Sauti za Busara 2020 set to celebrate live music in style

Brace yourself for another thrilling edition of Africa’s most-exciting music festival as the countdown to the 17 edition of the Sauti za Busara festival has officially started.

As preparations for the internationally acclaimed festival gets into top gear, organizers say this year they are dedicated towards celebrating live music.

The 2020 edition which kicks off on February 13 in Zanzibar is  themed ‘Love Live Music’, something that organizers say is all about the basics in performance arts.

Speaking with The Beat earlier this week, Yusuf Mahmoud – the festival director, said the only reason why they have chosen this as the theme is because when music is not live people would rather stay at home and listen to radio.

 “We note with concern that across the Continent fewer people are learning to play instruments. The human touch brings a unique spirit to music wherever it is played. Live music generates employment and builds livelihoods,” he said.

He added: Studies prove that people who regularly attend live music events have a higher sense of mental well-being. As well as being happier, music lovers have greater feelings of empathy and solidarity.

During the four days, three stages host 32 bands showcasing traditional African music and contemporary sounds, including taarab, hiphop, jazz, blues, electro and afropop fusions.

The line-up features music for all tastes, it includes some of Africa’s most-talented musicians and instrumentalists. The list is rich with diversity and features creatives from different parts of the African continent. It includes;

Mehdi Qamoum (Morocco), Oumar Konaté (Mali), Blinky Bill (Kenya), GuissGuiss Bou Bess (Senegal), The Mafik (Tanzania), Ambasa Mandela & the Last Tribe (Kenya), Wakazi (Tanzania), Mamy Kanouté (Senegal), Onipa (Ghana/ UK),Thaïs Diarra (Senegal/ Switzerland), Mehdi Laifaoui Trab Project (Algeria).

Others are; Sibusiso ‘Mash’ Mashiloane (South Africa), NadiIkhwanSafaa (Zanzibar), Siti & the Band (Zanzibar), SeunOlota (Nigeria), Pigment (Reunion), Mannyok (Mauritius), FRA! (Ghana), BebeBaya (Guinea), TaraJazz (Zanzibar).

Without forgetting;  Apio Moro (Uganda), Ison Mistari aka Zenji Boy (Zanzibar), Kaloubadya (Reunion), Lulu Abdalla (Kenya), Mapanya Band (Zanzibar), SinaUbi & Zawose Spirit Group (Tanzania), Evon (Uganda), RahatZamaanTaarab Orchestra (Zanzibar), Mopao Swahili Jazz (Tanzania) and more.

Behind the scenes, Sauti za Busara offers training for local Tanzanians in stage management, artistes’ management, security and audience safety. Ever-popular with local and visiting professionals are the daily Movers & Shakers sessions – a daily forum for artists, managers, music promoters, media and other arts professionals to meet, network and exchange.

In the week leading up to the festival, the Swahili Encounters residency project takes place at Zanzibar’s Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA), where selected artistes from Tanzania, Ghana, UK, Morocco and Algeria will collaborate on a project to be shared with audiences in a special performance.

Sautiza Busara 2020 is powered by Norwegian Embassy, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Africalia, British Council, Memories of Zanzibar, Zanlink, Embassy of France, Emerson Zanzibar, Zenj FM, Chuchu FM, Mozeti, Pro Helvetia, Tifu TV, Dar Life and more.

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