Ketebul Music Studio Reconstruction

After almost ten years that has seen music from all the corners of Kenya and indeed from parts of the world recorded within the four walls of our studio, it was time for us to give the studio a facelift.

Some of the international visitors that have graced our studios include the great Mulatu Astatke: father of Ethio-Kenyan Fusion

From Tuesday the 12th of much, reconstruction of the studio began with the first stage being deconstruction. Everything was stripped down, the acoustic treatment, the partitions for the drum booth, the ceilling and even the electrical wiring.

The drum booth gets stripped and pulled down

After the drum booth is pulled down, the riser is demolished.

The acoustric treatment on the walls are stripped and the partition pulled down

The ceilling board and padding is also stripped to pave way for fresh wiring

During the reconstruction phase tha tis due to start on the 19th of March, the walls, ceilling and the floor will be put back otgether and given a better acoustic treatment. Our aim is to improve on the acoustics of the live room, and give it a better live feeling. We are also giving Studio B, which up to now has been a project studio, access to the live room, and also interlinking all the 3 studios including the edit suite.

An openning is made between the sound booth and Studio B to give it access to the live room

We believe all these renovations will improve our acoustics in the live room and consequently our Ketebul signature sound.

Stay up to date with the on going work by logging in to our facebook page by clicking HERE


Catch Winyo Live @ Treehouse Thursday 14th March

Following the release of his debut Cd titled Benga Blues, Winyo is set to do a number of shows to promote the CD.

Benga Blues

On Thursday the 14th of March, Winyo will be on stage at the Treehouse where he will play music from Benga Blues. Winyo will also throw in a special treat by playing new music that he has been working on.

Winyo on stage in Lasi, Romania

Benga Blues will be on sale at the venue, and Winyo will be available to personally autograph your copy after the show.

As always, keep tabs on Winyo, his projects and upcoming shows by following him on facebook.

Click HERE to like his page.


Benga Blues Is Now Available

It is finally out and available for purchase! Benga Blues, the debut CD by Winyo, and one of the most anticipated releases of 2012-2013 is now available at limited outlets.

You can get your copy autographed by Winyo and delivered to you (deliveries only within Nairobi CBD) by simply liking his facebook page, placing your order and sending Winyo a message on facebook that you would want written on your CD copy!

CLICK HERE to like Winyo’s page and call 0720561198 to order your copy!


Ketebul Music Sponsors & Supports the African Creative Economy Conference

In support of the African Creative Economy conference organized by the Arterial Network in Dakar Senegal, Ketebul music sponsored and produced the theme song for the conference.

The song titled Free Africa was written and arranged by Ketebul Music artist and musician, guitar virtuoso Eddie Grey.

Eddie Grey wrote and arranged the music for Free Africa

The song which is a rallying call to all Africans to stand on their own feet and move forward in unity, also features vocals by Olith Ratego and Madargascan singer Favor. It also features nyatiti player Rapasa Nyathrapas Nyapwapwa.

Olith Ratego's vocals featured in Free Africa

Rapasa Nyathrapas Rapwapwa

Free Africa has been describes as a great wake up call to the entire continent and international community, and a beautiful message of hope for all by Thabiso Blak Mashaba of Blak Audio Fire from Botswana. He goes on to call it a timeless arrangement and sheer vocals by the Ketebul movement.

Free Africa is available on sound cloud: CLICK HERE
CLICK HERE for more information on the African Creative Economy
CLICK HERE for more information on the Arterial Network


Olith Ratego Heading To Dusseldorf, Germany

Ketebul Music artist Olith Ratego is heading to Dusseldorf in Germany on Friday the 16th of November, for a series of performances with German choreographer Morgan Nardi.

Olith Ratego and Morgan met in Nairobi when Morgan was in town for the solos and duets dance festival. After a chance meeting at the Godown Arts Centre, Morgan invited Olith to perform with him at the Visa Oshwal centre. Impressed by the outcome of their performance and Olith’s music, Morgan promised to work with him again in future.

Olith Ratgeo holding his self made lyre the Kodo

The performances will feature dance pieces choreographed by Morgan Nardi to Olith Ratego’s song titled Anindo. During the performances which are coproduced by Tanzahaus NRW, Olith Ratego will sing and play his self made lyre live as Morgan Nardi and company perform their dance pieces.

Olith Ratego will depart Nairobi for Dusseldorf on the 16th of November for a series of reheasals with Morgan Nardi before the performances which are scheduled for the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of November.

Kudos to Olith Ratego for flying the Ketebul Music and Kenyan flags high!

CLICK HERE for information on Morgan Nardi.
CLICK HERE for information on Tanzhaus NRW


Singing Wells Project: Music of Northern Uganda – Recce Day 02: 12/09/23

By Stefano

Kampala – National Theatre: Bayimba Cultural Festival
The next day after a long night of no sleep owing to the noise from the street seeping into my room through the walls and windows, we have a hearty breakfast at the Hotels dining room. If there was any consolation for the sleepless night, then the hearty breakfast more than made up for it. The menu consisted of potatoes, beef stew, fried eggs of choice, sausages, toast and assorted beverages.

