Artist Profiles: Jagwa Music

Jagwa Music

Founded in 1972 in the outskirts [Ng’ambo] of Dar es Salaam as a chakacha ngoma group – a style of traditional music performed mainly on the eastern coast of East Africa mostly at wedding ceremonies. The dancers are usually women with the men playing instruments.

In the late 1980s young people changed chakacha from pure traditional music to more mixed flavor mchiriku by adding a small keyboard in the collection and two drums and a stool with two timing sticks. Ever since this particular music became very popular among the youth from the working class communities. Unlike chakacha, mchiriku dancers are of both sexes and in most cases the audiences are free to join in the fun.

Jagwa Music group with twelve members is now one of the leading Dar es Salaam mchiriku groups performing in weddings traditional ceremonies and sometimes in clubs. Jagwa has recorded various popular albums available locally on cassette.

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.

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