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Young men to spice up Uganda’s ‘forgotten’ traditional music

Arts

Young men to spice up Uganda’s ‘forgotten’ traditional music

Aloysius Migadde

The Baganda have a saying that: “Negwozadde akukubira engoma n’ozina” which loosely translates as the “A parent can dance to the tune or drum beat of his/her child.”

This saying is set to be put into practice on August 28, at the National Theatre when a group of young men will showcase transformed sounds that were inspired by traditional songs, dating back more than 50 years ago. According to one of the organisers, since most of the songs date back many decades when majority of Ugandans were not born, the event should attract interest from many music lovers seeking to gets an idea on the development of Uganda’s music and instrumentation.

The traditional music revival has been made possible thanks to recordings of traditional music that was done by the late Klaus Philipp Wachsmann, a British ethnomusicologist of German origin. Wachsmann, who passed away in 1984, is well known for his work as an archivist whose work is well documented and preserved at Makerere University. A section of Makerere University’s library was named after him.

Wachsmann lived in Uganda from 1937 to 1957 and compiled an extensive collection of field recordings between 1949 and 1952.

The musicians, who are self-professed lovers of traditional music, have in addition to bringing back the oldies of yesteryears, decided to add some new touch to the songs by infusing them with new instruments. It is called Fusion music, in art speak.

Aloysius Migadde

Born 20 April 1993, Aloysius Migadde is a musician, music teacher and talented music instrumentalist. His bias is world music, folk and Afro jazz. He plays the Guitar, Trumpet, Ndingidi, Akogo, Omukuri, Adungu voice and amadinda. He plays a fusion of Ugandan original traditional music with foreign styles. He has done and is still doing renditions of traditional folk tunes that he plays using a guitar. Migadde has a unique tone on guitar which he gets from depicting the Ndingidi (tube fiddle), a one stringed traditional Ugandan instrument. He has incorporated very many musical aspects in his music, a thing that has helped him get a unique sound and get good representation of Ugandan music.

He started music in 2013 and he has shared stage with Suzan Kerunen, Sewa Sewa, Giovani Kiyinji, Kabuye Sembogga, Kenneth Mugabi, Qwela band, Bayimba music academy and Mseto nation band.

Brian Busuulwa

Brian Busuulwa is a Ugandan performer, a music composer, an arranger and instructor. The 26 year old is a recommended pianist and vocalist with a lengthy pitch range. He has worked with bands such as the Mile’s band, Abaaza and currently works with Mseto Nation.

He has composed personal songs such as You Should Know, Naaka Sooka Ojje, Ongambanga, Siri Mwetegefu among others. Busuulwa works as the Head of Performing Arts Department at St. Andrew Kaggwa Gombe High Kawaala, a music teacher at Twin Brook international school Kiteezi- Bamba and a music instructor at Buganda Road Primary school.

He plays western instruments such as Piano, drums, guitar and Bass guitar. Busuulwa is a professional stage and screen actor, a commercial face as seen in the famous Bosco advert, a sound engineer, stage lights designer, music producer and a film editor who attained his degree honor of performing arts in Drama and Film at Makereere University.

He has shared stage with Lilian Mbabazi , Aloysius Migadde, Lawrence Matovu, Ronnie Bukenya, JJ Bugoma, Suzan kerunen, Giovani Kiyinji, Sebulime Michael, Jude Mugerwa, Andereya Baguma among others.

Lawrence Matovu

Lawrence Matovu is a bass guitar player. He has a music degree from Makerere University. He has played the Trumpet and the Tuba as well as other traditional instruments such as Amadinda, Endingidi, and the bass Adungu. He won several accolades in his high school days as a percussionist and it is these skills that inspired the talented bass guitar player he is today.

He has performed at Bayimba festival, Doadoa festival, the Go down (Nairobi), Pearl rhythm among others.

Joseph Julius Sengooba

Joseph Julius Sengooba aka J.J. is a professional performer. He studied music at Makerere university. He started his professional life with Ndere  troupe in 2010 before joining the Ebonies’s band in 2012. In 2014, J.J. joined Unit 446 bands for (Jamimah Sanyu). He has played alongside Drummex band for producer Kiwuuwa, Marish Band, Milege band, Arpeggio Band, code 9 and also featured Makutano.

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