Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sade band members for 2013 Jazz Safari

Sade-philes may take delight in the fact that two of her band members will form part of the musical ensemble at the annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari on Friday October 4, 2013 at Kampala Serena Hotel. Tony Momrelle (background vocals) and Karl Van den Bossche (percussions) arrive in Kampala on Wednesday October 2, 2013. They were part of Sade’s 2011 Bring Me Home Live tour to promote the reclusive British chanteuse’s 2010 Soldier of Love CD. The duo’s Ugandan itinerary includes a media conference on Wednesday morning at the Serena’s Turaco Hall and a Jazz Safari Workshop/Q&A/Jam session later that day at Jazzville, Bugolobi from 7pm.

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While many will recognize Momrelle (born Anthony Momrelle, 5 September 1973) as mostly a background vocalist, the Briton is an accomplished R&B and jazz singer, and is one of the current lead vocalists of the band, Incognito. And before his stint in Incognito, Momrelle was already a solo recording artist who released two studio albums under his name. Also, he was once a member of gospel music group, Seven. In a year, he toured with both D’Sound, and the Brand New Heavies as a guest performer. His success in touring impressed Incognito’s frontman, Bluey Maunick, and he offered him the job as the vocalist of the acid-jazz outfit. He made his Incognito full-debut on the band’s 2006 album, Bees + Things + Flowers, in which he contributed as a main vocalist. Continue reading

Tabu-Flo re-imagines theatrical dance with “kalaBanda”

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Perhaps you belong to that legion of arts cynics who feel theatrical dance ended with the demise of the annual Namasagali College dance “productions” better known for their cheesy Mills-&-Boons story lines and cheerleader dance choreography. And it could be that not even their reincarnation in the form of the “noughties” phenomenon that was the now defunct dance wonder Obsessions, a posse of A-level school-leaver youngsters, convinced you enough to believe in an apparent theatrical dance revival. Tabu-Flo Dance Crew ought to erode that skepticism, what with their new imaginative dance outing Kalabanda: The Skeletor. Its lone weekend run at the National Theatre will definitely renew your faith in the arts if prior, you were part of the chorus that has written off our national cultural hub as a decaying shell.  Continue reading

Our 2013 Bayimba Festival “haute” picks

At its debut in 2008, Bayimba International Festival of the Arts attracted a paltry 60 culture vultures that nibbled on the three-day showcase held at the Kyadondo Rugby Grounds. Six editions later, the festival has positioned itself as an arts fete that draws in the purists and curious alike. Rumour has it that last year pulled a mammoth 100,000 goers streaming in and out of the National Theatre gates, enduring the discomfort of the tarmac to soak up haute culture of the non-Ekiggunda kind. This year may have fewer big name international acts but it’s still offers a good chance to savour indigenous acts that have mostly flown beneath the radar but are worth their weight in arts gold. Here are our festival picks for this year.

FRIDAY

Main Stage

Janzi Band 8PM

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The consensus is that they should have won the recent Nile Gold Last Band Standing contest had it been more about the music and not the beer. This band that gigs thrice weekly at Zone 7 (Wednesdays), Boda Boda (Thursdays) and Club Venom (Sundays) boasts a unique Afro-pop style that trademarks it from its band peers. Band front man James Ssewakiryanga uses his irresistible energy and mastery of Uganda and East Africa’s rhythm percussion and traditional instruments to present a world-class cultural experience of Afro-fusion music. The sound of the Akoogo, Adungu, Entongoli, Endigiddi, Amadinda, Calabash and Engoma fuses with the guitar, saxophone, keyboard and the drums to come up with an authentic Ugandan ethnic rhythm rooted heavily in folklore. Buoyed by the ideology that “the world speaks the same language of music” the band hopes to bait new converts with its soul and traditional rhythm repertoire.

Herbert Kinobe 11PM

Kinobe is a prodigy-turned-maestro who alongside elder brother Damascus Kafumbe started out as teenage instrumentalist in Percussion Discussion Africa. This was after the duo built their multi-instrumentalist skill set at Makerere College School, one of the top performing arts high schools at the time. He is reputed for his inspired synthesis of African roots and global fusion, the later honed from sharing the same stage with international World Music artistes of note like Toumani Diabate, Youssou N’dour, Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Oliver Mtukudzi and Baaba Maal. His life goal is to bring love and joy to people through his music and contributing to building healthier lives and communities for children and families everywhere. Kinobe has given concerts and workshops all over Europe, North America and Africa, bringing a powerful World-roots-dance sound to festival main stages and theatres, and intimately captivating solo shows that showcase the diversity of the traditional instruments. Kinobe is proud to be a World Ambassador for the Harmony Foundation (CANADA) supporting their important work on environmental protection and social development and improving the lives of children and their families around the world

