Ghetto Classics Samosa Festival Experience

Volume 15, Issue 2  | 
Published 18/11/2018

Ghetto Classics is the flagship programme from the Art of Music Foundation. Established in 2008, it is a community music programme where we use music education to provide the youth with opportunities to better themselves and their community. We do this by instilling in them the life skills that come with the discipline of studying the Art of Music. Our programme also provides them with income generating opportunities.

It was an honour for Ghetto Classics to be part of the SAMOSA Festival 8 held this year. It was a true learning experience for the young musicians who were involved. Many of these members have recently graduated from high school and have formed their own orchestra as part of Ghetto Classics, known as Ghetto Classics Kwetu.

The SAMOSA Festival offered the orchestra an opportunity to perform with Kirit Pattni on the Bansuri flute and Prasad Velankar on the Tabla (drums) on the final day of the Festival, which was a major highlight for us. Performing with Kirit and Prasad meant that we needed to think outside the box as to how African music could fuse with Indian music. And to make it even more Interesting we were also using classical instruments to play African music in a fusion with the Indian instruments.

Rehearsals were organized at the Art of Music Foundation head office in Garden Estate and over a few weeks of rehearsals the musicians came together sharing ideas on how to make the fusion work. Everyone involved was really working hard to make sure the project was a success. Musicians were coming with brilliant ideas on how to make the show better. As we rehearsed the SAMOSA Festival was continuing with other activities like film screenings and puppet shows taking place in different parts of Nairobi.  

Finally it was concert day and everyone was ready to play some music. The venue was at the Alchemist in Westlands. We were at the venue by 4.00pm for the sound check. The show was to start at 7,00pm. Ghetto Classics was the first act – we played a mix of African, Classical and Pop Music.

It was concert time and the audience was vibrant and spirited as they were entertained with the African, Indian, classical and pop tunes throughout the show. It was a really great experience for Ghetto Classics and the newly formed partnership between Ghetto Classics and Kirit and Prasad, which would continue through other performances. The intercultural exchange proved that we can achieve anything through music.  

Thank you SAMOSA Festival for the opportunity and the experience.


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