Hosted by Goethe-Institut, contemporary artist Michael Soi presents a series of 17 paintings celebrating women from all over Nairobi, bringing you different takes on the...
Nicknamed the “North African Jimi Hendrix”, Vieux Farka Touré is the celebrated son of legendary Malian artist, Ali Farka Touré. In June 2010, Farka re-introduced himself as a maestro of “Desert Blues”, during the opening concert of the South African World Cup. That same month his live album, “Live”, was available to fans.
The guitarist is dubbed as a wonder whose speed and dexterity is admired across the globe. The 31-year-old was originally a drummer and calabash player, but started secretly playing the guitar in 2001. The Niafunké native’s first album in 2007, featured a song, “Courage”, that appears on the soundtrack of the film, “The First Grader” (2010). Farka paid tribute to his ailing father on the album and Ali Touré proudly played the tracks to those who would visit him towards the end of his battle with cancer in 2006.
He died a proud father with 10% of the CD sales donated to Modiba’s “Fight Malaria” campaign in Niafunké, Mali. Vieux has released a total of three studio albums, which were well received the world over. “The Secret” is Farka’s 2011 crossover album, which the Rolling Stones magazine lauded. The likes of Dave Mathews and Derek Trucks are feature in it. In April last year, Farka Touré released “The Tel Aviv Session” (Cumbancha), which is a collaborative project with the Israeli musician, Idan Raichel and one that has been labelled a masterpiece.
In the Kenyan music industry, competition is fierce and what was new yesterday is now washed up and forgotten today. However, Karen “Kaz” Lucas has fought the test of time to stay ahead of the pack. She’s got a thick skin and exudes boundless confidence. The fair-skinned, dreadlocked singer first burst onto the scene as a rapper at the tender age of 14. Back then, she was a die-hard hip hop head, who got her first shot at performing at the Carnivore Restaurant in front of a crowd of 10,000 people.
Hip Hop is a male dominated genre and it is very hard to find female MCs who can stand firm and own their space—especially in the underground circles. Female MCs the world over often feel lured to undress and do sappy songs, all in a bid to sell more records. L Ness is one of those tough Hip- Hop ladies in Nairobi who has stayed true to her roots.
“I didn’t chose jazz, but it’s what became of my music,” says top Kenyan jazz composer/ guitarist Eddie Grey, whose sophomore album, Stories of the Lake, was released in February. For two years, the musician moved around Eastern and Southern Africa, marshalling a team of traditional folk/jazz artists to augment the musical richness of Stories. Grey’s partners on the project include Winyo, Olith Ratego, Nali Rabeson, Jameri Sax and Benga pioneer Ochieng’ Nelly, among others.
You could hardly find an empty kitenge-covered seat at the Michael Joseph Centre during the Wamathai July event. This evening of artistic expression, that takes one half of its nom de guerre from organizer James Wamathai , showcases some of Nairobi’s best poetry, music and photography. As the event kicked off around 4:30 p.m., the artsy folks started rolling in—girls in heavy boots and neatly styled dreadlocks, and boys hoping to morph into men once they finally grace the stage, milled around the expansive space. Television monitors were strategically mounted around the room,screening a slideshow of portraits.