The New Times (Kigali)

23 June 2012

Rwanda: Kigali Celebrates 'Fête De La Musique'

Kigali streets were filled with the sounds of the "Fête de la Musique" on June 21.

A drummer inspects his colleagues to make sure that everything is perfect.

The event that took place at Kigali City Tower (KCT) from 1:30p.m to 1:45p.m was well received, with the city centre almost coming to a virtual standstill as 139 drummers drawn from various parts of the country hit the streets - thanks to French Institut of Rwanda.

Fifteen of the professional drummers came from Imanzi (Eastern Province), 30 from Twizerane (Western Province), 15 from Urugangazi (Northern Province, while 52 were from Ingoma Nshya, Southern Province.

The "Fête de la Musique" was first celebrated in Rwanda in 2006, and last year, it was graced by 10 professional DJs in Kimisagara.

According to Diana Ramarohetra, the Secretary General of Institut Français du Rwanda, the audience really enjoyed the show.

"The aim of this festival is to promote musicians and celebrate music. So, all over the world, we have free shows with different artistes", said Ramarohetra

"We choose the drummers because the drum symbolises the Rwandan tradition and Kigali City Tower symbolises the new Kigali. It is a mix between modernity and tradition - tradition with drum and modernity with KCT," She added.

Completely different from a music festival, the "Fête de la Musique" is above all a free popular fête, open to all amateur or professional performers.

Ramarohetra thanked the Nyarugenge Police and Mayor of Kigali for their support.

This music day allows the expression of all styles of music in a cheerful atmosphere.

It targets large audiences and works to popularise musical practice for young and not so young people from all social backgrounds. It gives an opportunity to communicate and share a very special moment through music.

Free and popular event

At such events, musicians are asked to perform for free, and all the concerts are free of charge. This is the reason why they are used to play in open air areas as streets and parks or public buildings like museums.

Furthermore, the "Fête de la Musique" is a way to encourage the major music institutions (orchestra, operas, choirs, etc.) to perform outside their usual locations.

Launched in 1982 by the French Ministry for Culture, the "Fête de la Musique" is held in more than 100 countries all over the world and takes place every June 21, the day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.

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