Kinanda Festival 7 : Discovering the next big thing in Kenyan Music

On Sunday 31st July, I had purposed to make my first ever appearance at Kinanda Festival. This might come as a surprise because I ought to be among the first to attend seeing that I am a big fan of the arts. I honestly do not have a clear answer to this and the same applies to Blankets and Wine which I am yet to go for(I had thought of going this Sunday but TID is not my idea of African Music, sorry)

Wandiri (left) with Maia Von Lekow
Photo courtesy of  Reumac Blog

I think it’s because both events came at a time when my life was changing dramatically from being a single carefree woman to a wife and a mother. With this new responsibilities, I have realized that I need to closely guard my time especially weekends and share them with the young one, otherwise she will turn 10 and I start wondering why we have nothing in common ( I think I need to start another blog to talk about the challenges of being a working, poetic/artistic mother… if only I had the time….)

Kinanda is a monthly festival organized by my good newly discovered friend – Wandiri who also happened to be my guest speaker at the last POWO forum on Intellectual Property. Like me, she wears quite a number of hats. She is a guitarist, a band member with the group Ma3, she is also a lawyer. The event brings together the visual and performance arts at the Kifaru Gardens just near Loreto Msongari in Lavington every last Sunday of the Month.

Musicians Fena (Left) and AnnieSoul
Photo courtesy of  Reumac Blog

Last Month, they had a lineup of both established as well as emerging artists/musicians and Poets that included Maia Von Lekow (Check out Robert’s review of her album on this blog), Aziza, Leon Kiptum and Dennis both of Mstari wa Nne (Which I am also a member) .

I arrived there slightly past 1.30pm in the company of Leon, Dennis and my young Cousin who I am hoping to inspire. The place was already host to several music lovers though the fest had not yet started.
After ordering the lovely Uchumi sandwiches, we found a place on the grass and at that point it dawned on me that I should have carried a Khanga or shuka. None the less, our jackets came in handy and the day was sunny for some sitting on grass.

The event started shortly after and though the never disappointing KPLC tried sabotaging with episodes of rudely interrupted tunes, the event turned out to be a good one.

Guitarist extraordinaire Kato (in shorts)
Photo courtesy of  Reumac Blog 

I  discovered new artists that I had not heard of before. Musicians like Annie Soul who will be launching her album soon, Kato and Dempsey.

Dempsey sounded like a refined version of John Legend and I believe that he is the man to watch redefine the soul space in days to come.

Kato possesses a gift that is rare especially in this day of auto-tunes. He is simple fantastic on the Guitar making you think you are listening to a jazz great. He, with the help of some artist friends, did a cover version of ‘We Fall Down’ by Donnie McClurkin and the whole place became serene. He also performed some own compositions of lovely Jazz tracks, Jack should host him on his show one day or the frequent Jazz nights that happen at Sierra.

I will definitely be hosting the two in the coming episodes of KP Podcast.

If you want to discover new talent then do not miss the next Kinanda Festival. Don’t forget to carry a Shuka.

View the rest of the photos from the event from Reumac

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