Kenyan Guitarist Takes 'Omutibo' Style To Germany

Peter Akwabi will be performing in Europe for the first time. Photo: Sapat
Kenyan musician Peter Akwabi will hold concerts and workshops in six German cities next month.

Akwabi will be accompanied by percussionist Wickliffe Kaboge and guitarist David 'Mobb' Otieno.

Kenyan label Ketebul Music, in collaboration with the Mauritius-based Cyper Produktion and German production company Alba Kultur, has sponsored the trio’s tour, which kicks off on 2 May in Düsseldorf.

Akwabi will demonstrate the omutibo fingerstyle technique on acoustic guitar that was pioneered by the late musician George Mukabi.

“I’m very excited because this will be my first experience with the European audience,” Akwabi told Music In Africa. “I expect them to dance to the omutibo genre and learn about it during the various workshops that I will conduct with music professionals and university students.”

The veteran musician’s repertoire also comprises the African twist style and western Kenyan folk, which Akwabi wants local musicians to help popularise.

“Our musicians need to know that music promoters and festival bookers outside the continent enjoy working with African original sounds. I encourage young artists to scout around and build from what was originally theirs because that is the only way they can stand out and get the opportunity to cross borders,” he said.

“There are very few surviving musicians like myself who continue to popularise various Kenyan sounds such as benga and omutibo. Therefore, young artists should take advantage of the opportunity and get guidance from us.”

Akwabi has previously played at the 2014 Smithsonian Falklife Festival and at the prestigious Kennedy Centre in the US.

Peter Akwabi tour dates:

    02.05. Düsseldorf
    03.05. Remscheid
    07.05. Gütersloh
    15.05. Hamm
    17.05. Wuppertal
    18.05. Gelsenkirchen

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