Sauti za Busara music festival is here

Sauti za Busara, East Africa’s favourite music festival, is finally here. The event will kick off from 9 – 12 February 2017 at the Old Fort and Forodhani Gardens at the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania. 

Rocky Dawuni. Photo: The Music Hall
Rocky Dawuni. Photo: The Music Hall

Last year, organisers of the festival announced their decision to cancel the 2016 edition due to shortage of funding. Now, in its 14th edition, the event will host forty African music groups, which were selected from over 600 applicants to keep festivalgoers entertained during the four-day music extravaganza. Sauti za Busara features Swahili Encounters, a unique residency to unite musicians from diverse musical backgrounds through collaboration with Zanzibar’s Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA).  This year’s original musical fusion will feature renowned musicians such as Mohammad Issa Matona (Zanzibar), Mehdi Nassouli (Morocco) and Victor Lolinga (mainland Tanzania).

The musicians, representing Swahili, French and Arabic-language musical tastes, will create at least two new compositions to perform at the festival on Thursday, 9 February at 7:00pm on the main stage.

Attendees will also enjoy music from artists such as Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band and Rocky Dawuni (Ghana), Sahra Halgan (Somalia), Roland Tchakounte (Cameroon), Batimbo Percussion Magique (Burundi), Grace Barbe (Seychelles) and Isau Meneses (Mozambique).

Other musicians who will feature include Sami Dan (Ethiopia), Yamoto Band, Jagwa Music, Chibite Zawose Family (Tanzania), Rajab Suleiman & Kithara, Matona’s G Clef Band and Tausi Women’s Group (Zanzibar), Sarabi and H_art the Band (Kenya).

Festival Director, Yusuf Mahmoud said, “Music brings people together. Music communicates to all of us, rich or poor, regardless of language, religion, gender or politics. Music teaches us to respect our differences and value diversity. A critical factor for its success is the shared experience between visitors and locals. Keeping the event accessible for local people is our priority, so admission prices are greatly subsidised for Tanzanians.”

Founded in 2004, Sauti za Busara is known for showcasing a diverse and dynamic programme of exclusively African music. It has over the years provided a valuable stage for local Swahili talent, from taarab legends like Bi Kidude and Culture Musical Club, to homegrown Tanzanian pop and hip-hop.

It is the management’s priority to make the festival accessible and affordable for the locals, hence discounts are offered on tickets for all Tanzanians, African passport-holders and foreign residents in East Africa.

Tickets can be purchased on the festival’s website. Ticket prices are as follows: $10 for Tanzanians, $60 other Africans and foreign residents (EAC) and $120 (other nationalities).



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