top of page

Ishimwe Michel Baseme aka Michael Makembe


Michael Makembe is one of the pioneer artists of the new modern traditional Rwandese music. He is the only Ikembe (Kalimba) player in Rwanda.

Through multiple field trips in the whole country, Michael has carried out an important work of archiving and memory. His research led him to the island of Nkombo, in southwestern Rwanda, an area that had never been documented musically. A musical piece, Bene Berhu, was born out of this encounter. He has also recorded and archived the music of the Abayudaya, a Jewish community in eastern Uganda.

He has collaborated with many Rwandan artists, including Dorcy Rugamba with whom he worked on the installation and performative piece, The Supreme Remains, presented at the Dak'art Biennale in 2022. He also featured in the afro-futurist film Neptune Frost co-directed by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman and released in 2021.

bottom of page