Day 1: The music of the Luo – starting at Rang’ala Village

We are in Rang’ala with the chance to listen to Osumba Rateng and Ogoya Nengo…

If you look at a map and think of Lake Victoria as a clock face, the village for today’s recording is at 1PM – it is the Rang’ala Village, home of the legendary Luo singer Ogoya Nengo.   We’re about 90 minutes northeast of Kisumu, our ‘base’ for two days.   We are here to record the Sega Sega Band (Benga Style) and the Do Do Band (Do Do), both Luo musical styles; the Luo are Kenya’s third largest tribe, making up about 13% of the population.

The Sega Sega Band

Led by Osumba Rateng.

Before reading on, here’s an excerpt of the music:

This is Benga style, originating from the Luo tribes, as they gradually built on the percussive/bass sounds of the Nytati to form something more bluesy; it morphs later into Rumba, which combines Benga and also Congolese music which is in turn heavily influenced by Cuban music.  The big guy in Luo Benga was Daniel Owino Misiani who developed the style in the 60’s.   A big reason to return to Luo-lands is to trace back to the origins of Benga, understanding in more detail the core instruments.    Here, we almost start at the end, recording Osumba Rateng’s band, the Sega Sega Band: 5-6 vocalists and a couple of guitarists.

 

The Dodo Group

Featuring Ogoya Nengo.  The group sings in the Do Do style.  Ogoya has exremely strong vocals and there are four ‘shaker’ players and amazing drummer and a set of dancers.

Ogoyo Nengo and the Do Do band for Singing Wells

 

Children of Rang'ala, Western Kenya

Published on