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The Makossa Fest, an annual pan African music festival led by Afro Century events which aims to promote both music and cultural exchange, is set to be held from Thursday May 3 to Saturday at Alliance Ethio Française. This year, the three-day event will shed light on great artists from East Africa.
Thursday: SSEWA SSEWA (Uganda)
Ssewa Ssewa is a Ugandan born world and folk music artist, multi-instrumentalist, music writer, story teller and co-founder of Janzi band, one of Uganda’s top Bands. His music is a cross-cultural marriage between Uganda and the World, which seeks to reassert Ugandan traditions while modernizing and interweaving them with jazz, folk, soul and other international genres to renew the spirit within his indigenous culture.
Ssewa’s performances feature an array of instruments, including the JANZI, a harp-like string instrument he designed, as well as African traditional instruments like Endongo (Bow Lyre), Adungu (Ugandan Harp), Endigidi (Tube Fiddle), Akogo (Thumbpiano), Amadinda (Xylophones), and Engoma (Ugandan traditional drums).
Ssewa has performed in Uganda and abroad. He has worked with artists such as Quela Band, Navio, A Pass, Isaiah Katumwa and Suzan Kerunen.
Friday: SITI & THE BAND (Tanzania/Zanzibar)
Coming from a cultural heritage and having mastered traditional instruments, Siti & The Band use their creativity, talent and education to fuse their roots of Taarab music with their personal influence they are exposed to on the Zanzibar island.
Siti fuses their roots with African, Western and Indian Oceans influences, as well as performing traditional folk songs from East Africa with a touch of traditional Taarab.
Taarab, originally brought to Zanzibar 200 years ago by migrants and traders who sailed the ocean with wooden Dhow sailing boats, became a unique touch to Zanzibar through the African rhythms and tonalities it has been exposed to throughout time.
With unique instrumentation – including Violin, Qanun & Oud – Siti & the Band is carrying the torch of classic Zanzibari music by giving new life to these old sounds.
On Saturday, the above two artists (Ssewa Ssewa and Siti & The Band) will get back up on stage along with Kenyan musician IDD AZIZ.
Idd Aziz is a Kenyan artist who has been exploring the healing aspects of music and uses them as a tool in many different ways. His passionate cultural music has influenced great diversity in his vocal style which combines world sounds with deep African roots. Idd Aziz also has a lot of experience playing the guitar, flute and a variety of African percussions.
As a singer and songwriter Aziz has worked with some well known artists such as Heing Siumaro and Trondheim orchestra.