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JOPANGO synopsis

In this body of work Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno shares what gave him inspiration during the time he spent on the road with his nyatiti, an eight string lyre from the shores of Nam Lolwe (Lake Victoria), touring at home and abroad as a performing artist and visiting different Kenyan villages for his research. During his travels he was enthralled by the story of Benga music, which finds its roots in Nyatiti music, central to Rapasa’s art. Benga music which takes its roots in Nyatiti music and emerged in the 1950’s forms the soundtrack of his life. JOPANGO is a collection of pieces inspired by the journey Rapasa took when delving more into Kenya’s Benga heritage and by his reflection around bringing different generations, social classes and communities. JOPANGO is a reverence to the Benga pioneers and curators who he felt connected with as he was writing this work while on the road. He composed most pieces in this work very differently than expected for a nyatiti player. It would seem that with this album we are taken full circle, Nyatiti music inspiring Benga music which in turns inspires Nyatiti music.

released November 29, 2023 


All songs composed, written, arranged and performed by Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Music assistant arrangement: Nathan Okite. 
Main vocals: Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Supporting vocals: Daniel Osanya Fezile Wamukoya-Mauncho & Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Nyatiti, Gara, Adungu and Obokano: Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Guitars: Nathan Okite and Michel Ongaro. 
Bass: King’ori Maina & Nathan Okite. 
Orutu: Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Tung’ (Horn): Okumu. 
Nyiduonge (Lead drums), talking drums and percussion: Maich Gaitho Kamau. 
Executive Producer: Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Recorded: Ketebul Music Nairobi by Steve ‘64’ Kivutia. 
Mixed & mastered: Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno - 
Mixing & mastering assistants: Dan Burt & Nathan Okite. 
Artwork: A. Akinyi & Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Photography: A. Akinyi & Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Photography locations: Sega Kenya. 
Synopsis: A. Akinyi & Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno. 
Made possible with funding from Help Musicians & self-fund.

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