BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
AFRO-jazz sensation, Edith “WeUtonga” Katiji is set to raise the country’s flag high at this year’s sixth edition of the prestigious five-day long Visa for Music Festival set for November 20 to 24 in Rabat, Morocco.
A renowned female bassist, WeUtonga will share the stage with artistes from Africa, Europe and the Middle East at the showcase that accords platform to independent or unsigned bands and artists from these places who have potential to be the next big world music stars.
WeUtonga, who is not new to global stage having performed at many international concerts alongside both African and European heavyweights, is scheduled to
depart on November 19 and returns on November 25.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, WeUtonga said she was happy to be rubbing shoulders with artistes across the globe adding that a number of
big stars were signed for huge global concerts through this platform in the past.
“Travelling to perform at the Visa for Music Festival is the big opportunity that we have always worked towards. World music is a multi-billion dollar industry
and has enough room for everyone and we are extremely excited to be a part of this. We will work hard to make sure it is fully worthwhile,” she said.
WeUtonga said at the festival, artists will showcase their talents through organised concerts to audiences that include festival directors from around the
world, booking agents as well as arts management companies and labels.
“Meetings and networking sessions will also be organised during the duration of the festival where maximum exposure of the artists and their work is afforded
to both the artists and the promoters present.”
In a music scene that seemed to have confined women to such feminine instruments like mbira and hosho, WeUtonga, besides being a lead singer and songwriter,
she has also exhibited exceptional talent of playing the bass guitar.
According to Visa For Music director Brahim EL Mazned, the festival is the first professional market or festival for Africa and Middle East artists.
“This project was born from a paradox on the one hand, the lack of visibility for African and Middle-Eastern artistes at an international level and, on the other hand, a very important artistic dynamism and musical creation from these musicians,” he said.
“The main goals of Visa For Music are to promote music from Morocco, Africa and the Middle East to Europe and northern markets, encourage artistic mobility
between African countries and the Middle East, participate in the development of the local cultural sector in these areas, develop the music scene at an
international level, contribute to the improvement of the status of artistes from southern countries, strengthen the North-South and South-South relationships
in the cultural sector.”