“Beloved Youth of Many Days – Stories About Mlimani Park Orchestra”
Directed by Frank Gunderson
Active since 1978, the band Mlimani Park Orchestra (Sikinde) has been touted by critics as one of the true great bands on the African continent. Three of the original twelve members are still in the group, and several other original members are still active in bands in Dar es Salaam. Though the band has experienced a decline in popularity over the past decade as its fans and adherents have gotten older and younger music fans have been exposed to other international genres such as hip-hop, the group has recently experienced a notable nostalgic revival in popularity via radio shows and festivals.
The film focuses on individual band members’ personalities – especially the enigmatic and charming Hassan Rehani Bitchuka – the long-time vocalist “star” of the band. By focusing on, situating, and interpreting aspects of their individual creative lives to include their fame, experience, expertise, connections, musical abilities, articulate demeanors, collaborative processes, performance practices, and songs, this project demonstrates further the significance of documentary film from an ethnomusicological and historical perspective. It is significant to note, that the tone of the film is not one of “sad, wistful nostalgia,” or one that propagates a “capture-it-all-before-it-disappears,” or “salvage ethnography” sentiment. This is a respectful endeavor that documents a vital, still-living, music performance tradition.
Munich Music Video Awards (2022)
Malabar Music Festival (2021-22)
2 11 17 International Film Festival (2022)
Black Swan International Film Festival (2022)
LoudSoulMusic Festival (2022)
To learn more about Dr. Gunderson and his research into the history of dance music in Tanzania, visit Florida State University News.
Admission is free for this event. To learn more about our exciting College of Music Concert Season, visit us at music.fsu.edu.