// Watsamba M’diou

This is the African Crossover band I have the pleasure of beeing a part of. The creative core of Watsamba M’Diou are Rolando Lamussene and Matchume Zango (both timbila, vocals and various percussion) from Mozambique and me. The HIFA festival announced us like this: „The resulting musical vision powerfully illustrates the true potential of cross-cultural collaboration.“

10 11 11

Singi my song

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28 10 11

Watsamba M’Diou

Picture © Marion Masuch

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29 04 11

Live at HIFA 2011, Harare

I caught up with the band after their electrifying performance at the HIFA Global Stage in April this year. If
the concert is anything to go by, this all-embracing band is destined for great things and in a time when the world is hungry for something alternative, with René on sax, Matchume and Rolando on percussion, Alex on bass, Djibra on drums and some otherworldly chanting these guys are relevant and have just the right mix of ingredients to make a gourmet salivate.


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26 04 11

Southern Africa Tour 2011

This is the day of the first show of our 2011 Africa Tour. We are in Maputo, Mozambique. The follow-up: two spots at HIFA festival, Harare, a show in front of the proud crowd at Social Thesis Jamsession in Soweto, Johannesburg and last and least: Swinger’s Jazz Club in Cape Town – sometimes the spirit of a place is inversely proportional to its reputation.
The Tour is presented by Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council. Thanks.

As I write these lines after the tour I conclude that we played two excellent shows (HIFA II and Soweto), two good shows, one bad show and, last but not least, one show that runs out of concurrence because it was a TV show, the sunday morning news show at SABC. And like too often in TV nothing was of any importance but to keep in schedule and to be meaningless while talking and miming meaningfully. And sometimes I wonder why people who work for TV swallow broomsticks before they perform.

But maybe it is worh more talking about local excitement than about global boredom: Southern Africa is hot, it is different, even from itself. I attended the party of the year (so far) in a kitchen in Kensington, Johannesburg. The first person I met yelled at me: „Listen, I am completely fucked up.“ I think he wasn’t – he was just alive.

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15 05 10

The trio in Berlin

Photo: © Helle Momsen Fredslund

The creative core of Watsamba M’Diou are in Europe at the same time. So we have decided to work a bit: we play one little unplugged show at -able, the lovely little galery of guerillagrafik in Neukölln. It is a trio show in a tiny room, we are very close to the public, they dance, it is a pleasure.
The gig is followed by studio recordings for 3 days.

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05 10 09

First shows

Watsamba M’Diou play their fist shows: One neighbourhood gig in the area where we are rehearsing and two club shows in Maputo. Here you find some extracts of our performance in Nucleo D’Arte.

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27 09 09

First encounter and creation

It is the secound part of my beeing composer in residence in southern Africa, a program of Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council. I am appointet to do some research with Rolando Lamussene for about 10 days. We want to find a way of playing music together. Rolando is a percussion player, composer and singer from and in Maputo, Mozambique. On the first day we meet Matchume Zango, percussionist and dancer. We decide to work on a common repertory for one week, then introduce our tunes to Amade Cossa on drums and Nene on Bass.

So we do and we play two club shows at the end of the process as well as an open air neighbourhood gig where we have been rehearsing. Thanks to the Swiss Embassy in Maputo the crowd can attend the show for free.

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