Deo Iratwumva to play at ‘Nyege Nyege’ festival

Salvator Iratwumva performs at past show in Kigali. Courtesy.

It is his first musical gig on foreign soil, and it will be on a festival stage.

Rwandan guitarist and songwriter Deo Salvator Iratwumva, also known as Salva, will be joining other performers from around the world at this year’s Nyege Nyege music festival in Uganda.


The four-day festival will take place from September 6-9 in the tourist town of Jinja in Eastern Uganda. Over 200 musicians and DJs from across the globe have been lined up for the five different festival stages.


Rwandan DJ Gil Low, from the Urban Gorilla Collective, will also perform a DJ showcase at the festival.


Salva is best known for his right hand (or finger style) guitar playing technique, and the creative use of percussive effects while strumming his guitar. Previously a session musician with various local live bands, the 24 year old recently embarked on a new journey as a solo guitar performer.

“I’m so excited that my first performance abroad is at a festival.  I can’t wait to share some of my original compositions with my fellow East Africans,” Salva said in an interview with The New Times.

“I’m very much looking forward to this festival. Going to Nyege Nyege is a great opportunity for me to promote my music and it is a reward for the hard work of promoting the finger style guitar.”

Under this technique, the guitarist plays the melody notes interspersed with the melody’s accompanying chords and deep bass line (bass notes) simultaneously. The result is usually a spiced up live band sound.

Asked how he landed the Nyege Nyege Festival gig, Salva he noted, adding: “The founder of Tontoma Poetry Jazz sessions in Uganda approached me and we agreed that I will go and play as a guest of Tontoma Poetry.

Born in 1994 in Kigali, Salva took his first guitar lessons in 2013, after quitting a dance career due to injury. Soon, he picked interest in the guitar, and learnt two chords from a cousin. He continued learning the guitar through watching Youtube tutorials.

Besides music, Salva is also a blogger, social activist, virtual assistant, and fourth year Accounting major at the University of Rwanda.

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