Santuri East Africa - Identity | Community | Innovation

From the blog

Back to the Source: Santuri at DoaDoa

It’s been a busy start to the year at Santuri already – projects in Zanzibar (at Sauti za Busara) and Nairobi (‘Bridging the Gap’ at the Goethe) have both been great successes, while the behind-the-scenes work on future plans has been producing some very exciting avenues to explore.

We are particularly excited about the upcoming return to DoaDoa East African Performing Arts Market – the 3-day networking festival that takes place in Jinja, Uganda each May.  This time last year, DoaDoa saw the cementing of the Santuri concept into something very tangible – the team managed to combine recording some incredibly esoteric traditional instruments with the creation of some highly innovative tracks coming out of the Santuri studio at Crested Crane hotel.  It was also the moment that Esa Williams, the South African DJ and producer currently living in London, wandered into the studio to see what was going on and thus began a year long adventure with various recording safaris, remixes, events and record releases.  That partnership continues this time around as Esa returns as Santuri’s guest producer, working alongside our recording guru Sam Jones, who will be out in Iganga region searching for more incredible sounds to capture.

The theme of Santuri at Doadoa this year will be the interface between the traditional and the contemporary.  As Sam and the team collect samples and loops on their travels, our workshops in Jinja will use, manipulate, remix and re-interpret the material into new creations, using software and hardware kindly donated by Ableton and Native Instruments.





Additional artists will further augment the development of tracks in the studio, and guests such as Giovanni Kiyingi and Makadem will add additional spice – in preparation for their short UK tour in July working on a Santuri Live band concept. This band will feature a mixture of acoustic instruments and live electronics, and will be premiered at DoaDoa on Saturday night at Bax bar.




Also, Santuri is delighted to welcome Jesse Hackett of Owiny Sigoma Band to the project, Jesse and band have been a huge inspiration to Santuri since its inception – if you haven’t checked out the two Kenya-meets-London albums  (released on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings), make such you do before the third album lands later this year.   Jesse will be providing his vast knowledge of production and song writing to proceedings, so we are expecting some serious results – as always.


Elsewhere, we’ll be running a fascinating seminar on usage of traditional material in contemporary music, developing a collaborative performance with a xylophone orchestra, and running various parties at locations around the town. Stay tuned for more updates!

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