Recording DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra at the Nafasi Art Space
This is our last day and we saved it for Henry Mkanyia. Because he is so central to the history of Tanzanian music, we asked Henry to assemble members of his original group DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra. We assembled at Nafasi Art Space, which is very similar to the Go Down Art Center in Nairobi, hosting artists of all kinds from musicians to painters to dancers. Henry brought two members: Hasaan Rehani Bichuka, his lead vocalist and Juma Ubao (aka, King Makussa), his lead guitarist. Juma was nick-named King Makussa because at one time he had to play four instruments at once for a single track session at the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation. They played four songs:
- Tucheze Sote: Let’s play together
- Nani Aliyekudanganya: Who cheated you?
- Maselina which was King Makussa’s big hit recorded in 1991
- Kipenzi edita: My love Edita.
While at Nafasi Art Space, we met Rebecca Corey, who is the Director of the Tanzanian Heritage Project. This project is similar to Singing Wells, but as she said, the ‘preservation role’ is more physical – she is working to preserve all the physical recordings of Tanzania musicians, many of which are rotting away on dusty reel to reel recordings.
And that is it. We then rushed to the airport to depart to Nairobi for a weekend of recording at Ketebul Studios. And thus ends our first Field Visit to Tanzania. Enjoy the videos as we produce them.