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Country Uganda Genres fusion traditional Website Festival Sauti za Busara 2010, 2014 Recordings
GANDA MANDE CROSSROADS (2010)
HEART OF A GRIOT (2011)
I SPEAK LUGANDA (TBR 2013)
Joel Sebunjo, Uganda's folk- world music sensation is one of the most exciting & innovative musiciansto come out of East Africa in the recent years. He started playing traditional Ugandan instruments at a very young age , quickly paving his way into the Kampala musical circuit as session artist with various traditional ensembles & bands in the late 90's.
A former apprentice of two legendary ganda musicians; Ludovik Serwanga(RIP) and Albert Ssempeke(RIP), today Joel is a Virtuoso of the Endongo. The endongo is an ancient lyre shaped stringed instrument from the interlacustrine region of east africa whose significance and repertoire is similar to that of the kora and griots in the Mande region of west Africa.A notable music nomad, he also plays the kora which actually originates from west Africa. He has traveled regularly in Senegal and Gambia to work various musicians to create a style that fuses the music of Uganda and that of the Mandingue.With his music fusion between ganda and music Mandingue, Joel Sebunjo seeks to strengthen artistic ties between East Africa and West Africa.
For this he chose an emblematic instrument of the music of west Africa; the kora to which he was initiated in the Gambia with griot Jali Aladji Mbye.As several elder folk musicians have died in past years, he has become the ambassador and custodian of roots music in Uganda. By transforming the traditional music of Uganda and the greater Africa; Joel has brought ancient African instruments back to the centre of Ugandan music and propelled it to the rest of the modern world.He has completely metabolized the Mandingue style, which strongly influences his creations which are nevertheless strongly rooted in the tradition of Ugandan music.
Together with his band, Sundiata, he takes the infectious rhythms & melodies straight from nativeAfrica, whose fusion with modern influences, effects & electronic loops will put you in a trance.With two albums under his name: Ganda Mande Crossroads & Heart of a Griot; Joel Sebunjo has perfomed in several venues and festivals in Africa, Asia plus Europe sharing the stage with artistes such as Ismael Lo , Baaba Maal, Oliver Mtukudzi, Miriam Makeba, Salif Keita and others.Joel Sebunjo is a winner of the Visas pour la creation award 2013 from the Institut Francais Paris.