This Sunday, some five of the best guitarists on the local scene, will be plucking away at a fete dubbed Qwela Junction- The Guitar Maestros. The lineup includes Kaz Kasozi, Charmant Mushaga, Myko Ouma, Ian Businge, and special guest star performer, Maurice Kirya.
Whether you are a jazz aficionado, the blues, Afro-fusion or Afro-urban and wild rock passion, you will be all catered for. Take Ouma who plays the guitar and makes it sound almost lyrical. Kasozi is energetic and unpredictable. Businge, like Kasozi, is a blues guy, who will take you places with his melodic chords. In Charmant, you get precision to African jazz and passion. Kirya is the acoustic.
Qwela Junction is an idea that was first tested in 2012. Nine junctions were held which celebrated instrumentalists in different areas- strings, guitarists, and golden voices, among others.
“We are going to be doing it every quarter, on bigger stage, audience and aertise them better. We want to rehearse in a better way and we want it to be memorable,” says Joe Kahirimbanyi who is behind the ‘Junction’ idea. So here is what to expect.
Music chose Ian Businge. His father, John Kahwa is a musician and his mother is an ardent fan c and so are his younger sisters.
Busingye grew up with instruments around him.
He remembers particularly playing his father’s guitar. “One of the gifts I got as a child was a little grand piano with seven keys. All those things, with time, all built up to a serious interest. My dad was my first inspiration actually,” Busingye recalls his journey.
Kahwa taught his son how to play seven chords on a guitar. He was still in high school.
When he was older, he chose to reignite his interest in music and when he got hold of the guitar, he practised by playing singer Wilson Bugembe’s song titled Yellow.
There are people like Pastor Graham Tugume of Watoto Church who motivated him. Tugume gave him a guitar book- songs of fellowship from which he learnt his next set of 84 chords.
Along the way, other people taught him how to play guitar. Since then, he has only gotten better. He is a member of Qwela Band, where he has played for the last six years.
He attended African Institute of Music where he learnt how to play more instruments but also nurtured his knowledge of music.
Kaz Kasozi is personable, committed and focused.
Musically, his style is close to mine of all the guitarists we are working with. He is an accomplished and versatile musician who is not limited to the guitar as his primary instrument.
He is a fantastic singer and performer and is a music educator with strong affiliations to musicology- or the scientific study of music and its impact on society. Kaz is a producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, with very great spirit about him and he is humble for one with achievements such as his, including managing to have a musical career in a country as competitive as England.
After studying Western music at Makerere College School, Myko Ouma began investigating traditional Ugandan instrumentation.
Instrumentation is definitely his biggest strength but under it, the guitar is his number one.
When Ouma starts plucking the guitar, he gets lost in the moment. Music absorbs him.
“I focus a lot on the traditional side of me and also the more jazzy side of me,” he told this reporter in an earlier interview
He learnt how to play instruments while at Makerere College School under the tutorship of his teachers Busulwa Katambula and Authur Kayiizi.
He recorded songs with top local musicians like Radio and Weasel on their Kuku and Everything I do.
He has also featured on Juliana Kanyomozi’s Sanyu Lyange, most of Iryn Namubiru’s songs as well as Maurice Kirya’s.
But it was in Statistics that he graduated. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Maurice Kirya has created a very personal style that blends Afro-soul, hip hop, and RandB rhythms. Kirya calls his music mwooyo which means “soul” in his native language of Luganda and is influenced by the beauty and unique spirit of his homeland, Uganda. He was the winner of the coveted RFI Award in October 2010.
Music is something Charmant Mushaga says he was born with.
At the age of eight, he was playing the guitar. His father, a pastor, used to play the guitar and he was willing to let his little one play or pluck the guitar. This was back in his home village in Ntondo, Congo.
As he grew older, he fine-tuned his skills at playing the instrument. It all came naturally because Charmant says he always had something melodic in his head. He kept at it and today, he plays the electric, acoustic and bass guitar but he is more proficient at the electric.
“I actually didn’t choose to be a guitarist. It is something that I was born to do. I am just planning to go and learn the keyboard. I just realised that people like me playing the guitar and appreciate by paying to play for them so, over time I have put in more effort,” the 32-year-old guitarist explains. His first play was US$10 (about Shs30, 000), at 11 years.
To date, he has three albums to his name, Masua- 2007 (a boat), Bado-bado- 2008 (No one like you) and African Love.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor