Sali Oyugi

Profile: Sali Oyugi

Sali Oyugi is a singer/songwriter and social activist with a dual heritage from Kenya and Tanzania. She grew up in Nairobi, Kenya where her father is from and spent many days in her mother’s homeland of Tanzania. As a young girl, Sali cherished her dual cultural heritage and took the time to study the traditional rhythms, songs and dances from both the Luo people of Kenya and the Zigua people of Tanzania. The result has been the beautiful rhythms and sounds Sali brings forth in her guitar playing and vocals during her performances.

Sali started performing while still residing in Kenya where she mainly worked under the sponsorship of the French Cultural Center, which regularly hosted multi-cultural festivals that brought Artists from various parts of the world together. Sali played extensively at the local clubs and art-centers including Goethe Institute- Nairobi, Safari Park Hotel where she shared stages with renowned South African musician Hugh Masekela. This then led to a U.K. trip in 1997, where she performed at a Solar Energy Convention.

For several years Sali was based in Boston, Massachusetts (USA), where she performed with many local, well respected musicians and ensembles, including Wesley Wirth (bass), who has performed with the likes of King Sunny Ade and teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music, Mikhael Mirsha (bass)-vast experience in funk and world-beat bands. Sali Oyugi has indeed made her presence felt in the New England area where she has played at the Somerville Theatre, curtain raising for acclaimed world music performer/composer , Oliver “Tuku” Mutukudzi. She headlined the world music stage during the national arts convention First Night – Boston which attracts close to 1 million people on New Years Eve, The Cambridge River Festival, The Central Square World’s Fair Festival, and the Wake up the Earth Festival. She headlined at the Africa in April Festival in Memphis, Tennessee.

Sali has worked with master kora player and griot Balla Tounkara from Mali, who is featured in her album “Vuma!”. She makes a vocal appearance in Tounkara’s much acclaimed album titled Yayoroba.  Her most recent album “The Return: Journey back to the Source” was successfully released on December 7th, 2007.

Sali Oyugi recently relocated to Nairobi Kenya where she is currently based. She is plugging herself back into the local music scene and has performed at The GoDown Gig, a monthly event at the GoDown Arts Center, Thursday Nite Live @ Choices, Phoenix Theatres and PAWA Festival amongst other venues.

She is currently working on her new album “Uromo” at Ketebul Music Studios and is set to be released early 2016.

Sali Oyugi



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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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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.



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

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