Music is such a powerful tool, which can help to trigger a range of emotions including motivating a person, stress relief and researchers have suggested it can also offer some amazing health benefits.
And, what is more moving than listening to a blend of African fusion after a long stressful week. The music that was played by Deni Bonet, who is a New York City based violinist, singer, songwriter, featuring the Stone Town Rockerz kept people on their feet, after a long day at work.
The sound of the music was like tantalising juices that made the audience groove to the rhythms of some powerful instruments that created irresistible harmony, which released even the little artistic muse the audience had in the artistic world, causing them to stand up, clap and sing along without their notice.
Starting with a couple of solo electric violin and some vocals by Bonet, matched by her cheerful, carefree personality she managed to lift the souls of the audience, who were shadowed by the gloomy tiredness of the day’s work.
Bonnet who solo played four lubricating, poignant, and top notch music with her electric violin, tempted the audience with her own playlist including ‘Get on with it’, and one of her viral YouTube piece called ‘one in a million girl’.
Explaining how it went viral she narrated with sheer enthusiasm that after releasing the video in YouTube...after two hours it got almost 50,000 views…“It kept going until it got to about 100,000 hits. And at that point, I was like this is really cool.”
While still playing “…hey! Am one in a million girl, what is it not to like, so why am I not your type?...”in our heads, Bonet called out the Stone Town Rockerz band members who were to join her for the rest of the uttermost, fun filled, wonderful evening it already was.
The combination of the electric violin with the drums, guitars, and piano produced an explosion of music with some provoking melodies making the crowd that was already awaken, come to full live action.
Deni Bonnet and the Stone Town Rockerz managed to move the entire crowd from people in their sixties to children lower than the teens.
The mixture of the instruments lifted the souls of the audience and made them move to the beautiful rhythms of the music while chanting and clapping.
‘Aumz akachela chela chela aumz akachela, aumz akachela chela chela aumz akachela…haiko msodoo.. haiko msodo sodo sodo sodo sodooo…unapenda hela usijidaidai hapa…’where the tunes that remained in the minds of the crowd as they left with some rhythm in their feet dancing all the way to their cars ready to go home for a blissful sleep, after a failed attempt to make the performers continue with at least one last song.
With a chance to talk to the ever so exhilarated Deni bonnet, she got to explain how she got to land the absolute magical opportunity to spend time and perform with the band. Chirpily Bonet narrated how she got to Tanzania in the first place.
“About a year and a half ago my husband and I were on a safari in Tanzania which was our dream trip, we planned it and it was absolutely a dream come true.” “In our last week of the trip we went to Zanzibar and were just visiting different beaches in stone town where one day I happened to hear some amazing music including some musicians at dinner one night who turned out to be teachers and some students from the Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA).”
With her goofy looking travel violin not able to resist the temptation for another second she joined in on the musicians on stage. “With no clue of what I was doing.” “But, I guess I did do something good because the next day they invited me to go see the school where I ended up doing a workshop with a couple of their violinists, and a mini concert.”
Having a conversation with the Director of the school then, she ended up obtaining a grant from the US Embassy that brought her back to her dream vacation. Beaming cheerful she said she was absolutely thrilled that it happened.
“A year and a half letter here I am, I just spent the most amazing month of my entire life in Zanzibar, working with some of the most remarkable musicians and the school which was the most magical, wonderful place with people with the largest hearts who made me feel so loved and welcomed,” she said as she gave gratitude to the school and the embassy.
Deni is a classically trained musician who simply had too much energy and too many original tunes to be confined in an orchestra.
Trading in her black recital dress for an electric blue violin, and after performing with some of the biggest names in rock and pop including Cyndi Lauper, REM and Sarah Mclachlan, she stepped into the solo spotlight.
Speaking to the ‘Sunday News’ band expressed their pleasure and happiness that they got a chance to be taught, spend time, and conduct concerts with such a high spirited, merry and talented person.
The Stone Town Rockerz that included Erasto Wambura (Lead guitar and vocals), Salum Salem (Bass Guitar), Richard Cherehani (Guitar), Alex Migire (Keyboard) and Christophe Kagoda (Drums), expressed their excitement to get to work and learn from such a celebrity who was ready to help them.
“Bonet has been a blessing to us and we got great advantage having her for this one month that will last our life time,” said Kagoda.
The type of music they played was afro fusion, which they complemented the taste and flavor of the music to have increased after incorporating the violin into their music.
This blend of contemporary music infused with traditional rhythms of Africa creates a style of music that is pleasing to the ear and which is sweeping the music scene of Tanzania as well as other parts of the world.
Airing the challenges they face in the industry on the music they do, Wambura said that the music we do and the one given priority even in the media are quite different.
“It is very hard for our type of music to be given priorities especially in the media, as most of what we sing, the modern Tanzanians do not understand,” he noted.
The band decided to go for traditional music and playing them with some modern instruments to remind people the treasure the country once had, commented Salem.
“We fish out the old traditional music (ngoma) played by our ancestors, (not the Arabic music, mind you, he cautioned) and infuse them with the modern instruments, adding rhythm to them. This is a way for us to remind the Tanzanian community that we have some soulful, beautiful and rich music amongst us that is been ignored and forgotten,” he stated.
The band together with the buoyant Bonet plan great things ahead; with the band open to new opportunities, challenges that will lift them to new heights.
With all the interviews and talking, could not take away the rhythms and the beauty of the performance they did, the words ‘Aumz akachela chela chela aumz akachela, aumz akachela chela chela aumz akachela…haiko msodoo.. haiko msodo sodo sodo sodo sodooo…unapenda hela usijidaidai hapa…’and the joy encompassed in them were not easy to wipe off in the mind.
Even if one met a reckless driver back home could not provoke the song and the joy of the performance out of their minds.