Ochieng’ Nelly

Profile: Ochieng’ Nelly

Ochieng’ Nelly was born Nelson Ochieng Orwa in 1943 in South Nyanza. He began playing the guitar in his teenage years after being taught and inspired by the pioneering Congolese Musician Adolf Banyore.

Ochieng’ Nelly got his first guitar in 1961. He travelled widely through Uganda, Congo and other African countries. He was widely exposed to Congolese guitar playing styles. He developed his own unique playing style that was later a big influence to the sound of The Ogara Boys Band, and Benga music in general.

Nelly worked with his Congolese mentor for a while before joining The Ogara Boys Band in 1962. The Ogara Boys Band consisting of founding member John Ogara Odondi and Aketch Oyosi was formed in 1960. Together the trio started and developed a unique sound that got the name Benga, in 1963.

In 1966, Nelly left Ogara Boys Band to pursue his career elsewhere. He briefly collaborated with another Benga legend, George Ramogi.

Ochieng’ Nelly has produced several songs such as: Monica Abio, Ombua Akelo, Celestine Juma, Samuel Aketch among others.His story is featured extensively in the Ketebul Music produced documentary: Retracing The Benga Rhythm.

Despite his old age and having a limp he got after a rad accident, Ochieng’ Nelly remains a very active musician playing a regular venue three times a week in Nairobi’s South B estate. He has also recorded an eleven track CD consisting of some of his old hits and new songs at Ketebul Music Studios. The CD recording also features collaborations with his peer from his Ogara Boys days, Aketch Oyosi.

Through Ochieng’ Nelly’s music, the legend of Beng of the yester years, still lives on.

Ochieng' Nelly

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Events

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24
May
2018

Sauti za Busara 2019 Call for Artist Application

The 16th Sauti za Busara, one of Africa’s top music festivals, is scheduled to take place in Stone Town, Zanzibar during 7 – 10 February 2019.
Sauti za Busara showcases diverse, original and live music from across the African Continent and diaspora. Artists representing music from the Arab World and Indian Ocean are also welcomed to apply
The Call for Artists is open only until 31st July 2018. Follow the link below for application details:

Sauti za Busara 2019 Application

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18
Jul
2017

Shades of Benga: The Story of Popular Music in Kenya

We recently released our long awaited publication, Shades of Benga: The Story of Popular Music in Kenya 1946 -2016. The 652 page book was launched at an event preceded by a photo exhibition, of pictures extracted from the book, at the Alliance Française de Nairobi on 12 July 2017.

Tabu Osusa and Ford Foundation East Africa Office Representative Maurice Makoloo

Tabu Osusa and Ford Foundation East Africa Office Representative Maurice Makoloo

Tabu Osusa and John Githongo

Stefano Sita Nne of Ketebul Music and Dave Omari of Eklektiks

Stefano Sita Nne of Ketebul Music and Dave Omari of Eklektiks

This was followed by a presentation by the books principal authors, Ketebul Music Founding Director Tabu Osusa and Bill Odidi. They discussed the concept behind the book and gave an overview on topics covered in the 14 chapter publication.

Peter Akwabi, Bill Odidi and Tabu Osusa

The launch culminated with performances by some of the pioneering musicians whose profiles can be found in the book: John Nzenze & Peter Akwabi, and Ochestre Les Mangelepa.

John Nzenze, Lucy Ilado and Peter Akwabi

Orchestre Les Mangelepa

Shades of Benga: The Story of Popular Music in Kenya delves into the foundations of modern Kenyan music, examining external influences from the English waltz to Afro Cuban Rumba and how they helped mould new music styles across Africa. Rumba was brought to Eastern Africa via the itinerant Congolese musicians Edouard Masengo and Jean Bosco Mwenda who’s intricate guitar-picking styles largely shaped the present Kenyan sound, with the Benga playing a dominant role.

Currently, you can get advance copies from Ketebul Music Studios or place your order.
#shadesofbenga
#legendarykenyans

10
Feb
2017

THE CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR VISA FOR MUSIC 2017 IS NOW OPEN!

The call for applications for the 4th edition of Visa For Music is now open! This year, the professional music market for African and Middle-Eastern music will be held 22-25 November 2017 in Rabat, Morocco.

Artists and bands have the possibility to apply to have the chance of being selected and perform in front of thousands of music professionals who come to the Kingdom’s capital to discover the talents of our territories. Everyone can apply including those who applied for previous editions and were not selected. The call for applications for the showcase program is open until April 15, 2017.

After the call for application has closed, 30 artists or bands will be selected by a qualified jury of music industry professionals who represent different musical aesthetics and the concerned regions (West Africa, East Africa, Portuguese-speaking Africa, North Africa, Middle East). To ensure diversity in the selection of the artists programmed for Visa For Music, jurors come from diverse horizons.

Information available at www.visaformusic.com

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