Monday, August 18, 2008


In mid August this year,I attended Isaiah Katumwa's Jazz perfomance at Kampala Serena Hotel. It was everything it was billed out to be. Isaiah Katumwa is a truly world-class act which is not what you can say for many Ugandan artists. I kept asking my date why he is not an international star already. Boy, he has sure got the goods. Absolutely professional. He put on a several -hours, non- stop show without any opening acts or interlude.He gets the biscuit for stamina alone.

The jazz he plays is a unique brand unlike much of what is on the market. Its John Coltrane meets Hugh Masekela with an infusion of Ugandan traditional ganda beats. It was a sumptous feast for the ears and even for the eyes. The brother knows a thing or two about grooving too!

Katumwa must have been abroad for most of his earlier career because he burst on the scene only about last year. At least I got to know about him last year at a local Kampala church where he was introduced and did a short gig. It was endearing from the start.

At the show, all his hits were perfomed and were started off with a brief intro. There was a clear crowd favourite. The crowd simply couldnt get enough of it.

The stage organization and multi media outlay was another plus. Most of the video aids were appropriate to the music played and they spiced it all up.

The supporting band deserves mention too. They were up to it and a handful have what it in them to break out on their own. But Isaiah Katumwa was the offering of the evening and he didnt dissapoint.
As advertized his is truly Jazz with an African accent!

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