From the poor suburbs of Dar es Salaam, Jagwa Music play a style of music with chakacha roots known as mchiriku. The group features minimal instruments including a small hand-held keyboard, several drums, whistles and a battered old stool, which is beaten with sticks for extra percussive flavour. Jagwa Music truly kick the dust up and are guaranteed to deliver an explosive show that will keep any festival audience jumping and bouncing from start to finish. Their performance is awesome a non-stop gymnastic workout choreographed with skill and sensitivity, combining theatrics, acrobatic prowess, no small amount of humour and more energy than an atom bomb.
Song lyrics are embellished on the spot with spontaneous commentary, depending on what's going on in the news and who's around in the audience. Usually combined with witty observations about the daily struggles of survival in a world surrounded by poverty and injustice.
Mchiriku rarely gets airplay or serious promotion in Tanzania, despite its popularity with the urban youth. Apparently this is because mchiriku was always considered to be kihuni music for poor people and associated with drinking and bhang smoking. Despite the bad image, most mchiriku lyrics actually advise people to stay away from drugs and bad behaviour, to respect their elders and offer good messages to newly-weds.
To date Jagwa Music has more than a dozen cassette-only releases available in Tanzania. They have never had enough funds to produce a CD, but hope to do so soon.
Discography (cassette releases available in Tanzania):
Tulia Mke Wangu (1998), Bai Bai Abiola (1998), Mauaji Ya Kinyama(1999), Liwalo Na Liwe (2000), Tumechoka Hoi (2000), Jela Haina Mwenyewe (2001), Shughuli Gharama (2002), Nguzo Ya Isaya (2003), Mtoto Acha Kupiga Mayowe (2004), Watu Na Maisha Yao (2004)
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