Cavacha is a type of rhythm found in the popular music of Zaire and Kenya. It is a fast-paced rhythm typically played on a drum kit, often with the snare drum or hi hat. Zairean bands such as Zaiko Langa Langa and Orchestra Shama Shama popularized this form of rhythm in the 1960s and 1970s.
Cavasha was created in 1971 by the member of Zaiko Langa Langa. The idea came first from Meridjo Belobi during a train trip they took from Brazzaville to Pointe Noire, Congo Brazzaville. The musician sang along the trip on the train rhythm. Back in Kinshasa, Meridjo proposed to the band that they should create some new music rhythm based on the sound of a train. Everybody agreed and worked on it. The result was the birth of cavasha. Locally in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the rhythm Cavasha is referred as MACHINI YA KAUKA,meaning literally from Lingala: "The Engine of Kauka". Kauka is a neighbourhood in the city of Kinshasa that headquarter the transportation company ONATRA which operate ferries and trains. MACHINI YA KAUKA means train. Because the sound that the rhythm cavasha produce, is similar and was created from the sound of a train.
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