Walk-in Music, African style

Those of you who’ve attended TED in Monterey know that when you hear the Elephant March from Aïda, it means the doors for the Main Hall have opened, and it’s time to scramble for a seat. (Over the years, this becomes a Pavlovian response; a single bar of that striding score touches off the rush of anticipation, inspiration, excitement (and let’s face it, a bit of seat-finding stress) I associate with TED.

But for TEDGlobal, we thought we’d choose something more site-specific. (Yes, yes … I know Aïda was an African princess. But still.) And so, welcoming us into the Main Hall each day in Arusha: A reinterpretation of the Tanzanian classic “Kuna Kunguni” (listen to it here) by the late master musician Hukwe Zawose, funked up in a version produced by Michael Brooks. The gyst of the song, for those who don’t speak Swahili, is an upbeat invocation for people to come together, and work toward a better world. (Thanks to Bill Bragin for sourcing it!)

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