Meet the Deep Roots Team

DIRECTOR: KENNY GILMORE

Born in Kenya’s Rift Valley province in 1978, Kenny was raised in Malawi before moving to New Orleans in 1998. There, he began playing blues harmonica, winning the Louisiana Rebel State Harmonica championship in 2002. In 2004, he returned to Malawi and started the Sangalala Blues Band, which released its debut album Ngati Mafunde in January 2006. The Sangalala Band instantly achieved national fame, as Ngati Mafunde’s title-track music video reached number one on the Malawian charts for three months in early 2006. The Sangalala Band then played in the finals of the Kuche Kuche national music awards in April 2007, challenging racial stereotypes and perceptions of traditional Malawian music. The Sangalala Band is still playing in Malawi, but Kenny now resides in Manchester, England, where he teaches at a secondary school, plays local gigs, and organizes recording projects for Malawian musicians. Growing up in Malawi, Kenny feels strongly that the musical heritage is slowly eroding and needs to be preserved and promoted (see next page).

PRODUCER: BENJAMIN COBB

Benjamin Cobb is the Executive Director for Promote Africa, Inc. (www.PromoteAfrica.Org). In this role, he chairs a non-profit African music label, directs a media production firm, and manages an international arts trust and educational development organization in Namibia. His professional training includes consultancy work for the Namibian Ministry of Education and development planning for the Namibian Community Skills Development Foundation. His inspiration for working on this project comes from the Buena Vista Social Club and his interest in using music to dissolve seperatist identities.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: WALIKO MAKHALA

Waliko Makhala is the Chief Producer for TV Malawi, Malawi’s national television broadcaster. In this role, he schedules air-play and archives material for TV Malawi programs and produces Zakwathu, a popular series exploring the cultural heritage of Malawi. Therefore, Deep Roots Malawi will be a featured news source as part of the Zakwathu series in 2008. Before joining TV Malawi, Waliko worked as a professional ethnomusicologist for the Malawian Department of Cultural Affairs from 1986-1999 . A skilled guitarist, vocalist and master of the traditional Malawian mouth bow, he is a staple of Blantyre’s live music scene. Waliko’s life devotion has been the preservation of Malawian cultural heritage, so he is excited to join the Deep Roots team and bring Malawian culture to a global audience.

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One Response to “Meet the Deep Roots Team”

  1. Adiva Says:

    This is an awesome site for a person like me who lives outside the country. Hope to work with you all sometime soon :-)…. That is my aim actually. God bless

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