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Ottawa-based Rwandan Canadian awards nominee singer-songwriter Empress Nyiringango is a self-taught musician, showcasing the self-titled Jablur sound, which stands for jazz, blues, and Rwandan. This distinctive fusion features Rwanda’s oldest instrument “Inanga" (Zither) and contemporary music sounds. Singing in her mother tongue Kinyarwanda, paired with Swahili, French, and English, Empress Nyiringango composed her first song ‘Agahinda’ (sorrow) in memory of all the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Saddened by the heinous crimes, she embarked on an arduous healing musical journey to convey messages of resilience, compassion, unity & peace to the world.


Her artistic journey began in Kigali - Rwanda in high school, where she explored her creativity  while singing, writing, directing, acting, and stage managing. Her songs, such as Wanalia (They cry), Umwana  (Child), Umurage Ukwiriye u Rwanda (Legacy for Rwanda), Amahoro I Rwanda (Peace in Rwanda), and  Afrika were inspired by love, life experiences, people's struggles, and many great artists across the world. Her new album titled UBUNTU has been nominated for the Canadian Folk Music Awards 2024 in the category of Global Roots Album of the Year.

On her days off from music, Empress puts her Master's in education (University of Ottawa, 2020) into practice by doing freelance interpretation and consultation in the Ottawa arts community. She performs for residents in long-term care through Radical Connections. She is also a freelance actress and a storyteller. 

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