‘Crazy Monday’ Jam Session is a weekly event, held every Monday at the Red Monkey Lodge in Jambiani (SE coast of Zanzibar).
Entrance is free, resulting in a great mix of tourists, expats and local residents.
In co-operation with various organisations (first of all LearnAfrica and the Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA)) we have, in the two years since starting this initiative, been gifted with the participation of many world class musicians and managed to create numerous fantastic evenings with great audiences.
A resident sound engineer guarantees high quality audio and the in-house PA system plus a variety of instruments belonging to the Lodge are available for participants during these occasions.
One key aim is to gain exposure for local talent – these performers can gain hugely from meeting international artists on stage and we are holding regular workshops for their benefit*.
These jam sessions also have on several occasions marked the beginning of interesting synergies between recorded artists.
In the last year we were gifted with many special guests on the stage including: Blessing Chimanga, Blitz The Ambassador, Sona Jobarteh, Tcheka , Bopao Jazz, Brian Mugenyi, Carl Winther, Damian Soul, Derek Gripper, Don Baker, Ekow Alabi (Ebo Taylor band), Jim Kroft, Joe Driscoll, Anna Pauline Andersson, Mattias Nilsson, Karen Mukupa, Malfred Alfred, Manuuh Swai, Msafiri Zawose, Mzungu Kichaa, Paleface & MC Matre, Publish the Quest and many other great musicians from East Africa and far beyond.
Crazy Monday has evolved into one of the main weekly live music events on the island, attracting crowds of 100 to 150 people each time with higher peaks at special events.
*Together with Learn Africa, DCMA, MUDA and other actors Crazy monday has also started workshops leading into a pre-diploma outreach course supported by Goethe-Institut Tanzania, open to musicians and youth from the east coast of Zanzibar. Academic staff from DCMA run this regular monthly theory course at the Lodge.
Workshops so far have focused on basic music theory, guitar techniques, percussion, live audio and digital recording.
Last but not least we also are co-producers of the yearly three-day Zanzibar Beach & Watersports Festival, the fifth of which washeld from the 18th to 20th September 2015, on the beach in front of the Red Monkey Lodge. The 2015 event attracted up to 2,000 people over the 3 days and saw many performances from world-class international artists as well as hundreds of people participating in various competitions and tournaments.
(For more info: www.zanzibarfestival.com)
Another focus for the future is to involve increasing numbers of recorded artists in order to run more workshops on the southeast coat of Zanzibar, where there is no real access to musical education and/or practical skill development in the arts sector.