Two international concerts are taking place in Kampala this evening. Sqoop assesses the genres and the artistes.
One genre of music is characterised by polished, well bred individuals who have a “discerning” taste for music and apparently love the finer things in life. The jazz musicians themselves take years horning their skills at playing instruments, as this is not a genre for every music wannabe.
For the other genre, all a musician has to do is jump into studio, mumble a few sentences about “wining gyals, beating liquor or legalising the herb” accompanied by a “riddim” for about three minutesm and another hit song tears through the dancefloors. The dancehall fans themselves don’t have to be sophiscated. They just have to watch a few Jamaican videos for the girls to learn how to “bubble” while the guys “rub-a-dub” them.
But while the jazz lovers frown upon dancehall fanatics, looking at them as unpolished, skimpy, weed taking no gooders, the dancehall fans look at jazz lovers as pretentious wannabes and stuck-up boring people who love to be seen in high society even when they don’t enjoy the experience.
The two genres are pitted against each other this evening. In the blue corner (Kampala Serena Hotel) will be the annual Nile Gold Jazz Safari featuring fine jazz musicians like Gerald Albright, Marion Meadows and Regina Belle.
In the red corner (Kyaddondo Rugby Grounds) will be Jamaican hot-shot Konshens famous for hits like Gyal A Bubble and Do Sum’n. Which side are you on? One thing for sure though is that both Jazz and Dancehall have origins from slaves who were taken from Africa to work on plantations in the US and Jamaica. The US slaves gave us jazz while their brothers in Jamaica gave us dancehall. Talk about music coming back home.