Local singer and multi instrumentalist, Kabo Leburu, is one musician who has made it his mission to carve his own unique style of African jazz. His trip to Nairobi, Kenya last year left revelers captivated, resulting in her being invited to once again perform at Cool Waters Jazz & Roots Festival 2016 on the 22nd of September.
Kabo’s music is anything but conventional. His unique interpretation of jazz is a blend of African rhythms and contemporary blues he calls ‘bluegrass’: “My music is a mix of folk and jazz with an influence of country.It is just music from the heart. In short, I classify it as world music also termed as ‘Ethnojazz’, which happens to be the name of my backing band I am traveling with to Kenya.”
During his mission invitation to perform with local poet Berry Heart at the Botswana Embassy in Kenya last year, Leburub also saw it as an opportunity to mingle with Kenyan musicians in the vicinity: “I could not sleep the night we arrived, so I decided to go out to mingle and interact with the Kenyans,” he recalls. The singer often carries a harmonica in his pocket in case there is an impromptu jam session wherever he goes: “I got to jam on harmonica with a Cameroonian band at a pub and I am glad to be going back,” adds Leburu.
“I am influenced by a lot things from love, to people, nature, children, life experiences, either mine or someone else’s. It is mostly the little things that don’t seem to matter to many that I write about,” says Kabo on where he draws his thoughtful lyrics.
Leburu says Kenyans can only expect the best when he opens the festival: “One of my songs has a bit of Swahili and I look forward to the response when I get to that point. I am going do two sets of one hour each. I will also be performing in two other gigs after my opening act.”
The trip is made possible by the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Letshego Kenya and Botswana High Commission to Kenya.