Msafiri Zawose is one of the most admired Gogo musicians today. Born into a family that honors tradition, he is determined to preserve this style of music that plays a key role in the rich heritage of Tanzania. Gogo music, originating in Central Tanzania, derives its unique sound from the mixture of the traditional instruments and the incorporation of multiple vocalists. Msafiri Zawose’s father, Hukwe, was discovered by Tanzania’s founding father, Julius Nyerere, on his visit to the interior post-independence as he was welcoming everyone into their newly formed nation of Tanganyika. From this point on, the name Zawose became synonymous with music and tradition in Tanzania.
Hukwe served as a member of the cultural troupe that traveled performing traditional Tanzanian music, representing the Gogo tribe of the Dodoma region. His name grew after he became a founding member of the Chuo cha Sanaa (National College of Arts) and relocated his family to Bagamoyo. This was the life Msafiri Zawose was born into. There was little choice in the matter: he would be a musician. In the Zawose family, music is more than a way to make a living or even way of life. Music is the answer to everything. Msafiri continues Hukwe’s enduring legacy through his passion for music and tradition that is quickly fading in Tanzania.
We were lucky enough to have Msafiri come by Studio 1A to perform and you can see him perform too at the Sahara Lounge on November 3rd. He will also be doing workshops at the Rattletree School of Marimba November 2nd and 3rd if you want to learn a little Gogo.
Host: John Aielli
Producer: Deidre Gott
Broadcast Engineer: Cliff Hargrove