In the summer of 2011, co-founder Matthew Langford traveled to Burundi with Tirzah International. It was during that trip that he met a man named Apollinaire Habonimana, a local self-taught musician who leads worship at a church in Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi. One Sunday afternoon, Apollinaire mentioned to Matthew that there was no music school in the entire country of Burundi and that he wanted to start the first one. A year after this conversation, Apollinaire started a music school and within a few months he had over fifty students.
After learning about Apollinaire’s growing Umudiho Music Academy, Matthew Langford and Michael Tavani (TIAI's other co-founder) traveled with a team of two other musicians to Burundi to teach and help Apollinaire in this endeavor. During this trip the team had a wonderful time connecting with the people of Burundi through music and a shared faith and gained a passion for continuing to support the work that Apollinaire had started.
Moving into the future, The International Artist Initiative is eager to continue its work with the Umudiho Music Academy, and looks forward to watching this school grow.