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Makumbi Sound’s music stands the test of time

A cross section of Makumbi Sound members performing at Repub Lounge last Saturday night. / Courtesy photo

FOR A BAND, whose members come from different corners of the world, specialising in a unique genre, one would have thought Makumbi Sound, an Afro-Jazz ensemble, which came on the Kigali music scene some years ago, was not going to stand the test of time.

Yet despite changes in personnel, Makumbi Sound continues to go strong and they now play weekly on Saturdays at the Kimihurura-based Repub Lounge. Thanks to their resilience, today the band is soon to release an album of own compositions, unlike most other jazz bands in the country, which often rely on playing songs of other artistes.


On Saturday, the ensemble played to a crowd of jazz lovers at the lounge located in the leafy Kigali neighbourhood.


“Makumbi Sound has gone through a few of changes in personnel over the years, but the three longest-serving members of the group are Tamfum (guitarist), Junior Kafi (keyboards) and Andy (drums),” says Tamfum, one of the co-founders. The band is now joined by Tony (double-bass), and Jonathan (trumpet), along with other guests such as Yves (percussion) and trumpet player Tamon, who currently resides in Barcelona.


“We are all originally from different countries - Tamfum and Junior are from DRC, Tony is from New York, Yves from Rwanda, Andy and Jonathan from the UK - but what unifies us is a common love of modern and Afro-jazz. We are aiming to release an album of our original compositions later this year,” Tony said.

Makumbi Sound’s music is diverse reflecting the background of the band members. “One moment we will be playing a congolese-inspired song, the next minute, Tony will be a New York salsa flavour to the rhythm section”, added Tony.

If you are in town on Saturday evenings, don’t miss the opportunity to see them.

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