Citiblend band brings southern vibe to Kampala

Several bands around the city are changing the face of Kampala’s night life. And now for jazz lovers, there is Caesar Kajura and the Citiblend, who play an urban groovy fusion of traditional sound, tuning it up with South and East African musical influences.

Citiblend impressed the audience at Liquid Silk in Bugolobi last Thursday, where they buffed in Kajura’s original compositions off his two albums Self Discovery and City Life, merged with popular old school jazz music that had fans nodding their heads.

The audience hummed to tunes of Careless Whisper, Just The Two of Us, while they sipped the night away on a variety of fine drinks and grooved to the catchy Gaba Beach, Night Perol and Sunday Morning.

The latter three songs were among the crowd’s favourites from Kajura’s City Life album, produced by Jude Mugerwa. Kajura, who lived in Zimbabwe with his mother and founder of the band, Ms Susan Kajura, plays the saxophone. He played with enthusiasm and artistic manipulation of the instrument that kept listeners engaged. “Staying in touch with his Zimbabwean experience has helped the band to create a fusion and niche of South African sound, yet equally maintaining Ugandan authenticity” says Ms Kajura, his manager. Katiti Katitira from Kajura’s Toro region was played with jazzy additions from his Zimbabwean mates.

Matthew Ngorima, a visiting Zimbabwean friend of Kajura’s, played the thumb piano and lead guitar. He’s also serving as their musical director. Ms Kajura says when they contacted the Zimbabwean producer about an artiste, Matthew was available and having done some work with Kajura, they were able to jell. The band is made up of exceptional instrumentalists Lawrence Matovu, basist, Solomon on key board, Godfrey, percussionist and Ronnie of Baxmba Waves pitched in on drums. Citiblend’s vocalist exchange brought Winnie, formerly Maurice Kirya’s backup singer, who marvelled with her rendition of Assa’s Mr Jailer and Fire on the Mountain. “We blend old school, jazz, new sound and African Rythm” said Kajura.

Cheers roared when the band was confirmed to play there again next Thursday. Catch them at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel too, every Friday, for an authentic Southern, East African Jazz experience.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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