Janzi Band changing the shape of band music in Uganda
The shape of music performances in Uganda has been steadily changing; changing for good. And along the way, a good number of performing cover bands have been hatched.
Most of these bands were popularized by the ‘Last Band Standing’ competition that has since folded and sunk into oblivion. Among the hordes, one band, know as Janzi Band, seems to stand out.
Founded by James Sewakiryanga and Abraham Ssekasi in 2009, Janzi Band is an extremely talented Afro-fusion and contemporary music band that also dips its fingers in world music bowel.
And ever since they bounced on the scene, they have not looked back; they are young and talented, energetic and enthusiastic. They are practically changing the face of cover band music in Kampala.
Janzi largely cover and rendition popular songs but beyond that, they have a couple of their own songs that include; Ssemusajja, Njabala, Ekili, Eka, River Road, et al.
So as the debate of cover bands rages on about whether there is anything beyond covering other people’s songs, Janzi Band stands away.
They have diverse talents with percussionists such as James Sewakiryanga, Hakim Kiwanuka, Basist Allan Okia, Keyboardist Trevor Muhumuza, Drummer Valeur Kalinda, various beautiful voices, et al.
Their piercing vocals, searing beats of the drummers, and the magical fingers on the keys make them stand out too!
Their initial idea was to start up a project that could favor cultural development through music and they have not veered off that goal.
The multi-talented band has performed at different gigs around the city; from Zone 7 in Bugolobi - their apparent home, to Club Amnesia in downtown Kampala and several casual and corporate functions.
They have also performed at the annual Blankets and Wine festival. The way things are going for them right now, you can only say the sky seems to be their limit.