Legendary Congolese guitarist, Kapenda Katuta has released an 11-song instrumental album recorded live at Masa Square (now Protea Hotel) in the CBD.
Although his instrumental music may not have lyrics, the album tells stories. Track number four titled A12 road (Molepolole/ GC) phala is one of the songs which stands out from the rest of the album. This is particularly because of the (whistle) sound in the background which sort of fuses jazz and traditional Setswana music.
“A12 is the road I know by heart which takes me to work and back home. This is the road I travel the most and this song is emerging to be the favourite of many who have listened to the album. The traditional percussion was amplified by Sua Pan,” Katuta told Arts & Culture in an interview.
Katuta plays rhythm, lead and bass guitars but he specialises in lead guitar when he is on stage. In the album ,Katuta delivers amazing guitar lines and riffs and each song has an energy to it that was hard to duplicate.
Katuta’s guitar melody is often catchy and helps give structure and character to a piece of music.
People play music every day, and sometimes the sounds feel the same. With this album, fans will able to hear a lineage and how it develops.
“Some songs have a main wave from the Mp3 recorded at Masa Hotel (Jazz x change) 2017 at Masa Square Hotel (CBD). The genre is Jazz (Afro fusion and Karavia track 7 is Cuban jazz “Salsa”,” Katuta revealed.
Katuta also said the first track Moyawe means greetings while the second track titled Chovwe is an Afro jazz mpaqanga.
The guitarist who shared a stage with the late legendary music icon Oliver Mtukudzi has a track in the album titled Tuku Flavour which is a dedication to the Zimbabwean artist. “Our paths crossed at some point,” he said. There is also a track called Spanish vibe played romantically on nylon or classic guitar with an influence of Spanish and Afro jazz.
“As for the song Marching to Kasaji, this one specifically brings the memories of a long journey for the first time going home with a train. While Bosanova Katanga is an Afro and Spanish touch remembrance of my first love heartbreak,” Katuta further revealed.
Katuta said the album in general is categorised as jazz due to its content but after receiving the wave (Mp3) from the show at Protea Hotel, he went back to the original music record studio of Alfredo Mos to try to edit, add and record the missing instruments. “Here my gratitude goes to Alfredo Mos who worked tirelessly to bring what is on the table now.
I thank big artists such as Lister Boleseng, Andrew Chinganga, Sua Pan (traditional), Bonie Keabile on the keyboard, Mike Ndhlovu on the piano, Tavonga Makotore on the percussion, Enock Mbewe on the drums,” he said.
The guitarist, who came to Botswana at the invitation of kwasa-kwasa musician, Jeff Matheatau many years ago, added that in the studio he had to re-do everything that needed more attention. “The album is already in the hands of few fans. However, the marketing and sales team will announce where exactly one could go and get it easily. We will put it on the digital markets with a video. The feedback is excellent”.