Tanzania’s monthly party The Beat finds a new home

Dar es Salaam’s Paparazzi Bistro club will come alive as the monthly The Beat Festival finds a new home at the club on Friday 11 December. With both emerging talents and well established artists set to play at The Beat, Tanzania’s best live music will be on show at this edition, with a strong focus on Bongo Flava and muziki wa dansi genres.

Tanzanian artist Banana Zorro. Photo: www.bananazorro.com
Tanzanian artist Banana Zorro. Photo: www.bananazorro.com

Ifa Band will entertain fans with their wild but elegant blend of bongo flava with muziki wa dansi in a fresh and exciting way. The band emerged on the streets of Dar es Salaam in 2002 playing broken cymbals and washing-line bass guitars. Jafari Rashid Igomba is the only blind member of the group and is also a founding member. His love for music pushed him to visit rehearsals of Baba Toni, a local band in his home village of Ligama, and this is where he learned to play acoustic guitar. In the year 2000, Baba Toni stopped performing and Jafari decided to move to Ifakara district in Morogoro region, where he met new friends who were also interested in music. This is how IFA Band was born in 2002 and started performing around the town. Today IFA is a mobile six-man band, moving from one place to another entertaining people.

Banana Zorro one of the first Bongo Flava artists in Tanzania and who helped define the sound of Bongo Flava is also set to perform. In his formative years, Zorro’s music was heavily influenced by Latin sounds a trend that was popular in the early 2000s in Tanzania. He later created his own band the B Band, which focused on live performances in the capital and has to date been very successful.

Among other acts expected to perform is Mzungu Kichaa, a popular figure in Tanzania since his 2009 album Tuko Pamoja. Mzungu Kichaa and his band Bongo Beat have created a unique style of Congolese-inspired Bongo Flava bringing him success on the local and international scene. Also lined up to perform is Samwel Hokororo, who honed his skills at the Dogo Centre and has since made a name for himself within the Afro-fusion circle, gracing major festivals like Sauti za Busara.

With a new home at the club, The Beat is encouraging international as well as local acts who are interested in playing at the festival to get in touch. Find out more information on their Facebook page.

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