Vipi Mashabiki !

Mbwana Mtulia, also known as Dbass Ganun, is a talented Tanzanian bassist and Qanun (Ganun) player. Born in 1988 in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, Dbass picked up an interest in the instrument from his late father, a Qanun maestro who tutored him and his siblings in their childhood years.

The Ganun is a 10th Century ancient Egyptian string instrument played either solo, or more often as part of an ensemble, in much of the Middle East, West Africa, Central Asia, and South Eastern regions of Europe. The name derives from the Arabic word ‘’Qanun’’, meaning ‘rule, law, norm, principle’.

The Ganun is thought to trace its origins back to Assyria, where an ancestral homologue might have been used in Mesopotamian royal courts and religious ceremonies. The Ganun entered Europe in the 12th century tthrough the Andalusian courts and was known in Spain as the ‘cao’. In France it was known as the Canon, in Germany the Kanon, and in Italy as the Cannale. It is also believed to have been introduced to other parts of Europe by way of returning crusaders. The instrument entered East Africa in the 12th century through Arabic voyagers.

Dbass’s Ndengeleko tribe (from the island town of Rufiji) incorporated the instrument into their vibrant traditional music style to create a unique contemporary sound that delivers a memorable listening experience and powerful messages when performed.

In 2000 he joined the Dira Arts group where he nurtured his craft before joining the popular Mwela band which enabled his growth and success as a performing artist. In 2008 he was accepted to the Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA) and participated in several workshops including the Music Crossroad in Zambia & Zimbabwe and Umoja Cultural Flying Carpet in Ethiopia.

He has performed on multiple platforms including festivals like Sauti Za Busara (Zanzibar) and the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), Utam Festival (Kenya), DOADOA (Uganda) and the East Afican Concert where he got an opportunity to perform with musicians from Norway, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia and various other African countries.

Dbass has also played with renown musicians from across the African continent including Maher Sisocko, Sousou Sisocko and Sadio Sisocko from Senegal/Gambia, Oliver Mtukudz from Zimbambwe and Eric Wainaina from Kenya. He was recorded with some of the leading artists in Tanzania such as Diamond Platnumz, Harmonize, Ally Kiba, Q Chief, Ray C and many more.

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