Throughout the year, and particularly during the week before Sauti za Busara music festival, Busara Promotions works in collaboration with Zanzibar's Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA) to provide opportunities for musicians of different backgrounds to meet, learn from each other, and create new musical fusions. These collaborative compositions are often performed on the festival stage under the title of Swahili Encounters.
Swahili Encounters music fusion workshops have played an important role in giving diverse artists a forum to meet, exchange and learn from each other, as well as forge new directions in artistic collaboration.
The main focus of this meeting is to work together in creating two new compositions (or new interpretations of traditional Swahili songs), which are performed on the main stage of the festival. The end result is not so important as the process.
Participants from around East Africa rarely have such opportunities to meet and learn from one another, and always ask for more. In fact, most musicians who have participated in previous Swahili Encounters report this as their personal highlight of the whole festival experience.
The collaboration this year comprises musicians from Indian Ocean islands including Zanzibar, Comoros, and Madagascar, together with students and teachers from DCMA.
"There the music blended and grooved, dancers felt moved to do spontaneous improvisations, drummers went flying in search of new rhythms and the singers explored new harmonies and sounds together. There were a few of those really magical moments, when different musicians find that common place where it "clicks" and everything works in harmony to produce a truly exciting new sound". BBC News