Royal Entenga Drummers

Group Information

Along with flutes, trumpets, strings and xylophones, the Entenga were part of a set of ‘royal instruments’ and much of the music was lost in 1966 when the palace of the Buganda Kingdom was attacked by government troops. The palace and instruments were destroyed, the King exiled, the royal musicians disbanded and much of the music forgotten. But in 2015 James discovered the sixty-something Musisi, possibly the last surviving drummer. Musisi was just a teenager at the time of attack and barely survived the night of the attack itself (more on this here). James met him and realised that together they could begin to build the drums. Working closely with Albert and Shaban, a professional drummer who now leads the new band, they built a new set of Royal Drums, recruited a team of passionate drummers to learn how to play the drums, learned to tune the drums and ultimately learned to play new music.