• February 23rd, 2020

Keeping the beat alive with Chicken Bus Marimba band

 Donna Collins

SWAKOPMUND - Every tourist’s dream when visiting Namibia is to get the chance to hear the beat of African drums, while getting caught up in the rhythm of a spellbinding live performance of traditional sounds.

The combination of Djemba’s, Marimba’s and some good solid harmonising vocals is a winning recipe for the Swakopmund-based Chicken Bus Marimba band, who are starting to make a name for themselves on the local show circuit.

This eight-piece outfit, who teamed up two years ago from a humble ghetto life in Mondesa, have turned themselves around in this short time, to become an act that is difficult to ignore, and very popular with the tourists.
Wearing their new African print ensemble for the first time during a recent gig in the garden setting of the Shalom River farm, the band members said they are on the roll to take their act to the next level and upgrade their image.
Sylvanis Hanadaob, the co-founder the Chicken Bus Marimba band who spoke to Entertainment Now! between their lively, foot tapping sets said they are very excited about what lies ahead this year.

“The group has been growing with new members, and shortly we will introduce some ladies to the group, to be gender balanced,” he said, adding that they have many more players who join them during various drum circle gigs, so they switch it up all the time and the energy is very “powerful”.  

“We are also planning to open a container Marimba school in Mondesa or the DRC to teach our African rhythm to the young ones,” he said excitedly. In fact, the group’s mascot - the six-year old Kati Hoaeb is often spotted sitting in the front at the performances playing his Djemba and will feature at the new music school.

Their energetic performance and lively repertoire of traditional sounds, Reggae tunes, and some cover songs, which showcases their impressive range of Djembe, Conga drums and the full set of Marimba musical keyboard instruments which they describe as the “African Piano”, can get any party started.

So far, they have performed in shopping malls, township tours, in front of delighted tourist groups, at restaurants and schools. And this multi-talented group of performers bring something new and exciting to their live shows, which is just why the tourists and even locals can’t get enough of them.  

When asked what we can expect from them this year, Hanadaob  answered. “You can expect more performances, more music and more involvement, plus we are really looking forward to opening the Marimba School of Art later this year, where everyone will be welcome.”

Explaining where the name of the group came from, he said with a smile, that ‘Chicken Bus’ is an expression. “Destination conversation”, because it unites people from all walks of life, and the beat of the drum is infectious.
“Our performances are very high energy, so the audience can enjoy and feel the rhythm,” he added, saying: “The Djemba is the talking drum, which you play through your hands and provides an unmistakable beat.”

The band uses the full set of Marimba keyboards on stage, Djemba drums, Conga drums with singing and harmonising - to fill the layers and give power to their music, which includes lead, rhythm, baritone and bass.
The Chicken Bus Marimba band, best provide entertainment for both adults and children in seminars, weddings, parties, schools, private functions, desert dinners, as well as training and variety of art marimba music, fire shows, stilts walking, mbira music and Djembe drumming circles.

Staff Reporter
2019-04-18 10:18:39 | 10 months ago

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