ABBI & KIKWETU
are an acclaimed super group of young musicians who perform both in kenya and abroad
Their vibrant afro-fusion music reaches into your very soul...
Music is beautiful,
It is the language of the heart,
It is the bridge between heaven and earth,
The connection of all men,
It needs nothing but willingness,
And readiness to hear it
It is the language of life
It brings newness, fullness and peace
To all men, women and children
The style of Abbi’s music has been termed as afro-jazz or afro-fusion and has been growing in popularity around the country and abroad, as it contains the rare ethnic sounds and rhythms of Kenyan people’s traditional music meeting the world influences today.
Simply, it is “Kikwetu” music. Kikwetu is a Swahili word which means “our culture, our style”. Understanding, harmony and peaceful co-existence independent of our different cultures and backgrounds are the major themes in this music.
“We can create a new world-culture through music”
With the globalization and the world coming together, Abbi uses his traditional language and rhythms to contribute to the new world-culture. Globalization is not about standardizing, but about contributing with as much diversity as possible. It is about appreciating the best of every beat of every culture and creating a new beautiful global sound. This is why the music has flavors of salsa, reggae, rock, samba and even other rhythms from the African continent. Yet not loosing the Kenyan identity.
The vision of a world-culture is also reflected in the fusion of contemporary and traditional instruments such as mixing zeze (Tanzania), accordion (France), boum boums (Kenya), djembe, (West Africa), marimba (Africa), violin (Europe), flute (African & European), sax, drums, guitar, bass, keyboard.
“The drum reminds me of my roots, the melody of my people”
One of the strongest aspects of Abbi’s music is the live performance. It is about how he connects and interacts with the different audiences which creates the atmosphere and makes each show unique.
As for his recordings, most instruments are recorded live capturing the spirit of the musicians. Abbi chooses his musicians not only because of their technical skills but mostly because of their uniqueness as people.
Along the lines of fusing instruments and cultures, Abbi experiments with uniting different languages such as Luhya, Kiswahili, French, Gujarati, Luo, English, Arabic, Hebrew, and experiments as well with creating out of all this an abstract language resulting in a new unique expression of life.
“I know love to be the force of life
that shapes the future
and strings together our purposes”
The Boyz / Safari
1993 Abbi started off his career as gospel a cappella singer with “The Boyz”
1997 “The Boyz” are renamed “Safari” and switch to playing cotemporary urban gospel.
1994 to 1997 Safari plays on numerous venues through Kenya
1997 On tour through the UK
1999 On tour through the UK
2000 On tour through Germany
From 1996 to 2001 Abbi also performed for Achieng’ Abura as her backing vocalist around Kenya including a tour to Spain.
Abbi & Kikwetu
2002 Concert at the Fete de la musique festival at the Alliance Francaise,
Nairobi. Collaborating with Jil Caplan, France.
2002 Concert at the Sarakasi Festival at the Carnivore Grounds, Nairobi.
2002 Concert at the UN General Council Conference at the UNEP HQ, Nairobi.
2003 Concert at the Festival Mundial, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
2003 Abbi voted best male artist and most promising artist at the Kisima awards,
2004 Abbi collaborates with Luigi Cinque, renowned Italian world music
composer, together with Mercy Myra, Emanu Uzele at the Italian Institute of Culture
2004 Mudunia album launch live at the Carnivore, Nairobi.
2004 Concert at the UN General Council Conference at the UNEP HQ, Nairobi.
2005 Festival “Mundial on tour”, touring through The Netherlands.
2005 Resident band at Club Soundd, Nairobi
2005 Concert at the Alliance Francaise, Nairobi
2005 Concert at the UN Diplomats conference, Nairobi
2005 Concert at The Basecamp, Maasai Mara
2005 Several concerts at the Fest’horn Festival, Djibouti
2006 February: Concert at the Kasarani Gymnasium, Nairobi
2006 July: Concert at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands
All this time, Abbi & Kikwetu perform at numerous other places and functions all around Kenya.
2006 Indigo (release on 1st December 2006)
2007 Nandwa (release on 1st May 2007)
“Mudunia” was the first album of Abbi in an Afro-Fusion style, which lead to the formation of the group Abbi & Kikwetu.
The album “Indigo” is a solo album where Abbi is working on since 2004, which has seen him collaborate with numerous artists from Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Norway, Holland, India, Congo, England and France.
“Nandwa” was recorded during the Mundial Tour in 2004 in the Netherlands.
PO Box 546,
Mobile : +254-721-520750
Mobile : +254-733-524394
Web site: www.kikwetu.net
“The above lines
have so many golden, beautiful and unforgettable
moments, names ,faces and places
that mean life and it’s fullness of love
for all that we always share.
It means the world to me
that I shared all that
I am with you
every bit of the way”