Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Tanzanian Souvenir




Orchestra Vijana Jazz, one of Tanzania's top dance bands, was founded in 1971 under the sponsorship of Umoja wa Vijana Tanzania, then the Youth League of the ruling Tanzania African National Union (TANU). Over the last couple of decades as the Tanzanian economy has "liberalized" I suspect Vijana has had to make its own way. It quite possibly may not exist anymore. The Orchestra has undergone numerous personnel changes over the years, notably the death of vocalist Hemed Maneti, who wrote some of the band's most memorable tunes like "Mary Maria" and "Tambiko la Pamba Moto."

"Ukumbusho" literally translates as "reminder" but it probably more closely means "souvenir" or "in memoriam." The cassette Ukumbusho: Hayati Hemed Maneti (Ahadi/Flatim MSKCAS 514) was apparently issued to commemorate the life of Vijana's beloved lead singer. As usual for an Ahadi/Flatim production the sound quality is not up to snuff. Musically it's memorable indeed.

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Jiko Limenuna

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Najilaumu

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Nilitaka Iwe Siri


Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Unikubalie

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Ndoa Ni Kuvumiliana


Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Madaraka Kwenye Bar

Download Ukumbusho as a zipped file here. More Vijana Jazz on Likembe here, and you can find another great cassette by them here.



3 comments:

wavuti-nukta77 said...

OMG, should I cry or jump to the ceiling or scream looooooooooooud?! OMG, youjust made my day John.
Thank you so, so, sooooooooo much for these precious and memorable songs. You are the best! Thx a lot.

Chris Meserve said...

Smoooooooooooooth as silk, so tasty. Thanks a lot, John. Hope all is well.

Sweet Souvenir said...

okey,,, lets go ....