7pm: Zikina is a group of people who came from across continents and cultures to show that despite all the forces in the world that emphasize our differences and try to diminish and pull us apart, we can come together to make something beautiful and new. It doesn’t take long for this music to get you dancing, clapping along, connecting with the people around you, and savoring the beauty of the present moment. You might start with curiosity when Uganda native Gideon Ampeire draws you in with a variety of traditional East African instruments that are rare and fascinating to US audiences, including enanga (zither), adungu (harp), and kalimba (thumb piano) – all of which he builds himself.
Once your interest is piqued by the instruments, you’ll quickly discover that there’s so much more to the band. Mike Cardozo (guitar, percussion) improvises intricate melodic conversations with Gideon and dances through the beat with punchy rhythmic lines. Roston Kirk (bass) and Kade Parkin (drums) weave a sonic landscape that flows seamlessly from intense grooves to joyous dance beats to dreamy textures. Gideon’s vocals cut powerfully through the fabric or float lightly above. It all adds up to something completely unique, yet immediately accessible.