Celebrating World Music Day in Kampala
Through a project led by the French Alliance Kampala, the Embassy of France, the Bayimba foundation Kampala Music School and the cultural department of Uganda National Cultural Centre, people celebrated World Music Day in Kampala on the 18th of June. On the streets where one usually hears the motor sounds of matatus and boda-bodas, you could hear the joyful beat of music bands.
Since its creation in 1982 by the French Minister of Culture Jack Lang, the Fête de la Musique or World Music Day has become a worldwide tradition. Every year, at the summer solstice, musicians fill the streets of cities and invite people to join their urban open air concert. It is a time of sharing and discovery.
Thanks to the French Alliance Kampala, the Embassy of France, the Bayimba foundation Kampala Music School and the cultural department of Uganda National Cultural Centre, Kampala participated to this World Music Day. Classical music was on the top of the programming this year. According to Frederick Musoke, Executive Director of the Kampala Music School, “Few people know about classical music, there is a preconception that it is music for the elite and not common people. By playing classical music on the streets, we want to break those clichés.”
A walk was organized around the city center, passing by different places where musicians were playing. For the first time, the French Embassy opened its doors to visitors. Approachability and openness was the message that the Embassy of France wanted to convey to the local population.
The procession ended at the National Theatre where a large outdoors stage awaited the musicians. The Kampala Symphony Orchestra opened the concert, followed by Brass for Africa, an NGO providing music education to children in need.
Then, Lawrence Okello amazed the audience. The exceptionally talented young musician from the North and his band played Adungu, Rigiri, xylophone and drums (traditional instruments of Acholi region), bringing Uganda rich music culture under the spotlights. Two dancers performed Buganda dances.
Later, Ruyonga, the youth rapper idol climbed on stage to utter with strength and conviction the powerful lyrics of his songs.
The concert ended after Kojack, an artist from DRC and former guitarist of Papa Wemba set fire to the crowd. For two hours, people danced and sang on the crazy sound of his folk guitar. In the wee hours of the morning, musicians and spectators all together went to Hollywood Club to celebrate World Music Day in Kampala.