Retracing Kenya’s Songs of Protest, Preview & Prelaunch Concert

Ketebul Music releases its most recent compilation in the popular ‘Retracing series.’

The Retracing Series

This latest compilation ‘Retracing Kenya’s Songs of Protest (1963-2013)’ chronicles the contribution of generations of Kenyan musicians in the movement for social and political reform.

Retracing Kenya's Songs Of Protest

It celebrates ‘protest’ music and those who make it: music that plays an important role in highlighting injustices and the visionaries whose creative spirit and sacrifice makes social change possible.

The project is supported by the Ford Foundation Office For Eastern Africa.

In conjunction with the Alliance Française, Ketebul Music will air a preview of the documentary contained in this multimedia package, which also comes with a narrative booklet and an audio CD compilation of recent protest music, at the Alliance Francaise de Nairobi gardens.

This will be followed by a concert featuring performances by Just A Band, Sarabi, Juliani, Eric Wainaina and Ohanglaman Makadem.

Just A Band



Eric Wainaina

Makadem in Ontario Canada

Makadem in Ontario Canada

This event will be hosted by John Sibi-Okumu.

Entry is absolutely FREE!

The multimedia package will be on sale at a one time special collectors introductory price of KES 1,000/= ONLY! After that, prices revert to the usual KES 3,000/= price of the Retracing Series collection.

Unsung Heroes Photo Exhibition
In the weeks preceding the launch of this multimedia package, Ketebul Music will hold a photographic exhibition at the Alliance Francaise de Nairobi lobby.

The pictures in this exhibition are a culmination of research and archiving carried out by Ketebul Music over a period of seven years as part of the Retracing Kenyan Music series.This photo exhibition, produced with the support of the Kenya Music Week, pays tribute to musicians who have shaped the various genres of music in Kenya, and influenced our social psyche over the past five decades.

One of the pictures featured in the exhibition: Gidigidi Majimaji

The “50 Years of Kenyan Music” photo exhibition made its debut at the 10th Annual KENYA MUSIC WEEK which took place at the Sarit Centre Expo Hall from; Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th December 2013 as part of Kenya @ 50 Celebrations, and plans to tour the Country for the next 12 months.


Special Offer on Retracing Kenya’s Songs Of Protest Multimedia Package!

Our latest addition to the Retracing Series of documentaries is ‘Retracing Kenya’s Songs Of Protest.’

The Retracing Series

The Retracing Series seeks to document and archive the origins and development of different music genres and themes in Kenya. Previous editions have been:
Retracing The Benga Rhythm
Retracing Kikuyu Popular Music and
Retracing Kenya’s Funky Hits.

Packaged in our usual multimedia format of print booklet, DVD documentary and audio CD compilation, a preview of Retracing Kenya’s Songs Of Protest will be aired at the Alliance Francaise de Nairobi on Friday the 31st of January. This will be folloed by a concert featuring Just A Band, Sarabi, Juliani, Eric Wainaina and our very own Makadem.


As a special offer, for that evening only, we will retail the package at a one time introductory collectors price of KES 1000/= only! After that, the price goes back to the normal price of KES 3000/=.

This is your chance to get your copy at a third of the price!

Keep it here for more updates on this and other Ketebul Music events.


Welcome to Singing Wells Saturdays!

In our continued effort to keep you informed on our projects, we will dedicate every Saturday to news and reviews of our Singing Wells Project.

Welcome to Singing Wells Saturdays!

The Singing Wells is a collaborative project between Ketebul Music and our partners Abubilla Music, a record label in London, and supported by the Abubilla Music Foundation, a UK charity organisation.

The Singing Wells Team

The goal of the Singing Wells Project is to record, archive and share the traditional music of East Africa for two important reasons:

  • To sustain and celebrate the extraordinary cultural music heritage of the region
  • To help make this legacy relevant and fresh to today’s audiences
  • This is achieved by making field trips to different regions in Kenya, where a mobile studio is set up and the performers are recorded quite literally in their own backyards.

