An almost mythical figure of African acoustic guitar, George Mukabi’s reinvention of fingerstyle quickly spread from western Kenya throughout East Africa before his tragic death in 1963.
Hailing from the Luhya speaking Kisa Region, George Mukabi combined local elements of the nyatiti lyre and sukuti drum into the bouncing “omutibo” guitar style, in which melody, rhythm and bass lines all merged in two hands on one instrument. An imposing man that was both respected and feared, he sang of the tumults of marriage, morality and Kenyan life, selling hundreds of thousands of records in East and Central Africa, though only dimly recognized overseas.
54 years after his passing, we are proud to help preserve the legacy and legend of George Mukabi with the first comprehensive album of his music released outside of East Africa. LP includes a 12 page booklet featuring an oral history by George’s son, Johnstone Ouko Mukabi, along with several other peers and family members, as well as full lyrics in Swahili and English.