We then jumped into a special hire outside the hotel and headed out to the National Theatre to make our appointment with Faisal as planned on the previous day.

Faisal was understandably a busy man that day, seeing as it was the final day of the festival. We had to patiently wait for him to break away from his duties before he could meet with us.

Stefano and Faisal Kiwewa, Director Bayimba Cultural Foundation

While he attended to his duties, he introduced us to a number of musicians who were at the festival grounds, giving us a chance to network and find out more details about the music from the North.
Some of the musicians we met and chatted with were:

Moses Matovu

Patrick and Moses Matovu, Afrigo Band

A sax player and band leader of Afrigo Band. Afrigo band had been listed in a report by on of our research contacts, Peter Hoesing, as being one of the groups we should try see while in Kampala and probably get some information from the band members

Moses admitted that he was not that well informed about music from the North. He however mentioned a name that kept popping up in most conversations we were having about music from Northern Uganda: Sam Okello Kelo.

Sam Okello, formerly of Ndere Troupe but now with a group called Mizizi had also been mentioned by Peter Hoesing and Godfrey Lubuulwa as someone who would have a wealth of information and experience with music from the North.

Kaz Kasozi

Kaz Kasozi and Stefano

Kaz Kasozi is a musician and producer and the music programmes coordinator for Bayimba Cultural Organization. He was also Tshilas producer: one of the prospective artists we were targeting for our influences programme.

Kaz said he had developed a few contacts in Gulu, Soroti and Lira, and he promised to send me their contacts as son as he had access to his computer later that evening.

He also mentioned that music from Gulu had been adulterated extensively by outside influences and was thus difficult to find a purely Acholi traditional group in Gulu. Like Jan and Dnalega before, he also recommended that we visit Arua.

Kaz also made an interesting observation that most traditional music instruments from all over Uganda were more often than not made in Jinja which was to the eastern side of Uganda.


Patrick and Tshila

Tshila is a Ugandan singer, songwriter and guitar player that Victoria from Abubila Music had come across being interviewed on an online programme by the BBC called Africa Beats.

Victoria had recommended we check her out as a prospective influences artist. We were lucky to find her at the festival grounds. She had already heard from Faisal that we were interested in meeting her. We had a brief discussion with her highlighting Singing Wells and our influences programme within Singing Wells.

She expressed a strong interest in taking part in the programme. We agreed to meet again when we got back to Kampala from up North.

Meeting with Faisal

We finally got a chance to sit down with Faisal in the late afternoon. From our meeting with him we gathered the following information:

Sam Okello
Sam Okello was probably in UK or Holland and would be back in Kampala from the 29th of September.
Faisal will initiate contact and introduce us via email
He also gave me Sam’s number

Arua has a large Nubian community with beautiful Nubian music. He also mentioned a xylophone playing group in Arua whose contacts he promised to send to me later that evening.

Recommends we visit TAKS Centre in Gulu and meet with Joyce Laker and Daudi. TAKS Centre were Bayimba’s cultural partners who help them program traditional artists and groups from Gulu when Bayimba do their regional festival.
He also recommended recording a musician from Gulu called Peter Otim.

Suggests we record a few Kadongo Kamwe groups from Kampala.
Will set up meetings and auditions with 3 Kampala based groups on Thursday at Bayimba offices. He mentions The Planets and 2 other groups for the meetings.

Fixer for the recce
Faisal introduces us to Sylvester, the youth programmes coordinator for Bayimba Cultural Foundation. Sylvester has runs programmes in Arua and Gulu for Bayimba. We ask him to travel with us Monday and he agrees.

Ndere Centre, Ntinda – Ndere Troupe

Ndere Troupe performing at Ndere Centre

After our meeting with Faisal, we hooked up with Godfrey at the festival grounds. We had to make a dash to Ndere Centre in Ntinda to catch the evening peformance by Ndere Troupe. It was a half an hour drive to Ntinda and we got there just as the troupe was finishing their first piece.

Ndere Centre is well built and very impressive. There is lush greenery al around and the performances are held in a large outdoor amphitheatre. I later found out that the centre plays host to up to 65 dancers and dance trainees at any given time.

The troupe gave a very exhilarating performance that was a mix of dace, music and oral narratives. They played songs from all the regions and tribes of Uganda. The troupe Director, Rwangeyezi Stephen gave a very captivating oral narrative of each tribe as an intro to every song, touching on the traditions, customs and instruments.

Rwangyezi Stephen and Stefano

After the performance by Ndere Troupe, Godfrey introduced us to Rwagyezi. We gave him a brief account of Singing Wells and told him we were interested in recording Ndere Troupe as part of our project. We then exchanged contacts with the aim of continuing our discussions further via email correspondence.

Kampala – National Theatre: Bayimba Cultural Festival
Back at the National theatre late that evening, we had a brief meeting with Sylvester to work out logistics for the next day and where we would pick him up from. We were planning to depart Kampala as early as possible the following morning.

We stayed on till the closing act of the festival seeing as it was the final night, before heading back to the hotel.

Click for more information on Ndere Troupe
Click here for more information on Afrigo Band
Click here for more information on Tshila
Click here for more information on Kaz Kasozi

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