Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe



The embaire is a large wooden xylophone performed by up to eight musicians simultaneously, who weave together short poly-rhythmic melodic phrases, starting simply and building into cascading patterns that shift and flow into waves of coalescing grooves, accompanied by unison or call and response singing, creating ecstatic compositions that build in complexity and intensity. The Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe from Busoga, Uganda, are one of the few remaining groups playing the embaire, but they're working hard to bring the instrument to the wider world. Following an acclaimed performance at the 2019 Nyege Nyege Festival in Jinja, they joined the ever-expanding roster of cutting-edge Ugandan artists represented by the Nyege Nyege Tapes team, the self-described 'artist development incubator' based in Kampala. Show-stealing performances ensued at the 2020 CTM Festival in Berlin. More embaire embarcations to come.