Today he is one of the most distinguished practicioners of Tanzania’s traditional gogo music, but his career as a professional musician began long ago—Msafiri Zawose began touring across large parts of the country already as a twelve year-old. His father Hukwe Zawose was a giant in Tanzanian music, collaborating with the likes of Peter Gabriel. It was he who taught Msafiri to play, but also to build the instruments crucial to gogo music. For example, the string instrument zeze and the thumb piano ilimba, which, along with polyphonic singing, are typical elements of the gogo sound. The music and dance are hugely important parts of everyday life in Msafiri’s hometown Bagamoyo, and he works passionately to keep them alive for future generations. Expressing his roots and emotions is what matters most to him, but he also allows his music to combine with modern styles, including an organic-electronic hybrid gogo album called Uhamiaji, released on British Soundway.
Tickets 6 april. With a festival pass there’s a 50% discount (use code ekwiri).