aspiration to become a world-class saxophonist took a giant leap when, in a 2004 Lagos audition with Cohbams and Djinee.
Filled with new challenges, KolaSax was also fortunate enough to be under the tutelage of smooth jazz recording artist, Damilola Bekes, Mike Aremu, Walter Beasley and the legendary saxophonist, Bill Pierce, who were major influences on him. Other notable influences include Gerald Albright, Grover Washington Jr, Everette Harp, Najee and Cannonball Adderley, to name a few.
In 2009, KolaSax launched his music career with the release of his debut album entitled ‘Shadow Personality’. This was the first project under a new record label, CREATIVE RECORDS. The album was a hit in the NIGERIA instrumental gospel market and has also been successful in AFRICA. KolaSax graduated from University of Abuja 2011 with a B.S.C (ED) Mathematics, but now specializes in his calling.
In January 2012, KolaSax launched his triple singles, titled ‘1: Ijoba Orun, 2: Bianule, 3: Belongs to you’ and in 2013 Christmas track titled PARTY IN THE MANGER, 2015 odogwu na agha, and Vashawn Mitchell NO BODY GREATER #TheCover in 2016 which attracted millions of downloads- a compilation of contemporary gospel favourites with a dynamic and exciting jazz twist.
Following on from the success of the Debut Album and the singles, KolaSax is set to continue the theme in his long anticipated second Album, “YOU ARE” which is due for release in 2016
KolaSax’s ministry has carried him to performance in churches, concerts, wedding ceremonies, birthdays, government functions etc around the world. He has performed on famous stages. KolaSax has served as music minister in The Redeemed Christian Church of God and saxophonist at The Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) Abuja, under the leadership of Rev. and Pastor Mrs Biodun and Modele Fatoyinbo, and has shared the stage with many of the gospel industry’s top artists such as Don Moen, Muyiwa Olanrewaju, Tye Tribbett, Tasha Cobbs, William Murphy, Byron Cage, Tasha Cobbs, Kurt Carr, Tim Godfrey and the Extreme crew, Mike Aremu, The Avalanche, Lenny LeBlanc, Agboola Sadare, Chris Morgan, Sammie Okposo, Psalmos, to name a few, and He is fast becoming widely known in the gospel arena for his inspirational and dynamic performances.
“Music Ministry is the purpose of my life to offer praise to God and to bless others through the gift he has given me, I am a Levite in that number God promised so long ago in Jeremiah 33:22.”
In looking back on his journey, KolaSax considers himself very blessed to have had many great role models, both musical and non-musical, and pays tribute to each of them.
“I count it a blessing to have had a solid family supporting me at every step of the way, friends and mentors through thick and thin, and the opportunity to travel around the world meeting new people and appreciating other views and cultures”.
KolaSax attributes all his success, past, present and future to his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and considers himself a living testimony of Philippians 4.13,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
His personal message to all is,
“No matter how old or young you are, have a dream for your life. Commit it to God and nurture that dream by achieving small daily goals until your dream becomes a reality. Never give up no matter what obstacles come your way. Dream big and shoot for the stars, at the very least you’ll land on the moon. And finally, in five, ten, twenty years from now you’ll look back and take satisfaction in knowing that you did what you were born to do through Christ our strength.”