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Global Sounds on the Hill: Rwandan Duo The Good Ones in Concert

Tuesday, November 7, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


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Curated and hosted by iconic DC impresario and musician Jim Thomson.

The Good Ones came together as part of a healing process after the Rwandan genocide. The band’s name came from both wanting to find the best musicians around, trying to process their country’s communal trauma, and a larger effort to reunite Rwanda’s three tribes (Tutsi, Hutu, and Abatwa). Their vocalizations are based on the singing traditions of their local agricultural district and primary songwriter, Adrien Kazigira interweaves intricate harmonies with Janvier Havugimana in a style frequently referred to as “worker songs from the streets.” With the musicians’ rural and remote hilltop origins, their vocalizations are harmonically similar to American Bluegrass music. The duo also utilizes one-of-a-kind instruments in their music, often incorporating their own farming tools as percussion.  The raw, emotional results are undeniably impressive.

The Good Ones renown is evidenced by the stellar musicians who have collaborated with them, including members of Wilco, TV on the Radio, Sleater-Kinney, My Bloody Valentine, and Fugazi. Their music and original songs have received great acclaim globally. In 2010, The Good Ones released their debut album, making them the first Rwandan artists to widely-distribute internationally original songs in the language of Kinyarwanda. In 2015, they released their follow-up album, Rwanda is my home. It was named one of the “Top 50 Albums of the Year” by the Sunday London Times. In 2019, they released “Rwanda, You Should Be Loved,” which was named one of the Top Ten Albums of the Year by NPR’s Tiny Desk host and creator Bob Boilen. In 2022, they released their fourth album “Rwanda…you see ghosts, I see sky.”

About Jim Thomson: Jim Thomson owns and operates the Washington, DC-based boutique record label Electric Cowbell Records. He currently runs Multiflora Productions out of Washington, DC, an independent live music production agency that specializes in expanding the reach of eclectic traditional and non-traditional artists by creating a time and space where their work is presented in an environment where audiences and artists alike have a meaningful and significant experience together. In 2014 he became the music coordinator for the Capital Fringe Festival and also programmed the “Fringe Music in the Library ” series, which offered free live music in the DC Public Libraries through a sponsorship from the DC Public Library Foundation. He has booked several US tours for acclaimed artists such as Sahel Sounds recording artists Mdou Moctar and Les Filles de Illighadad, along with Zedashe from the Republic of Georgia, BCUC from South Africa, and several others. He is a founding member and played drums in: GWAR, Alter-Natives (SST Records), Bio Ritmo, and CSC Funk Band. He currently plays drums in the DC-based punk rock band, Time Is Fire. Jim is currently producing a series of releases for the acclaimed indie salsa orchestra Bio Ritmo’s 30-year anniversary and booking the US debut tour for Sublime Frequencies recording artist Baba Commandant from Burkina Faso.

Beer, wine, and other concessions will be available for purchase!

If you need assistance registering, please check out these step-by-step instructionsvideo tutorial or call (202) 549-4172 for assistance.

Hill Center is dedicated to making our programming equitable and accessible to all. If cost, accessibility, or other obstacles are a barrier to attending a program, please contact and we will be happy to work out a solution.


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Tuesday, November 7, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Global Sounds on the Hill


Hill Center DC
921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003 United States
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