Against the backdrop of it being World Music Day, Alliance Française de Kampala (AFK), a non-profit organization fostering cultural and linguistic exchanges between France and Uganda has for years, kept the tradition of bringing music lovers in Uganda together for years. This year-round, they put together a Free concert tagged “Fete de la Musique” and this went down yesterday at the iconic Kampala Sheraton Hotel.

The evening event kicked off at 4 pm, and this was so timely from its choice of venue (which is right in the middle of town), to the line-up and atmosphere of gardens, offering the music aficionados in attendance, an experience like no other, as they embarked on the exquisite musical journey.

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What makes this particular day (June 21) rather special is that it recognizes the diversity of music. In the case of Uganda, music enthusiasts who were able to flock the venue early enough got to experience the best of both worlds, for they got treated to the Bwola dance from the Northern region of Uganda by the Nilotika Cultural Assemble, among the other diverse arrays of music, and dance.

As it was approaching 5 o’clock, Biya, a songstress from the Easter region of Uganda (Mbale) took to the stage, showcasing her vocal prowess, with the accompaniment of her guitar.

As per the agenda of the event which is being a beacon of offering an artistic expression, one so act whose tapestry of sweet sounds was greatly revered by the revelers was Brian Alideki who is no stranger to stages like these. While being backed and complimented by the Double Black Band, the talent from “Uganda, the Evergreen Country” captivated audiences, from his all mauve outfit, signature cap, and profound percussive skills. Showcasing his musical craftsmanship, he got attendees on their feet, as they indulged in some of the tracks from his EP.

A this went on, Triza Rey kept things running smoothly, as the emcee of the day to an engaged crowd that sat, connected, and formed new bonds over the universal language of music. The well-attended event also offered them an opportunity to support as they bought items from some of the crafts that were being exhibited.

The night offered a full circle moment when Joshua Baraka hit the stage at 8 and further attested to the testament to the power that music has when it comes to ignite emotions, and bringing people together in a harmonious celebration of our shared humanity. That’s cuz, he had people singing along word for word to some of his songs like “Dalilah”, “Dreams”, “Shine”, “NANA”, the new fan favorite “ALONE” on which he features Nkosazana Daughter, among others.

There were then brief remarks by the Alliance Française de Kampala (AFK) Director Eric Touze. He opened these by appreciating all the sponsors who made the “Fete de la Musique” 2024 come to life, and among these were Castle Lite, Brussels Airlines, CFAO Motors, and Total Energies, and then went ahead to share a brief background about the musical festival; mentioning that “Fete de la Musique” is a French music day and it is why they keep celebrating. He furthered that it dates as far as 1982 when the inaugural festival was held and that it has become popular over the years in the world, with over 118 concerts being held in commemoration of this day.

Adding to his words, the Sheraton Hotel General Manager Jean Phillipe Bittencourt noted that this is the very first edition of this type of concert they are hosting here and that hopefully, it’ll become a culture, and that as Sheraton, they look forward to having Alliance Française de Kampala and the revelers back, come 2025.

Bringing traditional African beats, and contemporary sounds, and making the stage and audiences come alive with his storytelling, his stage presence, charismatic persona, and powerful vocal delivery Makadem, from Kenya. Showcasing his passion for the genre he represents which is Benga music, Makadem highlighted the night of many, thanks to his harp, and music he likes to refer to as Nyatiti from which he put on a spirited performance of “Nyako”, among other tracks.

Known for being a generational entertainer, Azawi being the final performer of the night put on an acoustic set, opening with “My Year”, blending some tracks from her sophomore album, her debut body of work as well as singles from her maiden solo EP for the day one fans. “Outside”, “Ten Over Ten”, “Fwa Fwa Fwa”, “Bamutute”, “Quinamino”, “Repeat It”, “Slow Dancing”, “Party Mood”, “Majje”, and closed her over an hour audience engaging performance with viral hit song “Masavu”.