Country Tanzania Genres band coastal Festival Sauti za Busara 2005 Recordings
The Kilimanjaro Band was formed some thirty years ago in Tanga, a town on the Swahili coast of Tanzania. They began with the name The Love Bugs then performing mostly cover songs. The band later changed its name to The Revolutions and moved to Dar es Salaam where there was stiff competition with older established bands. The Band began to perform in top hotels and tourist centers in the two main cities of Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
In 1989 the Band landed in London, and there changed its name to The Kilimanjaro Band. During that stay in London the Band released its first album "Kata Kata". A song from this same album "Njenje" has since earned the Band the nickname "Wananjenje". In London The Kilimanjaro Band performed on the same bill with great African artists like Baaba Maal and Sam Mangwana.
1992 to 1994 saw them in Japan, this time the group was performing in top hotels and also having to compete with top discotheques of the time. Due to the terms of the contracts, the Band performed mostly cover songs. But the Band was good enough to slowly start including its own repertoire between the cover songs, and this brought invitations for the Band to perform in top venues including the Gunma Park where the Band played strictly African repertoire. The Band's original six-month contract was again and again renewed.
In 1997 The Kilimanjaro Band released their second album "Maua". With the female voice of Nyota Waziri now adding more flavour to the album, the album went on selling well despite the rampant piracy that is affecting the music in Tanzania. Between then and 1999, the Band spent time performing in Tanzania, Muscat and Bahrain, performing in different hotels to a wide variety of audiences. In September 2000, the Band released their biggest selling album to date, "Kinyaunyau". The songs are a mixture of pieces of art with influences from different ethnic groups in Tanzania, including Ndembele a lullaby from the WaNyamwezi of Tabora, Boko a traditional song of the Wadigo from Tanga, a Kiswahili salsa song, and other songs with strong influences from the Tanzanian coast. The Band is well known for its mduara (circle) dancing style, very common to many ethnic groups in Tanzania and around Africa.
The Kilimanjaro Band has just released its brand new album Gere. The album is a mixture of styles and fusion of music from different ethnic groups in Tanzania. Gere a song from the western tip of the country, Yamenishinda, and Tummogele, from the Southern Highlands, and a variety of songs which truly illustrate the Band's combined experience of being together for thirty years.
A recent tour of the UK in July and August 2004, proved that the Band also has many fans outside Tanzania. All the concerts were successful musically and economically wherever they performed in London and other cities. The Kilimanjaro Band has won several awards including the 2000 Best Band M Net Award and 2001 Kibo Gold Best Band award.
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