The Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe hails from Uganda, known for singing and performing on a large ensemble instrument called the embaire, crafting hypnotic and joyful music. Having greatly expanded their audience following an acclaimed performance at Nyege Nyege Festival in 2018, they are one of the few remaining groups playing the embaire.
The embaire is a large wooden xylophone performed by up to eight musicians simultaneously, who weave together polyrhythmic short melodic phrases. Ensemble members may also sing in unison or in call and response, playing with other percussive instruments to keep the tempo. The results are ecstatic compositions that flow endlessly, creating waves of coalescing grooves. For CTM festival 2020, Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe took part in a special commission with Gabber Modus Operandi and Wahono that was showcased in Berghain (Berlin). The band also played their regular traditional show at CTM. Nakibembe was in the official WOMEX showcases selection in 2021 and just had their French premiere at Bourse de Commerce in Paris. They will be back in Europe next summer.