Kenge Kenge, also known as Kenge Kenge Orutu Systems (KKOS) comprises of young Kenyan musicians vastly talented and skilled in traditional music of the JoLuo community from Western Kenya.
The group's thorough mastery of the traditional Luo Orutu fiddle and Nyatiti lyre has spearheaded a new way and approach to how these age-old instruments are played, much to the appreciation of contemporary audiences. Kenge Kenge's lyrical arrangement reflects lots of influence from the popular Eastern Africa's Benga pop-musical style. Characterised by often racy and compact instrumentation, Kenge Kenge's music infectiously invites one to the dance floor. Their instruments are drawn from a fine medley of various self-made traditional instruments - Nyatiti lyre, Bul drums, the Nyangile sound box, Ongeng'o metal rings, Asili flute, and the Oporo horn. All these instruments are arranged and played in a melodic format that mainly provides back up to a dominant interchange of lines between several Orutu fiddles tuned to different pitches.
Kenge Kenge Orutu Systems (KKOS) are widely known within the East African region and have undertaken performance tours outside Africa to Norway & Sri Lanka (2002), and Thailand (2006) Penang Malaysia (2008). Their acclaimed tour of Europe (summer 2008) was raptureously received by audiences at WOMAD and other major European Festivals. Their debut CD that has had a phenomenal reception from audiences throughout the East Africa region, the cd was released by World Music Network on their Introducing label in June 2007 to several accolades including being one of Froots cds of the month. The group's latest release (Sept 2008) Obama for Change audio and video (check on line), a praise song to the Senator (whose father came from the same area as KK), is being appreciated by a wide international audience. The groups highly acclaimed European tour in the summer of 2008 thrilled audiences in WOMAD, Roskilde, Amsterdam roots, Oya, Africa Oye and many others. In 2009 they performed at Forde and showcased at WOMEX to great acclaim.
Kenge Kenge roughly translates as "a medley fusion of small exhilarating ecstatic instruments".
(Biography supplied by artist management 2010)