Tag Archives: Kenyan music

Lusafrica Announces New Logo and Sublabel The Garden

Blinky Bill

Lusafrica, the seminal record company founded by José da Silva that introduced Cape Verdean and other lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) artists to worldwide audiences, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The label has a new logo and also a new sublabel called The Garden that will introduce emerging world music artists. The first act on The Garden is Blinky Bill, from Nairobi, Kenya. He’s a musician, electronic music experimentalist, DJ and producer.

Blinky Bill’s album “Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales” is scheduled for release October 19th, 2018.

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The Fabulous Musiki wa dansi of East Africa

Various Artists – Urgent Jumping! East African Musiki Wa Dansi Classics (Sterns Africa STCD 3067-68CD, 2016)

This 2 CD world music compilation is packed with over two hours of Afro-rooted dance music from 1970s and 1980s East Africa. Selected by British DJ and journalist John Armstrong, the anthology features many of the hits popular during two decades in East Africa.

Many of the Kenyan, Tanzanian and Congolese bands featured Urgent Jumping! included talented guitarists who combined modern elements with traditional rhythms. The vocals are in KiSwahili, the language spoken across many East African countries.

The most prominent genres included in this great compilation include benga, a style developed by the Luo people of western Kenya, who fused traditional beats and melodies with electric guitars and basses.

Congolese music was also very influential. Congolese migrants brought Cuban-inspired rumba and soukous to Kenya and Tanzania. It was common bands that featured musicians from various countries.

Lastly, there is the Arabic and Indian music influence that came across the sea. This includes taraab from Zanzibar, Lamu and other islands off the East African that had an effect on pop music in the mainland cities of Mombassa, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

The artists featured in Urgent Jumping! Are: L’Orch. Dar International, Afro 70, Kauma Boys Band, Super Mambo Jazz Band “69”, Maquis du Zaire, Victoria Jazz Band, Orchestre Conga Internationale, The Golden Kings Band, Sunburst Band, Urafiki Jazz Band, L’Orchestre Grand Piza, Hafusa Abasi & Slim Ali and the Kikulacho Yahoos Band, L’Orch. Moja One, Sega Sega Band, L’Orchestre Super Mambo, Earthquake Jazz Band, Vijana Jazz Band, Orchestre Special Liwanza, Juwata Jazz Band and Orchestre Super Jambo.

John Armstrong did a fabulous job putting this collection together. It’s great to see East Africa getting some attention since most of the African music we normally get is dominated by West African acts.

Buy Urgent Jumping! East African Musiki Wa Dansi Classics in the Americas

Buy Urgent Jumping! East African Musiki Wa Dansi Classics in Europe

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Artist Profiles: Adam Solomon

Adam Solomon
Adam Solomon

Adam Solomon is a 2005 Juno Award winner in the World Music Album category. Adam was born in Mombasa, Kenya, and began performing at an early age, playing kivoti (flute) and Kayaamba (shaker) at village celebrations and festivals. He established his career playing lead guitar and singing on recordings and videos with Kenya’s most popular bands and musicians, such as Joseph Kamaru, Professor M.B Naaman and the Nine Stars Orchestra, Super Wanyika Stars of Issa Juma, Lessa Lessan vocalist of Dr.Nico, Super Mazembe ya Mushosho, Kanda Bongo Man and Mombasa Roots band.

Adam formed his band Tikisa in 1995. Retaining his roots in traditional music, Adam’s compositions are comprised of a wide variety of African rhythms, from traditional chela, highlife, soukous, reggae, and samba to bossa nova and traditional 6/8 beat chakacha. Adam sings in six languages: Swahili, English, Lingala, Duruma, Giriama, and Arabic. “The Professor,” as he is known in musical circles, is highly respected as a lead guitarist and vocalist. In addition, he is experienced as a bass and rhythm guitar player and keyboard player. Adam Solomon & Tikisa have performed across Canada and the US in clubs and major festivals.

Adam Solomon was a co-founder of Canada’s great pan-African band, The AfroNubians, with whom he toured western Canada in 1993 collaborated on two CD releases: Tour to Africa and The Great Africans. His touring credits also include workshops with African super stars Papa Wemba from Congo and Ismael Lo from Senegal.

Adam Solomon moved to Canada and was a co-founder of Canada’s great pan-African band, The AfroNubians, with whom he toured western Canada in 1993 collaborated on two CD releases: Tour to Africa and The Great Africans. His touring credits also include workshops with African super stars Papa Wemba from Congo and Ismael Lo from Senegal.

Adam Solomon has released several albums. Safari Afro-Pop music won Best Release at Toronto African Music Awards and Best New Performers of the Year.

In 2004, Adam collaborated with other well-known African musicians on a CBC-sponsored project called the African Guitar Summit, which eventually garnered the 2005 World Music Album Juno Award, Canada’s top music award.

As well as his career as a band leader, Adam also established a reputation in music education and as a valuable contributor to programs in African Heritage education.

Discography:

Tour To Africa, with the Afronubians (1994)
The Great Africans, with the Afronubians (1995)
Safari (1996)
Rocket Express II: African Renaissance Blues(2003)
African Guitar Summit (2004)
Afronubians Live (2005).
Mti wa Maisha (Tree of Life) (2006)
Roots Rhythms (Magoma Asili) 2007
African Guitar Summit II (2007)
Time Goes Things Change (2014)
Closer to Me (2015)
Nahala (Adam Solomon, 2016)

www.adamsolomon.ca

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Artist Profile: Abbi

Abbi
Abbi

Abbi is one of Kenya’s finest Afro-fusionist. With roots in Kenyan people’s traditional instruments and tunes, he fuses contemporary instruments from the world today, such as West African jembe, kora along with piano, violin, sax, flute, bass, guitars and drums.

Abbi takes his Kenyan beats into a newness, experimenting with other genres as salsa, jazz, reggae, and pop. Furthermore, he likes mixing different languages and sings in both English, Swahili, Luhya (his mother-tongue), French, Luo and Maasai. His music has taken him on tours and festival-performances several times such as the North Sea Jazz and Mundial festival.

Abbi
Abbi

Abbi began his musical career in 1993 as an a cappella singer, and ventured into Afro-fusion some years later. His first solo-album came out in 2003 titled Mudunia. This album lead to two Kisima-awards for Best Male Artist and Most Promising Artist. He released his second album Indigo in August 2007.

Abbi - Indigo
Abbi – Indigo

In 2008, Abbi opened a recording studio to produce other Kenyan artists in Nairobi, like Mutinda, Nina Ogot, Joy Shambula and the late Arnavah [Nathan Krystall] .

In 2014 Abbi created a partnership with Claus Seest and started Fluffy Studios in Nairobi.

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