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MP3 Boys Choir of Kenya - Amerika Jambo
".high-octane live performance by one of Africa''s most dominant choral theatres" - Voice of African Music
14 MP3 Songs in this album (51:57) !
Related styles: WORLD: African, SPIRITUAL: Gospel Choir
People who are interested in Ladysmith Black Mambazo Soweto Gospel Choir should consider this download.
AMERIKA JAMBO: Boys Choir of Kenya Applauds America''s New Era with New CD
St. Louis, MO, November, 2008: In three US Tours by the Boys Choir of Kenya (BCK) this year, audiences were charmed by their smiles, captivated by their high-octane choral theatre, awed by the diversity of their repertoire and impressed by their discipline. Tour states were California, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri, which, by association with presenting organization, African Musical Arts, Inc. of St. Louis, has become their adoptive US state. They packed audiences in hundreds and thousands and were content to bask in the generous applause and accolades of their appreciative fans. There was not a mention of Barack Obama and not a single deliberate intent to highlight his historic campaign for the US Presidency. But there was no need to utter word that underscored what already was apparent in the smiles and joys that oozed out of their audiences. At the Elgin Rehabilitation Center, near Chicago, where they gave a special performance for the residents, Dominique de Lerma, the legendary musicologist, in whose honor the Boys Choir of Kenya visited the Center noted: "...certainly NOW, they will vote Barack Obama because these boys (BCK) have deeply touched the residents here and no doubt reorientated their minds toward the Candidacy of this son of a Kenyan immigrant."
During the tours they recorded their second CD, Amerika Jambo, meaning, "Welcome America," an obvious reference to the new era that was imminent with the election of America''s first African-American President. The CD begins with a Maasai chant, Yie ee ho, a chant meant to herald success – from a grueling initiation, battle, hunt, a bounty harvest or marrying the village’s beauty. It is normally performed by young warriors of same age group. Track 2, Kikererani lelo is a Kalenjin folk song to welcome heroes. To their audiences across America, the Boys Choir of Kenya chants, “you are our heroes.” Though the Kalenjins boast a fair stock of Kenya’s greatest athletes, this song for BCK has become a chant to welcome royalty and other important dignitary. The song’s hypnotic strain has endeared it to audiences worldwide. Track 3, Kalinde malua is a folksong from the Giriama community. It is a wedding satire for the bride to be a good role model at her new in-laws. Throughout her marriage life, she should "always be the flower she was brought up to be," and she should especially pay attention to her ''garden,'' and "nurse and cherish the peppers and vegetables that sprout from it." Track 4, Jambo is a popular welcome or greeting song across East Africa for tourists to visit Kenya and enjoy its lovely peoples, breathtaking sceneries and wildlife. But in all of their three US tours in 2008, the BCK used the song to invite Americans to put Kenya back on their vacation destinations. The brief unrest of the spring had tarnished Kenya’s reputation as one of Africa’s most beloved tourism spots. And as indicated in many emails ensuing from BCK’s tours, their magical smiles and voices indeed calmed and charmed many people back to Kenya for visits. Track 5, Wedding dance is an intermezzo during a typical traditional ceremony… “The groomfolks are here; where are the bridefolks?” Track 6, Ndumbu really is an enchanting wedding suite woven together by the magic wand of composer J. Muyale Inzai, easily Kenya’s most hardworking choral master of his generation. It is from his Luhya community, and collectively the tune fragments extol the true beauty of a bride: “real beauties are the ladies with ‘real’ flesh on their bodies, like this absolutely lovely bride, Siliya! Track 7, Hallowed be Thy Name is a paraphrase on the “The Lord’s Prayer.” Track 8, America, the Beautiful has brought tears to many of BCK’s audiences, including the great Tony Bennet, talkshow guru Regis Philbin, legendary poet Maya Angelou, celebrated actress Whoopi Goldberg and Queen Silvia of Sweden. In Track 9, Twenty-Third Psalm, the calming rendition of this setting in Yoruba language by Nigeria’s Christopher Ayodele was accompanied and directed by composer and African Chorus founder, Fred Onovwerosuoke. These boys were clearly aware of the safety concerns widely expressed about the Candidacy of Senator Barack Obama, now President-Elect Barack Obama. The songs in Tracks 7 and 9 however always reassured them of their faith in the American Democracy and its perennial influence on the rest of the world. Track 10, Ain’t Got Time to Die, is the popular Spiritual by Hall Johnson which never fails to energize BCK’s audiences worldwide. Track 11, Working on a Building, is the choral transcription by Vermont’s choral arranger John Harrison and is another staple on BCK’s vibrant repertoire. Track 12, Eh Guku ni kwao is a Kikuyu folksong performed by young warriors. “Whose home is this? This is our home… Then we must protect it by every means… Let’s celebrate!” Track 13, Lumonde is a Baganda folksong from Uganda to celebrate a bounty harvest and the abundance of food crops. “We were hungry and God has blessed us with a very good harvest – let’s celebrate and be merry!” Track 14, Nareya is one BCK’s many crowd pleasers most demanded by their lady fans. It’s a lovesong and a satire by a young lover whose sweetheart dumped him for the cassanova, rich guy. “You can never buy love with money. “See now how you move from one relationship to another…” The lady agrees that nothing rivals her first, true love, “and I am still your first, true love!...” Track 15, Kikererani lelo is again the Kalenjin hero’s folksong, a befitting reprise by a group of highly disciplined, resolute young men who, who though hailing from some of Kenya’s most impoverished families, have dedicated themselves to sharing with the world Africa’s happiest face and memories and what it has to offer the worlds of the performing arts and multicultural education.
– Fred Onovwerosuoke.
Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke is a renowned composer and Founder of the St Louis-based African Musical Arts, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting the music and accomplishments of African-descent composers. Online at https://www.tradebit.com. He may be reached by email to: [email protected]://www.tradebit.com or telephone to 314-289-4052.
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