6th InterRegional Music Crossroads Southern Africa Festival

Malawi – The excitement is growing as, with only fourteen days
to go, bands from five Southern African countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania,
Zambia and Zimbabwe) prepare to come together and perform in Blantyre, Malawi at
the 6th InterRegional Music Crossroads Southern Africa Festival, 20-23 January

These young musicians, who represent the rich diversity of African
music, will have been busy rehearsing for their big moment on the stage of the
InterRegional Festival – a unique chance to perform their acts under
professional circumstances and in front of a large audience. On top of that,
they could be walking away with some incredible prizes: first-prize winners will
be rewarded with a European tour, runners-up with musical equipment, studio
recordings and airplay. National finals in Zambia and Tanzania have already revealed some of the bands
that will be competing at the Festival. Three acts from Zambia have made it to
the InterRegional level: The Little Ones, a group that plays a variety of music
styles, Rodrick Mungala, a 14-year old boy who plays the tonga, and EMAKS, a
four-piece band including three girls who are already causing a stir.

From Tanzania, two bands emerged as national winners: Afrikali, a fusion band of
traditional and electric instruments and the Taraab orchestra Kidumbak. Tanzania
produced the winners of last year’s InterRegional Festival held in Dar Es
Salaam: the OYA Theatre Group, whose dynamic stage performance based on
multiethnic Tanzanian rhythms, songs and dance amazed the audiences in eight
countries across Europe this summer (more about the tour here).

The young performers from Zambia and Tanzania will be joined by others from
Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe for the final “battle of the bands” in Blantyre.
Guest performers include the Swedish funk-rap band Sa Funkar Det who won the
chance to perform at the InterRegional Festival during the national “Musik
Direkt” festival, the equivalent of Music Crossroads in Sweden.

6th InterRegional Music Crossroads Festival – Program

20 Jan
Malawi National Finals and guest performances, French Cultural Center

21 Jan
Malawi National Finals and guest performances, French Cultural Center

22 Jan
InterRegional Competition (with bands from Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia,
Zimbabwe), French Cultural Center

23 Jan
Final concert of all bands and guests, Panorama International, Mount Source

Daytime meetings and workshops take place at the French Cultural Center

Music Crossroads Southern Africa (MCSA) is a unique youth empowerment through
music initiative launched by Jeunesses Musicales International that combines
workshops, festivals and competitions for budding young African musicians in
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. Since its creation in 1996
Music Crossroads has enabled over 20,000 musicians from all over Southern Africa
to play together and perform before a large audience, learn from professionals
from the music field and discuss HIV/Aids related issues. Music Crossroads is
supported by SIDA, NORAD and the UNESCO Participation Program.

[Photo by Stig Asp shows Tanzanian rap trio KGM Crew performing at the 5th
InterRegional Music Crossroads Festival in Dar Es Salaam last year].

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 produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and 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. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.