AUDITORIUM

Yuttah Konvicts 7PM

Kenneth Desire Tereka, an immensely talented dance prodigy started Yuttah Konvict Society in 2007 to pave the way for other young dancers like him who were being stifled by industry veterans of the day. Despite rarely getting opportunities to learn or perform the contemporary dance genre, they were spurred on by their love for dance inspired by the tales of convicts in Luzira prisons. Yuttah Konvictz uses dance as a basic means of communication with the influence of props and other accessory usage to advance character analysis or role imposition. This allows the dancers to express there emotion, empathy and acting while explaining the theme through highly imaginative dance expressions. Performance execution usually includes various activities like singing, poetry, abstractness and visual artistry during the performance execution and ever since its conception they do.

Kaya Kagimu 10PM

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Kaya Kagimu Mukasa’s performing arts CV includes stints as a film actress, arts practitioner, dancer and instrumentalist boasting over 20 years of professional experience. An alumna of The Royal Court Theatre International Playwrights’ Residency, United Kingdom, she has worked on drama and film projects in over 16 countries, taking on different roles. She has also written and managed plays for Dinner Theatre and is also founder of Arts Treasure, a theatre company she runs. Kaya returns to Bayimba 2013 with a theatre play “My Maid and I” a story of two friends in conversation about the understanding of their current and previous maids. “There are so many stories that people who have maids can tell”,  Kaya says. “I have chosen a few aspects to deal with in this humorously teasing drama. It is a play acted by two women.” Continue reading

Of Sagali alumni “Cows” and Gayaza Poetry

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This [September 6-8, 2013] weekend holds a lot of promise for the culture vulture with two not-to-be-missed treats at the National Theatre. Alumni of Namasagali College come together to relive their high school heyday when the “Sagali Production” was all the rage providing more than just an escape from upcountry Kamuli for a much needed weekend in Kampala. Back then, the annual trek also provided upper-palate Kampalans a chance to watch hybrid performing arts that fused fairy-tale drama with creative dance. It was head teacher Father Damian Grimes’ holistic education approach to making his students stand out from the rote-learning crowd a la elocution and poise skills that would stand them in good stead later on in life. That Golden Age lasted a quarter-a-century from 1978 to 2004 when the curtain fell on the last “proda” as they were famously known amongst Sagali contemporaries. The [Nile] riverside railway-port-turned-school maybe a shadow of its former classy red-frock-mini self. But in putting on Any Cow Will Do this Friday (one show only at 7pm), the alumni are living up to the “Striving Regardless” school motto while lavishing Father Grimes with charity that will fundraise for the aging padre’s educational interests. 

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The following day [Saturday 3pm & 7pm], the nubile damsels of Gayaza High School wax lyrical with a poetry recital that will mark their foray into the spoken word genre that is spurring a renewed interest in the literary arts. The Journey Begins will set you back by UGX10K if you are 18+ and for that pocket friendly fee, it should be a fun and intellectually stimulating experience from the elite school that gave us among others Uganda’s only two-time First Lady Mama Miria Kalule Obote. This generation is not that lost hedonistic MTV-watching bunch after all. Glad that they are doing poetry beyond a means to scoring high examination marks. Of course the loudest applause goes to the Lantern Meet of Poets that continues to sow these literary seeds, first in Nabisunsa and now in Gayaza. There had better be an anthology for collectors to carry away.

Text: MOSES SERUGO (kampala1ne@gmail.com)

  

Shooting Africa One Touch At a Time

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Having laboured to steer a rookie photographer beyond airbrushed point-and-shoot portrait photography, I wish I had expended that energy on pushing the agenda of this bunch of focused and self-driven photographers instead.

One Touch Live is a posse of 15 Kenyan photographers, some from varied white-collar noble professions, whose like-minded motive is to showcase Africa in its best light away from clichéd poverty porn. And theirs is no Afropolitan-touting by some foreign-educated African wannabe. This adventurous bunch embody the very definition of the [Afropolitan] coinage; an attempt at redefining African phenomena by placing emphasis on ordinary citizens’ experiences in Africa. They mostly showcase their work on social media platforms like Facebook (OneTouch Media Kenya), Twitter (via various hashtags; #OneTouchLive, #OccupyAfrica and #ShootingKenya) and on Instagram. Each member also takes time to blog about their adventures. Continue reading