A cup of tea with Isaiah Katumwa

He is referred to as the Ugandan Kenny G, hit the music scene like a “tsunami” and has surely left a mark on the hearts of so many people. Isaiah is one of the people who would love to count himself as lucky.  He came to learn and love music while doing it as an activity as a kid. He then never cared so much about it because he thought everyone could sing well, he later ventured into instruments.

Isaiah cannot describe himself but he knows he is a very easy guy, also thinks he is humble and easy going.  He also thinks that there are more talented people that have driven him to that point thus having the opportunity to do what he is doing now.  Music Uganda met Isaiah Katumwa and had a cup of tea with him while talked about his music.

Isaiah Katumwa doesn’t know when he started his musical journey; he realized it when he was already doing it. The major elements of his music journey or the landmarks were when he was 10 years old while at Rev. John Foundation School. He was involved a lot in the school music activities, inter-school competitions. The school director loved and believed in him and his musical talent and started teaching him how to play different musical instruments like the guitar and with time the director started up a school brass band where he was actively involved while he was doing folk music on the side.

In addition to all the instruments he added the saxophone. Unlike the other instruments, he had to find his own way around it. He taught himself how to play while still in Primary. He continuously played it while interpreting the knowledge he had of the other instruments onto the saxophone. When he went to secondary he started studying music while playing in the Primary school Brass Band. This became a job for him and that is where he would get the money that would pay for his secondary School fees. In Senior 3 and 4 he started looking for a job with the different commercial bands that existed at the time on the side he was also teaching the trumpet and other musical instruments. Isaiah joined the Waka Waka band that used to play at the Sheraton Hotel; other bands he joined include the Light Rays Band that used to play at Grand Imperial, Afri-Diamonds that became Diamond Productions which consisted of all the present members of the Eagle’s Productions.

During this time Isaiah was in his Advanced Level of Education (A’Level). He later on headed to campus where he started studies in Music, Dance and Drama. When he looked at the syllabus, he later realized that it was not feeding him enough and worked with Paul Kafeero R.I.P, The Cross Roads Band and later joined the church. He started playing the Saxophone in church only. This helped him understand who he was, his purpose and his potential was given responsibility.

In early 2002, he traveled to the United Kingdom with his family to study sound engineering. He recorded all his albums in the UK until “Sinza” ended up on the BBC and opened for him doors to different nations and people started demanding for his music. “Tumusinza” was the biggest hit on the album because its sound appealed to many different countries. He later recorded “Coming Home” which is the most recent; “My Joy” has found its way from Church to Kampala airwaves and also in night clubs.  It has also earned him invitations allover the world to places like Geneva, USA, South Africa, the list is endless.

Advice; Isaiah thinks that if we listen to the music that appeals to us from abroad and try to figure out the qualities of that music and we realize that some of these things that we are ignoring…..most important thing….without originality we are imitating, this is art and its about creativity.


2001 – He released his first album “Will Worship you”. He strongly believes that he was not yet mature but had a lot of faith thus he was not yet ready. The album sold out through The Robert Kayanja Ministries.
2002 – He released the “Saxo Hymns”. These were hymns that were jazzed up. This album was self sponsored, it was poorly presented and due to lack of resources, it took a friend to buy it.
2003 – He released “We three kings”. This was a Christmas album that he did with the Miracle Ministries (band at church)

2004 “Sax Worship”
2005“Celebrate Africa”
2006 “Sinza” This was the album that he considers his biggest push.  Many people thought this was his
2007“Coming Home”

View Isaiah Katumwa's official website

Isaiah Katumwa's coming home album review.

Isaiah Katumwa's coming home jazz album is decorated with an energetic album cover that has Isaiah looking up the sky and heartily smiling while holding his tool of "power" The saxophone. Welcome I guess welcomes the listener to Katumwa's experience. It’s a mellow jazz piece. With the loud sound of the saxophone which clearly is sending out the signal welcome.

Isaiah Katumwa proves himself by Isaac Ssejjombwe.

A combination of talent, passion and brilliance is what Isaiah exhibited during his another step album launch at Serena hotel last Friday.

Clad in a white suit, black shirt with black shoes, Katumwa backed by a live band with four buck up singers made his way up the stage at 7.45pm with his welcome song taken off his coming home album blowing a soprano saxophone.

Monday, December 03rd, 2012

Katumwa and Ganda Boyz vow to find Uganda’s music identity By Vision reporter

The London –based Ugandan singers commonly known as Ganda Boyz have joined up with the Ugandan Jazz maestro, Isaiah Katumwa to sing a song titled Mountains of the moon.

Denis Mugagga one of the Ganda Boyz said they are moving away from robotic music to collaborating with real musicians in the bid to create a sound that is Ugandan and meets the global standards. He also said that working with a musician like Isaiah is fun. 

He is such a brilliant musician, humble, no drugs required for enhancing performance. Ganda Boyz and Katumwa have been playing live in London, playing in major venue like Alexandra Palace, a well-known venue for prestigious shows.