The Baad Base guitarist Leonard Oscar Kayoyo
The team also had the pleasure of sitting down with John Kitime, the veteran musician in Tanzania, who sat at the board of COSOTA (Tanzania Copyright Society) for years. He brushed the team on copyright laws in the country, a topic the musicians found most interesting as questions never ceased.
Producer Sam Jones of Sound thread was another guest speaker at the serene surroundings of Red Monkey Lodge. He presented several recordings from his clients in East Africa who include the band Sarabi from Kenya. Slowly unpacking the ingredients of the same so as to showcase what makes a good record.
Grace Matata charming
We learned what it took to put such a festival together and how without any grant from the government despite being a tourist attracting magnet injecting millions of USD into the economy. The organizers have to hustle in getting sponsors as ticket sales alone; don’t cover the costs of the four day festival. Reasons of which this year it was cancelled for the first time since its inception in 2004.
Other speakers included Rebecca Corey one of the founders for the Tanzania Heritage Project an NGO currently working to preserve our nation’s rich aural history particularly music from the early 20th century in digital format. She showcased a documentary she was featured in (via CNN-Inside Africa).
With one of the main subjects being WaremaChacha a musician playing the ‘Litungu’, a musical instrument with origins in the Luo tribe. Rebecca went on to insist on the importance of having our music today, evolve from our own historical sounds. She cited MrChacha as a perishing gem which if more musicians don’t learn from, his skills on the instrument could well disappear from our ears.
The workshop left many of the participants enthused to pursue their careers with relish “We’re so glad that the musicians received this well, hopefully we’ll be able to pull this off next year and in the years to come…” Mark Dieler-owner of Red Monkey Lodge, an avid lover of music who gave the rooms at his lodge for free during this workshop.
The musicians made very creative collaborations be sure to expect some hot tracks from the bunch this year...