By Steven Odeke
Tunisian-born French musician Smadj (born Jean-Pierre Smadja) blew a sizable number of Jazz fans on Thursday, June 16, with an amazing array of virtuosic oud and live electronic music at the Smadj-Dual show held at Alliance Française in Kamwokya, Kampala.
The oud is not a common instrument here as it is in the Arab world, where it originated from, so it was interesting to watch Smadj strum it expertly and excitingly, managing to get members of the audience off their haunches to dance to some pieces.
Alongside saxophonist Denis Guivarch and Breton-born flute player Sylvain Barou, Smadj delivered his Middle Eastern Jazz off his ouds when he took to stage at about 8:00pm, doing pieces off his latest album Smadj-Dual.
The show had been opened by Ugandan adungu player Charles Obina and Brunei-born guitarist Alifchief at 7:30pm with a number of their disarming folk and funky songs like Boda Boda, but it was the main acts that stole the evening.
It is no wonder when their time was done, the audience called out an encore for more two songs, to which they duly obliged.
Smadj, who has toured the world playing the oud and has over 16 albums to his name, says most of the songs on the album like For You and Lui were composed during COVID-19 times when the world was not sure where it was headed.
He is here for the World Music Day event to be held at National Theatre, Kampala.
The event ended at 10:20pm.