Some of you may have seen him play or even attended shows during which he thrilled music lovers with his sax skills. It is also common to attend a wedding these days and find him playing blues and jazz melodies. That man is Israel Pappy. Israel Pappy, real name Israel Kubwimana, is a self-taught saxophonist whose musical journey started in 2015 at Nyundo School of Music and Arts, with him learning to play the guitar, and music production. But later, he fell in love with the sound of the saxophone. Anyone who attended Isango Na Muzika Awards, Gospel Awards Gala Night, One and Only Gorillas Net live music sessions, and many other shows, can attest how the young artiste blends jazz and pop melodies. It is a journey he started during the pandemic in 2020, when he borrowed his former teacher, Aimable Nsabayezu’s saxophone and started learning to play it with the help of YouTube tutorials, something that made him a great sax player in the country at the moment. “I think we are born musicians at home because almost all my siblings do music,” he says, explaining his interested in music. Born and raised in Kigali, the musician is among the Light Brothers Band, a renowned group of musicians made up of siblings. “Any kind of music can convey a message and help the listener relax. In Rwanda, we are still struggling to understand that one instrument can run a show, but with time we will get there. My target is to play for my fans in a sax concert only,” he says. Kubwimana says that music is not all about vocals, noting that as seen in many live performances, a sax solo set connects people and delivers more comfort than fully accompanied music. “From the player to the listener, saxophone sound is like therapy. It is also one of the few instruments used to ease stress,” he adds. Kubwimana says that jazz and pop genres have a different groove which is catchy, and makes the listener want to hear more. He also believes that jazz and pop chords match with the saxophone, adding that he grew up listening to sax legends like Kenny G which grabbed his attention. When he is not playing soothing music during shows or at weddings, he is composing a soundtrack for Rwandan movies produced by Zacu TV, which produces renowned series and movies like ‘City Maid’ and ‘Ejo Sicyera’. Kubwimana also says that saxophone players are very few in Rwanda and his goal is to help young musicians play different instruments that are not common in the country, a move he believes will boost Rwanda’s music. “If we want to get to another level in music, we have to start practising new styles and also learn instruments that go with them. We still have a long way to go but this will get us to greater heights,” he says. With his saxophone, Kubwimana has featured in dozens of tracks which include local hits like ‘Bado Bado’ by Bruce Melody, ‘Why’ by The Ben, and others like ‘Love Nuantiti’ by Ckay, ‘You Raise Me Up’, ‘Fly Me to The Moon’, to mention a few.