To kick-start the entertainment for 2013, Botswana’s own Jazz sensation, Shanti Lo, serenaded the Swedes last year as part of the cultural exchange and this year the Swedes will return the favour as some artists from Sweden will grace the first instalment of this year’s Mascom Live Sessions, which will be held on the 1st of February 2013 at the Botswana Craft in Gaborone.
The host, Oliver Groth of Botswana Craft, said that the mandate for these shows was to “Developing the local Live music industry and environment by featuring local performing artists alongside more famous international artists who would attract larger audiences. Botswana Craft is about ‘sharing culture’ and music forms, an essential part of our culture”.
This event has, in the past, brought together international award winning artists from all over Africa; artists like Zahara, Salif Keita, Ringo, Oliver Mutukudzi and Hugh Masekela with local artists like Puna Gabasiane, Nnunu, Socca Moruakgomo and Groove Cartel.
From Sweden, composer and singer Pablo Donaldo, vocalist Anna Chritoffen and bass guitarist Johan Hansen Larson will be performing alongside Botswana’s local pioneer for the Botswana Sweden Jazz exchange, Shanti Lo, as well as Nnunu Ramogotsi and Lister Boleseng.
There will be a series of events, including workshops, which will be facilitated by the international artists. It will be open to both local artists and to the media and will be running the whole week. There will also be a jam session, which, according to Groth, will be open to any artist.
To be a part of the jam session the artists have to register, bring an instrument “and have the courage to jam”.
Shanti Lo, who will be performing at this event for the third time, expressed gratitude towards Mascom and all the other sponsors who not only create a platform for local artists to showcase their talent but also enhance growth in the performing arts. Shanti Lo perceives this session in particular as an extension to what he stated last year when he went to perform in Sweden and sees it as a form of cultural exchange, which will in future be mutually beneficial for both the local and international artists.
Groth explained that they have to rope in international artists of this type.
“We tried one event with only local artists but the turnout was poor,” he said.
Groth said that on the night of the concert, the audience should expect music from the artists’ repertoire, adding that they will also create new music during the week-long workshops and run rehearsals so that new material will be created.”