Ketebul Music

Ketebul Music develops and promotes the diverse traditional sounds of Kenya and East Africa through research, production, documentation and archiving.

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Ketebul Music is a not-for-profit organization established in 2007 with the mission geared towards research, development and the promotion of the diverse music traditions of East Africa. The term ‘kete bul’, meaning ‘drum sticks’, is from the Luo language of western Kenya. The name was a natural choice for an organization whose vision of African society celebrates its cultural identity and also recognizes the special role artistes play in the day-to-day lives of peoples.

Ketebul Music carries out research with the aim of documenting and archiving the region’s traditional sounds, which have been gradually approaching the verge of extinction. Since its inception, the organization has conducted several field recordings and archived music from numerous communities within the East African region.

Ketebul Music is a pioneer in the re-discovery of Kenya’s musical heritage with the aim of bringing to light the Kenyan icons and legends of yesteryears. With the support of the Ford Foundation (Eastern Africa), Ketebul Music initiated in 2007 and carried out a research and documentation project entitled the Retracing Kenyan Music series. The project documents the work of musicians who have shaped the rhythm from the region over the past six decades. The series, produced as a DVD, booklet narrative and audio CD package for each theme covered, has proven to be a popular and effective method for the dissemination of cultural and historical information.

Ketebul Music works in partnership with other culturally driven organizations in an effort to develop the unique sound of East Africa into a well-known brand and sector that can sustain itself. In partnership with the Alliance Française de Nairobi, we have undertaken the Spotlight on Kenyan Music program that seeks to discover talent from the diverse cultural regions of Kenya. From 2005 the effort has produced CD compilations featuring over 50 different artistes from across Kenya.

The Singing Wells Project is another important endeavor dedicated to the preservation and promotion of traditional East African music. It is the product of close collaboration between Ketebul Music and Abubilla Music Foundation, a charity organization registered in the United Kingdom, and was launched in 2010 in order to accomplish twin chief objectives: preservation and promotion.

Over the years Ketebul Music has nurtured and developed musical talent that is rooted in traditional African melodies and rhythms. On the Ketebul Music label, we have signed on and produced over ten leading artistes and we are confident that the list will continue to grow, given the interest that has been rekindled in live performances and recordings.

participating in

  • WOMEX 2017
  • WOMEX 2009
  • WOMEX 2008
  • WOMEX 2007


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