Otto Gumaelius

Marimba Music From Southern Africa

Otto Gumaelius is a London based, Botswana raised, performing artist & teacher of southern African folk music on the marimba.

Fête de la Musique in Paris

The 21st of June is World Music Day - and it's a day that's spectacularly celebrated in Paris as musicians flood the streets to share their music with the city. In France, the day goes by the name Fête de la Musique, and this year it was an absolute pleasure to join forces with ex Zimba Marimba Band musician, Fredrik Andersson, who has set up a marimba business in Paris called Kudzana Marimba. Anna Wolanska and Sophie Nilsson, also former Zimba Marimba Band members, came over as well from Sweden, and together we refreshed and revitalised all the old songs we used to play.

On the Wednesday of Fête de la Musique we did a total of three performance-workshop slots; all in the bustling Parisian suburb of Clichy. Our first slot was at Place des Martyrs, where we got to share our music with many young children who were eager to try it out themselves.

 Marimba workshops with the young children of Clichy

Marimba workshops with the young children of Clichy

We then packed up and headed to Café KAMU, where we did an hour slot and a short workshop, which at one point had to be paused as we came under attack by an onslaught of water guns! The cool water being squirted into the air would have otherwise been a lovely carefree moment, had we not had wooden instruments in front of us which are sensitive to water! But after a few quick wipe downs we were back on track!

 Performing at Café KAMU

Performing at Café KAMU

After our brief stop over at Café KAMU, we packed up and headed to our final stop for the day where we played our final set outside Café du Parc. We managed to draw quite a large crowd and everyone seemed to enjoy our southern African music! 

 Final workshop for the day outside Café du Parc! 

Final workshop for the day outside Café du Parc! 

We played a total of 7 hours and were quite glad to get home after an otherwise very successful day! We took it easy over the next two days and did a bit of sightseeing and hanging out. On our last night together in Paris we did one more show, at Le Coq Noir, a lovely African restaurant in Clichy.   

 Delicious dinner at Le Coq Noir before our final performance

Delicious dinner at Le Coq Noir before our final performance

Below you can see a short video of our set up at Le Coq Noir. In the video, we're performing Gandanga, a song from Zimbabwe about the freedom fighters of the independence struggle. 

Our show at Le Coq Noir was the perfect end to a lovely week in Paris! Hopefully we'll be back next year to share more southern African marimba music!

For more information about marimba workshops in Paris, visit www.kudzanamarimba.com

©2018, Otto Gumaelius - Marimba Music From Southern Africa. All Rights Reserved.