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About Shirati Jazz

Contrary to what the name suggests, Shirati Jazz is not a jazz band, but instead one of the best-known benga outfits in Kenya. Founded by D.O. (Daniel Owen) Misiani, Shirati Jazz adapts the rhythms and sounds of the traditional nyatiti and orutu to an electric lineup. Their lyrics work in the traditional praise song tradition, offering support, encouragement, and flattery to listeners. During the 1970s, Shirati Jazz were moving more than 20,000 singles a month in Kenya; while they are less explosively popular now than then, they are still active as a house band in Nairobi. ~ Leon Jackson