The Good Ones of Kigali

The Good Ones - Kigali Y' Izahabu
Kigali Y’ Izahabu (Dead Oceans, 2010).

The album Kigali Y’ Izahabu by Rwandan musicians Adrien Kazigira, Stany Hitimana and Jeanvier Havugimana was unplanned. Producer Ian Brennan stumbled upon them when they were playing on a friend’s back porch. Brennan recorded their album that same night, feeling the urgency of letting the rest of the world know about a group as special as this.

The recording features a collection of acoustic love songs written in the ancient local, Kinyarwanda street dialect of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.

The band was named The Good Ones. Kazigira, who was 47 at the time, wrote 8 of the 12 songs found on the album. He is an instrumentalist and singer. He cites Bob Marley and reggae as his major influences. Hitimana, 47, plays lead guitar and bass. He sometimes teaches music in Kigali and finds inspiration in the music of Santana. Harmony singer Jeanvier, 38, who also plays guitar and sings, contributes his own compositions. He is mostly influenced by the Caribbean dance music called Zouk.

Kigali Y’ Izahabu shows the simple beauty of the acoustic music of Rwanda.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina titled “Los sueños de Angélica.”.

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