Fresh Jumbe is a Tanzanian singer-songwriter who lives in Tokyo and rocks Japan and Asia with his own style of music, a mix of Tanzanian rumba, rock and mduara. Born in Tanga, on the coast of mainland Tanzania, he started singing with his friends when he was only six years old. While still young, he moved to Dar es Salaam and soon joined Dar International band. Fresh performed with many famous Tanzanian musicians including the late Marijani Rajab. He played with most of the famed muziki wa dansi bands in Tanzania of the time: OTTU Jazz (Msondo Ngoma), DDC Mlimani Park and Safari Sound, and wrote and sang many of their hits.
In 1991, Fresh moved to Kenya to broaden his talent. There, Fresh and other musicians from Tanzania, Kenya and DRC, founded the Angusha Band, who soon became very popular in Nairobi. In 1992 they were invited to perform at an African club (Pigapiga) in Tokyo. After spending a year in London, Fresh decided to move back to Japan and start a new life in Tokyo, where he manages to earn a reasonable living through his music. He now owns a recording studio with video production facilities under the name Fresh Production in Tokyo, where he records his own songs, music for TV and radio commercials and also records other artists.
Fresh Jumbe sings mainly in Kiswahili, but also in English and Japanese.
For this hotly anticipated return to Tanzania, in 2010 Fresh Jumbe will be performing at Sauti za Busara festival with African Express, from Tokyo. African Express is the most popular African music band in Japan, and features musicians of Tanzanian as well as Japanese origin. The group's aim is to build bridges of cultural respect and cooperation between Asia and Africa. They have performed in more than 1,500 schools all around Japan. Through music, the band has changed peoples' minds in the way they think and understand African music, African people and African culture.
Some of his favourite hits in Tanzania are: Jirani, Masudi, Bwana Mashaka, Namsaka Mbaya Wangu, Ama Zake Ama Zangu, Pamela, Ndoa ya Lazima, Conjester, Kinyozi Hajinyoi, Elimu ni Msingi wa Maisha and Penzi ni Kikohozi. His song Tuhifadhi Mazingira (Let's protect the Environment) gave him the chance to be one of only two Tanzanian musicians who were invited by Tanzania Environment Organisation to present the country at an African Environment festival in Nairobi during the early 90s. This song has been played in many environmental campaigns on Tanzanian radio.