    The Singing Wells mobile studio

    Studio set up on the truck for quick recording

    The mobile studio set uo on the mountains of Kisoro

    By taking the studio to remote communities we can record the music and dance performances of individual musicians and music groups in a relaxed and authentic environment, watched by their family and friends.

    The video crew with a large audience behind them

    In fact, we usually attract large audiences from the communities we visit. Everyone from the youngest child to the most venerated elder is eager to watch the Singing Wells performances and many join in with the dances too.

    Famly members from the village keenly watching the recording sessions

    So far we have recorded and archived music from the coast of Kenya, Rift Valley & Nyanza, northern Uganda, east and central regions of Uganda and Kisoro.

    To kick us off on this debut Singing Wells Saturday for 2014, we shall share with you the first podcast on the project which gives you an insight on the inception of the project and it’s development to the format that it is today. The podcast features interviews with the two principals of the Singing Wells project: James Allen of Abubilla Music and Tabu Osusa of Ketebul Music.

    CLICK HERE to listen and enjoy the first Singing Wells Saturday posting!

    For more info on Singing Wells CLICK HERE
    For more info on Abubilla Music CLICK HERE


    Welcome to Festive Friday!

    Happy Friday Ketebul Music friends and family!
    Starting this and every Friday we will be sharing and reminding you of the festivals and events where our personnel and signed artists, and those within the larger Ketebul Music network will be attending, showcasing and performing.

    We will call this, FESTIVE FRIDAY!

    To kick us off this Festive Friday, we debut by featuring our very own Winyo.

    Winyo @ The Stage

    Winyo @ The Stage

    Winyo will be performing @ MASA| Market for African Performing Arts which will be held in Côte d’Ivoire between 1st and 8th of March 2014. Masa created in 1993 by the Intergovernmental Agency of the Francophonie , is a festival of African Art ( theater , music and dance ) held every two years in Abidjan.

    Winyo who is a gifted and talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, has one album/ CD to his credit titled Benga Blues, which was recorded and produced at Ketebul Music Studios.

    Benga Blues CD Cover

    Benga Blues CD Cover

    Winyo started off as part of the critically acclaimed and accomplished trio named ‘Rateng’ (which means Black in Luo), cutting his teeth as the composer, lead vocalist and guitarist of the group. With the group Rateng, they went on to emerge 3rd in the Uzbekistan Cultural Music Festival in 2006. Winyo was instrumental in the writing and composing of the group’s album titled ‘Thumology’, which was released in the year 2009.

    Winyo on Stage in Sweden 2013

    Winyo on Stage in Sweden 2013

    Winyo derives his music and musical strength from his fore fathers whose African music was rich in melody and traditional harmonies. His musical style ranges from traditional Luo melodies infused with witty story lines, afro fusion and afro jazz, to a contemporary interpretation of Benga, transformed into an authentic acoustic sound. His powerful yet mellow vocals are the icing on the cake that makes listening to Winyo, an almost heavenly experience.

    Winyo letting his hair down in Lasi Romania

    For more info and updates follow Winyo on facebook: CLICK HERE

    For info on MASA, CLICK HERE


    Ketebul Music artist Olith Ratego is once again heading to Germany on the 7th of May for a series of performances with German choreographer Morgan Nardi.

    Olith Ratego

    Olith Ratego and Morgan who have already had a series of shows in Germany in 2012 will showcase 3RD, which is choreographed by Morgan, in Cologne, Dusseldorf and Berlin between the dates of May 9th to May 22. They will also perform at the Sommerblut Festival.

    Olith Ratego taking a break during a previous rehearsal in Dusseldorf

    Follow Olith on his travels and shows on his facebook page HERE


    Bi Kidude, The Icon

    The iconic Bi Kidude

    Ketebul Music would like to extend our heartfelt condolescence to the people of Zanzibar, and to the family and fans of the legendary Bi Kidude, on her passing. Africa and indeed the world has lost one of it’s greatest and iconic voices.

    She will be missed and remembered always.

    To read more on Bi Kidude and her music, CLICK HERE

    Featured photo by Swiatoslaw Wojtkowiak

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