Dominic Weke, Orutu music from Western Kenya

Today's post is the first on this blog to feature music from Kenya. I have previously written about my favorite Kenyan group, the Kawere Boys. Like many Luo musicians, several of the founding members of the Kawere Boys started their musical apprenticeships playing the Orutu, a one-string fiddle. Like much Luo music, the Orutu repertoire seems to consist largely of praise songs for patrons and friends. 

This recording by Dominic Weke features the standard Orutu ensemble, Orutu, percussion, and vocals. This is a commercial release that I found a few years ago in Nairobi. It sounds like a one-microphone recording, with the vocals and Orutu pushing the meter into the red.  Dominic Weke is unknown to me and to our worldwide web.

My favorite track is 'Jane Nyar Ogolla', a perfect love song.

I love you
You love me
Look at me 

I need you 
You need me
I take you 
You take me

I see you 
You see me
I love you 
You love me

Let us go, go, go! 

Be patient with this one. The simple melodies, call and response vocals, and rhythmic kick are addictive. 




  1. I found the charms of this music to be readily apparent. I can imagine sitting in a small community group (post virus Apocalypse) listening to Orutu music. Thanks for sharing!


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