Eric Donaldson to Perform in Kampala

Eric Donaldson

Well, production company East African Records is following up its smash hit Joss Stone concert – which took place at Design Hub in January – with the Cherry Oh Jamboree, a one-day international reggae festival slated for April 22 at the beautiful Jahazi Pier gardens in Munyonyo.

A full 12 hours of entertainment, the “Cherry Oh Jamboree” will be an unforgettable and all-inclusive experience, climaxing with the appearance of Eric Donaldson, one of the founding fathers of reggae music.

Eric Donaldson is the original artist behind the world-famous “Cherry Oh Baby” song, which he released in 1971. With Donaldson’s distinctive high voice and catchy lyrics, the song went far beyond the shores of the Caribbean.

After becoming a worldwide number 1 hit, it was subsequently popularized even further due to chart-topping cover versions by the Rolling Stones and UB40. Its success spread worldwide and the song has been a regular feature of reggae DJ playlists worldwide since the 1970s.

Besides this world-famous classic, Donaldson scored hit after hit in Jamaica and the UK, working with some of the most illustrious producers in the reggae music business, including Coxsone Dodd (of the pioneering Studio One) and Lee Perry (Bob Marley’s first hit-making producer). Donaldson’s ‘Traffic Jam’ and ‘The Lion Sleeps’ still feature regularly in East African soul and reggae playlists.

Close fifty years on, Eric Donaldson is still hard at work and is coming to East Africa for the first time in his career. He will be rehearsing with the Burundian reggae maestros Lion Story at the East African Records studio to bring you a unique live show.

Eric Donaldson live

DJs and local acts will warm up the audience before the headliners take to the stage. There will be a friendly atmosphere, with vendors selling Caribbean and local food, as well as crafts and cocktails.

As the sun sets, the evening’s entertainment begins in earnest with a performance by the Ugandan roots reggae band, RPV The Dons. This 9-piece band are veterans of the live reggae scene in East Africa, appearing at Rift Valley Festival (Kenya 2013-14) and each year at Nyege Nyege Festival (Jinja 2015-17). They were the in-house band at Tilapia Cultural Centre (Bunga 2011-13) and now play every month at the Big Kafunda, Kansanga. The only professional, authentic roots band in Uganda, they have a hardcore dedicated following.


Also featuring at the Cherry Oh Jamboree will be the queen of East African hip hop, Nazizi Hirji, with her new super group, Reggae 5. This exciting new act are making waves across the region, including opening for reggae giant Freddie McGregor in the massive March 3 concert in Nairobi.

Nazizi continues to excite and build her fanbase, returning to her roots in reggae music with some of the greatest singers in the business: Lavostie, Ras Mtapa, Levy Sill and Jah Pillah. The members of this veteran supergroup have played shows and recorded collaborations in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, UK, Norway, UK, USA and Germany, with collectively over one hundred years music industry experience in their native Kenya!

Lion’s Story backing Eric Donaldson

Lion’s Story will be the backing band for Eric Donaldson. This Burundian family band boast a major following in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. Throughout their decade-long career, they have played stadiums in Kigali and Bujumbura, as well as headlining international festivals such as Nyege Nyege.

They shot to international attention recently after criticizing the use of violence by government forces in Burundi, leading to their temporary exile from their homeland. In true reggae fashion, their songs are a mixture of politics, love and inspiration. They will be not only be playing Eric’s music but also delivering a full set of their own material.

Ticket pricing: Ugsh50,000


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