Samputu: Testimony from Rwanda

USA – Testimony from Rwanda
(Rootstock/Multicultural Media) is

‘s first acoustic recording and his first American recording. It
blends styles and traditions that are embedded in his very musical being; among
others, 5/8 dance rhythms, ballads, soukous, gospel, African rhumba, and pygmy.

The powerful song, 10 Years Remembering, is one he wrote soon after arriving in
the United States in 2004 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the genocide in
Rwanda. He was assisted in writing this song by his friend Glenn Hawkes, who
heads up the organization, Rwandans and Americans in Partnership, to which part
of the proceeds of this CD are being contributed.Rehema is a lively Rwanda traditional-style dance tune which tells the story of
a young Christian man who falls in love with a Muslim girl. Ngarambe is another
traditional Rwandan rhythm (in 5/8). Singizwa is a gospel song based on
traditional pygmy (intwatwa) style which praises God. Rwanda Rwiza is dedicated
to “Beautiful Rwanda.” Tuzagera is national gospel-tinged song performed in a
straight-ahead soukous dance style. Twararutashaye is Samputu’s plea to fellow
Rwandans to return to Rwanda after the genocide. Other songs include Karame
Mwana, Migabo, Mana Wari Uri He, Aliwokoka, Tamara, and a bonus track a capella
version of 10 Years Remembering.

He is accompanied on this recording by Aron Niyitunga, his longtime friend and a
tremendously versatile musician who plays guitars, keyboard and bass. Aron sings
a few solo parts and some backup, and even does a powerful short rap on the song
Karame Mwana (Cherish the Children). His guitar playing reflects his expertise
in many African and American guitar styles. Jordan Mensah from Ghana plays hand
drums and hand percussion. And some songs utilize a female chorus.

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