It was an honor for Ghetto Classic to be part of the Samosa festival held this year. It was a true learning experience for the young musicians who were involved. Many of these members have recently graduated high school and have formed their own orchestra as part of Ghetto Classics, known as Ghetto Classics Kwetu.
The Samosa Festival offered the orchestra an opportunity to perform with Kirit on the Bansuri flute and Passat on the Tabla drums on the final day of the festival, which was a major highlight for us. Performing with Kirit and Parsat meant that we needed to think outside the box as to how African music could fuse with the Indian music. And to make it even more Interesting we were also using classical instruments to play African music in a fusion with the Indian instruments.
Rehearsals were organized at the Art of Music Foundation head office in Garden Estate and over a few weeks of rehearsals the musicians came together sharing ideas on how to make the fusion work. Everyone involved was really working hard to make sure the project was a success. People were coming with brilliant ideas on how to make the show better. As this was going on the Samosa festival was still continuing with other activities like film screenings and puppet shows taking place in different parts of Nairobi.
The venue for the concert was the Alchemist in Westlands. We were at the venue by 4pm for the sound check. The show was to start at 7pm, Ghetto Classic was the first act – we played a mix of African Music, Classical Music and Pop Music. This was followed by another performance then the evening would end by a World Cup game of Portugal vs Uruguay.
It was concert time and the audience was vibrant throughout the show as they were entertained with African, India, classical and some pop tunes throughout the evening. It was really good experience for Ghetto Classics and the newly formed partnership between Ghetto Classics and Kirit and Parsat, which would continue through other performances. The intercultural exchange proved what we can achieve anything through music.
About the SAMOSA Festival
The SAMOSA festival was established in 2005 as the cultural arm of AwaaZ Magazine. The Festival is the only cross cultural festival of its kind in East Africa. SAMOSA is a very popular Asian/African food that is much loved for its delicious taste. We chose the three pointed SAMOSA as a symbol of Asian/African/Fusion of cultures to enhance race and ethnic relations and to foster nationhood. The Festival uses the various elements of culture i.e. music, art, performance, theatre and discussion to generate and promote discussions among Kenyans towards cohesion and Integration. The Festival thus provides a unique platform to address national issues in an interesting and entertaining manner.