Yange Yange Arts is a Wagogo cultural group from the central Tanzanian region around the city of Dodoma. Tanzania has some 12 ethnic groups none of which accounts for more than a few percent of the overall population so there is no dominant ethnic culture or sound. That said the one Tanzanian musical genre to have achieved worldwide fame is the distinctly Wagogo music of the late Dr. Hukwe Zawose (1938-2003), one of Peter Gabriel’s favorite musicians and patron of Chibite group who have also performed twice already at the festival.
Zawose refined Wagogo instruments particularly the deep-toned hollow ilimba (thumb piano) and the zeze (bowed fiddle) with its beautiful otherworldly overtones.
Yange Yange Arts performed at the very first Sauti za Busara festival in 2004.
Yange Yange Arts Group’s declared mission is to uplift disabled artists in the Dodoma region. They feature both able-bodied and handicapped musicians and dancers. The group has played in arts festivals as far away as Ivory Coast, Holland and Sweden.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.