Jazz live with Isaiah Katumwa

Monday July 22 2013

Jazz live with Isaiah Katumwa

Katumwa (r) with Naava on the set of the show. Photo by Rachel Mabala. 

By Ivan Okuda

Hate or love him, Isaiah Katumwa is one Ugandan artiste who has managed to curve out for himself a niche of an artiste with class. Unlike our everyday singer who will fly to Japan and wow Ugandans there, come back home and entertain the urban elite at Kampala Serena Hotel, but still get to the mud deep down upcountry, the jazz artiste has confined himself to a particular class of places and audience. That may be his undoing, perhaps it is his musical plus. And this exactly is what we saw last Wednesday during the filming of the new season of his Jazz Live with Isaiah show at Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

From the arrangement of seats, decorated in a wedding like fashion to the snow white sofas at the stage, glitter and glamour in the lighting, one felt and sniffed the aura of a live TV show but of course the usual suspects, technical glitches and ill prepared organisers manifested.

“In this show we are talking about talent but giving singers a platform because many go unnoticed. We need to see these people and celebrate them,” he said before opening the door to four artistes and emceeing the two hour show himself. First came Gagamel Crew’s Rema Namakula of the Oli Wange fame, dressed in shouting yellow pants and having to answer hard questions during the break, most exciting of them pushing her to clear the air on her rumoured lovey dovey affair with Bebe Cool.

“My relationship with Bebe Cool is purely a father-daughter one. He is my father and I cannot imagine him doing anything…” Namakula said, exciting the crowd that posed more questions. It is actually these meet-greet-and-ask-questions moments that make the show distinctive. Qwela Band’s Maureen Mutabingwa aka MoRoots talked about how she balances a marketing career, the band and personal music. 2010 Tusker Project Fame’s, Rachel Namubiru’s stage fright was compensated by a crowd pulling voice and again, and another Tusker Project Fame discovered talent Naava performed songs like Aliba Wange and Nzize that gave the show an electrifying close.

The Show
The show, which was filmed with an audience comprising mainly university students will be aired on NTV every Saturday. Four episodes were shot and more will be shot in a month’s time. The show is sponsored by KFM, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Ecobank, E&E Furniture, Pepsi and Air Uganda.