For the first time since its inception in 2014, gospel music lovers will have something to call their own at the Kigali Jazz Junction.
Celebrated local gospel music band, Beauty for Ashes will headline this month’s edition of the Kigali Jazz Junction alongside Burundian Zouk sensation Kidum, real name Jean-Pierre Nimbona.
It will be the first time that both the band and Kidum grace the Jazz Junction stage. The show is slated for Friday June 30 at the usual venue, the Kigali Serena Hotel.
Of late, the Beauty for Ashes band has been making steady inroads into the local secular music and concert scene. The band was the surprise guest act at the first edition of the ‘Seka Live’ comedy show that was staged at the Kigali Serena Hotel in March this year. Owing to public demand from the first performance, the band was invited again for the second edition of the comedy show in May.
In its three years of existence, the Kigali Jazz Junction has established a reputation for bringing together quality local and regional acts on the same stage.
While previous editions have featured mostly Ugandan and Kenyan musical acts, this month, organisers looked to Burundi, where Kidum hails from.
“He (Kidum) is one of the most celebrated live singers of all time. At Kigali Jazz Junction we look at how deep the artistry of a person is, and that’s what we celebrate first,” explained Remmy Lubega, the Executive Director of RG Concult, the organisers of the monthly jazz forum.
“We wanted to also bring other countries on board. We’ve done Uganda and Kenya, so we thought Kidum would be a good representation for Burundi. Secondly, we considered his experience in as far as stage performance and stage art and you can’t also ignore the fact that he comes with a big number of fans that would love to see him. That’s what Jazz Junction is all about. It’s not about hits and it’s not about pop songs but about the experience of the artistes and what they have to offer,” Lubega further explained.
“He has a very big following on the Francophone side where we thought perhaps we were leaning too much on the side of Anglophone artistes, so we wanted to demonstrate that the Kigali Jazz Junction is 360 degrees – it’s all inclusive,” he said.
Lubega further explained the rationale for bringing on board a gospel music outfit for the first time.
“The concept is simple. We want to touch base with every music lover. It’s not about a certain kind of music alone. If gospel artistes have something to offer on the platform, this platform is open and there are very few limitations –unless the person does not have the stage art and experience in live performance.
“Beauty for Ashes is definitely one of the local gospel bands you will watch and look at their production, their vocal ability, instrumentation, arrangement and feel like yes – I’ve been to a gospel concert. So gospel or no gospel the platform is there and it’s good to have gospel lovers come to the Jazz Junction and experience it.”
Lubega said that this will not be a one-off, as other gospel singers have already been lined up.
“We have Mavuno in line, we also have a beautiful singer called Shimwa Dinah Uwera who has one of the best gospel albums I’ve heard in a long time and she’s still untapped talent.
“The message we wanted to convey is that this is an event for everyone who wants quality, whoever believes in live performances, in jazz, and other genres of music that pick one or two leaves from jazz,” he said.