How Kal Katana is injecting modernity into Them Mushrooms Band

How Kal Katana has infused new life in Them Mushrooms band

Piece by: PAUL AMUKO

• Recognizing the immense talent in his last-born son Kal Katana, John Harrison Katana, is not only a musical virtuoso but also a wise and forward-thinking mentor.

Kal Katana
Image: Courtesy

Recognizing the immense talent in his last-born son Kal Katana, John Harrison Katana is not only a musical virtuoso but also a wise and forward-thinking mentor.

He decided to pass on the torch and introduce the young prodigy to Them Mushrooms band. Kal's musical journey began at a tender age, displaying a natural affinity for music.

At around the age of two, he would join his father and the band during their rehearsals, refusing to leave the practice room even for meals.

When Kal turned five, Katana presented him with a guitar, sparking the beginning of a musical education that was rooted in tradition and fueled by innovation.

The band members, including the late George Katana, Katana's brother, taught the young musician various instruments.

From guitar to keyboards and saxophone, Kal honed his skills under the guidance of seasoned musicians, each imparting their musical wisdom and passion to the next generation.

''kwamba ajue elimu yahitajika lakini kwetu sisi familia yetu mungu ametupa talanta ya miziki, kwa hivyo yeye ameleta upya wa ujana kwenye bendi, na sisi tumempa maadili ya vile ambavyo sisi wenyewe tumekuwa tukijichukulia maishani’’ John Harrison Katana.

Them Mushrooms Band
Image: OJ photographer

With a multi-instrumental skill set and a wealth of musical knowledge bestowed upon him not only from formal education but also from the band, Kal Katana seamlessly integrated himself into the ranks of Them Mushrooms.

His inclusion has not only breathed new life into the band but also brought modern elements into their signature sound.

According to Katana, Kal's fresh perspective has led to a fusion of old and new, creating a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary.

Kal's youthful energy and creative inputs have inspired the band to experiment with modern language and musical arrangements.

This infusion of new ideas has resulted in a sound that appeals not only to loyal fans who have cherished Them Mushrooms over the years but also to a younger audience eager to experience something fresh and unique.

Kal Katana
Image: Instagram

''Huwa anachangia, saa ingine tunaeza tumia lugha ambayo atasema , dad hapa vijana wenzangu hawataelewa lugha hii, mumeimba Kiswahili cha zamani sana, ama katika mipigo ya mziki atasema kwa nini tusijaribu hivi, wajua amepewa pia kidogo uwezo wa kutunga, ama kupangia ala za mziki’’ John Harrison Katana.

Them Mushrooms' decision to include the offspring of other late band members in their musical journey is a testament to their commitment to preserving the band's legacy.

The children of Teddy Kalanda, Katana's elder brother and a pivotal member of the band, are also integral parts of this musical inheritance. With each successive generation, the band gains renewed vigor and the promise of sustained brilliance.

Despite the timeless allure of music, the band is not oblivious to the demands of the contemporary world. While upholding their roots, they remain open to change and the evolution of their craft.

Them Mushrooms' dedication to music education and emphasizing the importance of formal education is admirable. It ensures that their successors are well-rounded individuals who can effortlessly navigate both the musical and academic spheres.

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