As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at Makerere University during the 1996-1997 school year, I had the opportunity to intensely study traditional Ugandan music for a full year. After a few months, my classmate Haruna Walusimbi took me out to Nakibembe village to hear some xylophone music he thought I would enjoy. I was overwhelmed by the sound of the embaire xylophone and its rich musical compositions. I immediately decided to focus my research in Uganda on this tradition, studying and performing regularly with the Nakibembe Xylophone Group for the remainder of my year in Uganda.
I have never stopped studying this incredible music. The embaire is the most communal and most powerful xylophone tradition I know, a tradition that I am fortunate to teach regularly to my students at Oakland University in a number of classes. This past fall, together with my OU students, I gave a research presentation entitled Embaire - Xylophone Music of Busoga, Uganda at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Above you can click through the prezi I prepared for our presentation at PASIC and below you can view the full presentation, an excerpt from the presentation, and a recent embaire performance by my students at Oakland University.