Percussion gurus meet to create real music

Saturday March 17 2012

Ssewanyana entertains revellers at a previous concert.

Ssewanyana entertains revellers at a previous concert. PHOTO BY EDGAR R. BATTE 

By Edgar R. Batte

In union there is strength, so they say. Our contemporary artistes are teaming up to share skills on one stage. The new concept, dubbed The Percussion Gurus, Qwela Junction which will feature some of the celebrated percussionists in the country.

Herman Ssewanyana, the director of Percussion Discussion Africa, James Sewakiryanga of Janzi Band and Ricco Del Monte of Qwela as well as Samuel Bakka of Soul Beat Africa will headline the concert slated for Friday, March 30 at Emin Pasha Hotel.

But this is an idea that will be serialised. “It is a series of concerts, code-named the Qwela Junction. It is called so because it is a meeting point for musicians to work together once a month and present a musical production showcasing one area of music. This month is a percussion concert,” Joe Kahirimbanyi, the brainchild behind this idea and director of Qwela band explained.

Explaining, how he came up with this idea Kahirimbanyi, also a drummer and guitarist, said, “Every once in a while during performances we have points where one instrument plays a cadenza. This is usually my favorite part of the show. It is surprising and amazing what technics and tricks people do with their instruments at that spontaneous point.”

He added, “I have watched guitarists, saxophonists, drummers, percussionists in concert and it is always amazing what an instrument which is given the forefront can do. I’ve thought for a long time to do a showcase type of performance and when I shared the idea with my team and with Ricco, Bakka, Ssewanyana, James they all said, let’s go for it. It is a new live music experience, the fans and musicians will be thrilled just the same.”

The percussionists are already busy with rehearsals and practice and have created some new material for the forthcoming concert, as well as working on renditions of songs they have played before in a way never played before.

“Our focus is to bring out our African sense of music and give people an experience they will never forget,” Kahirimbanyi excitedly shared. This concert will bring together seasoned musicians who have toured and travelled the world with music as their travel ticket.

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