It was a moment of nostalgia as the band of the deceased South African reggae star Lucky Dube took to the stage on Day 1 of KigaliUp Music Festival on Saturday.
The two-day festival was headlined by American vocalist Joey Blake, a music professor at Berklee College of Music, and One People Band, that’s composed of former backup singers of Lucky Dube.
The band, which continues to carry on the legacy of the legendary reggae maestro who was shot and killed in October 2007 in his native South Africa, brought back memories of the singer who was very adored in Rwanda.
The band, led by lead singer Thokozana Dube, known as TK, and the backup singers of the original band Gabisile, Thandi Radebe and Tonic Pala mesmerised festival goers with a thrilling performance.
The 6th edition of KigaliUp Music Festival opened with fun spots for kids and families, DJ corners, food & beverage stands and many art-related activities, which left revellers with an array of options to choose from.
A myriad of local and international artistes performed, including Sandy Soul from Uganda, who showcased impressive vocals, Afrotech Exchange, a band from the US, Gospel band Alive and Freed, Oda Paccy and new sensation Yvan Buravan, among others.
The show started at 1p.m and closed at 10:53p.m.
Students of Nyundo School of Art used the festival to showcase their talent, proving they are up to the standards when it comes to playing and singing live music. They also performed a play showcasing a traditional Rwandan wedding.
Revellers cheered the students on in appreciation of their talent.
Yvan Buravan, currently proving to be Rwanda’s most sensation upcoming singe, came on stage and did not disappoint as he performed Bindimo, Majunda, Malaika and Urwo Ngukunda to the delight of the crowd.
And the singer announced he is set to release two songs in August.
Oda Paccy, an Afro-Hip Hop female singer, took over the stage after Yvan Buravan and performed some of her hit songs, including Ntabwo Mbyicuza and Niba Ariwowe.
The Jazz band from the US, Afro Exchange, entertained the crowd with a soulful Jazz music session that got jazz lovers in the mood.
Later on, Joey Blake, backed up by music students of Nyundo School of Arts and Music, took over the stage with lots of energy and mesmerised revellers with thrilling jazz, funk, rock and blues renditions.
Joey Blake has spent the last two months teaching at the school. The music expert told The New Times that he is deeply impressed by the work accomplished by the team running the school and the students.
In all fairness though, Day I of KigaliUp 2016 was dominated by impressive performances from the band affiliated to the fallen South African singer, led by Thokozani Dube, which performed some of the most popular songs of the reggae superstar, including Nobody Can Stop Reggae and Remember Me.
They also performed Celebrate in tribute to Lucky Dube and reminded the audience that next Wednesday will be deceased singer’s birthday.
He would be making 52.
Day II featured performances from the likes of Dany Vumbi and international artistes, including Quantum split band and the Grammy winner Skyler Jett.