By Salem Lorot
Have you ever wondered if traditional Kenyan music is ever professionally recorded, archived and researched upon? What about an organization that does exactly this?
Well, if you never knew of one, then Ketebul Music is that organization.
A Non-governmental organization based at the Go Down Arts Centre in Nairobi, Ketebul Music is a record label, video production facility and recording studio. It is self-described as “an unprecedented outﬁt in the East and Central African region with a unique mission to combine the traditions of East African tribal music with the best of contemporary artists and is today home to highly skilled professionals and music enthusiasts.”
The ones running it are: Tabu Osusa, the Founder and Executive Director; Paul Kelemba, also known as ‘Maddo’, who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors; Bill-Odidi, a Board Member and the Chief Radio Producer with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation; Jesse Bukindu a.k.a Jaybee who is the Music Producer / Head Sound Engineer Ketebul Music; and Priscah Wairimu Nyambura who is the Front Office Assistant.
Established in early 2007, Ketebul means “drum sticks”. Ketebul boasts of two studios: Studio A which can handle live multi track recordings for recordings and Studio B which is designed to handle vocal recording, guitar and single instrument multi track sessions.
Video Production, recording and editing suite
Ketebul Music recently ventured into video production. We specialize in research based documentaries, on the origins and development or traditional sounds, music, and culture of East Africa. These documentaries form part of the cultural archives that Ketebul Music is in the process of establishing. Through this audio visual archive, Ketebul Music will process and store material on the origins and development East African music genres.
The artists who have benefited from the initiative include Ontiri Bikundo, Ogoya Nengo and Olith Ratego.
You might want to check out their website here.
Continue the good work, Ketebul Music. Asante sana.
Salem Lorot is a lawyer currently pursuing a post-graduate diploma in law. He is a published poet with a running blog, echoes of the hills, a writer and an avid reader. He has written extensively on a wide range of issues on law and society. He is a connoisseur of the music in East Africa, fashion, cuisine and his regular staple is the entertainment industry with the manifold twists and turns. His interests are informed by themes of social justice and interactions with diverse groups in Kenya.