Category: Music

Pragmo and Lillian Mbabazi’s danger concert

“Serena swimming pool area was the venue for this unlikely musical pairing, Pragmo and Lillian Mbabazi, even though as it turned out, they were not so different after all. The deemed lights, sound of the waterfall and even that of the frogs formed the perfect background for a quiet night out and a premonition of the style of music to expect: Jazz and soul.” Elizabeth Namakula reviews.

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The Book of Kirya: Songs written in the future about the past

Iwaya reviews the latest Murica Kirya-album “The Book of Kirya” for startjournal.org. “More than anything else, Book of Kirya is about helping others. If Misubbaawa was about lighting the candle, Book is about demonstrating to the whole world of onlookers that the light has not gone out. It is still shinning, bringing light, and if you bring your light, like Kirya is trying, like in Mulembe gwa Kirya, this light can become a fire, a blaze, an unstoppable inferno.”

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Nawany: A sensitive Karamojong

“Through the systematic collection and display of culture, the Milege band managed to create an integrated multiculturally diverse experience for both foreigners and native Ugandans. It beckoned to the feeling that music is truly the space of multiculturalism, that does not have neither race, class nor tribe as guide posts. Nawany is a representation of that multiculturally integrated Uganda to come.” Serubiri Moses reviews for startjournal.

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Art reflects society and its peculiarities

“Ancient African art was characteristic of realism and consciousness. Be it visual arts, music, literature, if you retrospectively gave it a thought you will realize that these two features were more or less the pillars that aesthetically sustained it; and the underlying reason why a lot of people will still say antique art still surpasses modern art. They dag into a wide range of topics that homed in on politics, romance, social science, and the likes (scruples of this are still apparent). Nonetheless, today I’m afraid I feel that what I comprehend as the true essence of art has been watered down.” Lutakome ‘FELIX’ Fidelis writes for startjournal.

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10 Lessons learned from a well-organized Bayimba

With the exception of the Laba! Arts festival, there are not so many festivals on the Ugandan calendar. So Bayimba gave us a feel of what a festival should be like. In the words of its Director Faisal Kiwewa, “Celebrating the feeling of belonging and experiencing the freedom of culturality.” And while at it, celebrate culture in all its diversity, so it seemed. Elizabeth Namakula reviews the Bayimba.

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Curating the Acoustics Sessions

The Acoustics Sessions at MishMash, a monthly night that began running in January of this year, showcases undiscovered musicians who, despite having technical and musical proficiency in music, are not confident enough to stand up for it. Serubiri Moses reviews the music event and goes behind the scenes to talk to its curators.

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DOADOA: Taking African music to the global scene

“Africa produces the best music in the world, but getting the music to the global level is still a big problem.” This viewpoint was given by Ruth Daniel, a co-founder of the global grassroots and creative community Un-Convention, at a press conference in Jinja. The press conference was organized by the Bayimba Cultural Foundation; launching the annual Bayimba Festival and DOADOA, the East African performing arts market at the Bax Conference Center.

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Does luga-flow symbolize Ugandan hip-hop / rap music?

Rap music in Uganda can be traced back to the late 80s when Philly Bongole Lutaaya (RIP) performed his Nakazaana. During the last two decades numerous hip-hop artists have emerged on the scene, introducing new styles and coining genres like Lwaali, Luga-flow, and Uga-flow. Also, mainstream media has fallen in love with the celebrity artists; they sell newspapers, but are they connected to the hip-hop movement? Lutakome Felix analyses the recent history of hip-hop in Uganda.

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Freeing the audience: Women in live music

At the beginning of February, an unusual concert was staged at the Goethe Institute in Kampala, headlined by Nneka, the world renowned young African icon. She was accompanied by five Ugandan female artists, including Ife Piankhi, a popular poet and jazz singer in town, and Tshila, a crossover Afro Soul icon. Serubiri Moses has talked to these two artists and Roshan Karmali about whether artists’ gender really matters.

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Nneka: The Soul Dynamite

Nneka stepped onto the stage twenty minutes to eleven and performed ecstatically for a full hour with a few interludes here and there. Decked in a white African top, brown pants, a blue jeans jacket and a Kitenge sash tied around her waist, she unleashed soul, pure and undiluted. “Take, swallow, digest and be inspired,” were her words as she kicked off the show. And on that promise, she delivered.

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Outlook 2012: Six leading Ugandan arts and culture professionals share their visions

Faisal Kiwewa, Director of Bayimba Cultural Foundation, Adong Judith Lucy, a renowned playwright, film maker and arts practitioner, John Bosco Kyabaggu, production manager at the Uganda National Cultural Centre, Ronex Ahimbisibwe, a renowned visual artist, Maurice Kirya, musician and brainchild of the Maurice Kirya Experience, and Joel Sebunjo, acclaimed Ugandan world music artist, all share some thoughts about 2011 and 2012.

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A Case for Good African Music

“There were a number of magical moments in the World Music showcase by Joel Sebunjo and Ismaël Lo on Friday. One was watching Sebunjo play the opening kora-solo to ‘Nakato’. Another one was hearing Ismaël Lo sing ‘Tajabone’, alone on stage with his guitar.” Serubiri Moses mediate on African music – “One must be able to feel the spirit of a people through music.”

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Afrigo Band, Watoto Choir and Pragmo Jazz: Live music for the festive season

Afrigo Band chose to celebrate its 36th anniversary during this season bringing up reminiscences we had comfortably bid goodbye to. The next stop was Watoto church on 18th December who had a Christmas presentation themed ‘One child’. Post Christmas, 27th December, had the pragmatic David Nsaiga at the Serena Garden roof top staging a show dubbed “Christmas peroxide”. Elizabeth Namakula reviews.

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Is this really Uganda?

The idea of a festival of the arts in the Ugandan sun was welcomed. Like others themed alike, This Is Uganda was expected to celebrate the Uganda free spirit in all cultural senses. In its second year, TIU shows it has set out to celebrate a different culture. Even when the organisers expected the event to be endorsed by a big number of revelers, at the end they were not happy with the turnout. At this rate, TIU might need to change tack in the next edition.

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This Is Uganda: Artwork in Progress

At this year’s This Is Uganda-festival young people shared ideas, promoted their artistic merchandise and learnt a thing or two about culture. Some came to see, some came to feel, other came to show off. There were simple art projects with global consequences, but was there a real message? Henry Mzili Mujunga reviews the arts and crafts at TIU 2011.

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Umoja sets the bar for performance high

The first International Umoja Cultural Flying Carpet Show in Uganda was a phenomenal display of talents. New music, new choreography, new acrobats and circus, all pulled off with such admirable coordination and symbiosis that the audience didn’t have reason to yawn. The show was a success because Umoja’s overriding idea of creating together was fulfilled.

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