Kent’s Standing Rock Cultural Arts will host a drumming workshop and performances featuring Kenyan band Kenge Kenge Orutu System on June 25-26

KENT, Ohio – Standing Rock Cultural Arts will host two community performances and an interactive workshop featuring the Kenge Kenge Orutu system based in Nairobi, Kenya on June 25-26.

The music of Kenge Kenge Orutu System is inspired by the traditional roots of the Luo people of western Kenya. The group performs its own versions of old songs by mixing them with benga, the indigenous popular music form of Kenya. The band members use instruments such as the orutu (one-stringed fiddle), nyatiti (eight-stringed lyre), oporo (cow’s horn) and asili (blown flute), traditional percussion instruments and traditional songs and dances.

Performances include:

  • Saturday, June 25, 7-9 p.m. at North Water Street Gallery, 300 N. Water St., Suite H., Kent. A donation of $5 is suggested. Buy tickets.
  • A free community concert on Sunday, June 26 from 3:30-5 p.m. at Hometown Bank Plaza at the corner of Water and Main streets in downtown Kent.

The group will be hosting an interactive workshop on Saturday June 25 from 2-4pm at the North Water Street Gallery. A $10 donation is suggested for the workshop. Register online.

Kenge Kenge Orutu System, which means an uplifting fusion of small instruments, has performed on five continents at venues and festivals such as Lincoln Center, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, American Folk Festival, Rainforest World Music Festival and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” .”

Performances are sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council and the City of Kent.

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