I was flipping through a magazine and saw an article about the “New Afrika Shrine,” a performance and event venue located in Lagos, Nigeria. This performance space is a new iteration of the original shrine, which was first launched in the early 1970s by Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, and composer Fela Kuti (but it burned down in 1977).

At any rate, the magazine article had a picture of Fela Kuti playing a saxophone (below left) with a green neck and a red bow and bell with small shells attached around the rim of the bell. I first started playing the saxophone when I was in elementary school, and after all these years of watching and listening to different saxophone players, I’ve never seen one with a saxophone that looked like this!

Wanting to learn more about Fela Kuti’s customized saxophone, I looked online, and found out that this wasn’t the only one that he had. Check out his candy-striped versions: the blue, red and yellow sax in the middle, and the red, white and blue version, below right. I can’t find much more information than just these pictures, but I still love the idea of a customized instrument.

On a side note, when I was mentioning the parts of the saxophone, above, did you realize that a saxophone has approximately 600 parts? Click here to learn more about the various parts and the structure of a saxophone.

Of course I would be remiss if I wrote a post about a musician and don’t give you a sample of his music. Check out Fela Kuti performing his song “Gentleman,” below: