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OneBeat: Rapasa Otieno to represent Kenya in the US

Otieno was selected from among more than 1200 applicants worldwide. He will now attend a two-week fellowship from 20 September - 8 October during which selected artists will create new music and develop works and workshops at the Pacific Northwest’s Caldera Arts Centre in Oregon ahead of a tour.

The OneBeat tour will run from 9 - 23 October which will see them travel from Oregon to Boise, making stops at Jackson, WY, and Fort Collins. During the tour the artist will present new works-in-progress, lead engagement events with community-based partners, and perform with local musicians.

"I am happy to represent Kenya and show the world the beautiful Kenya sounds as result of being truthful to my Nyatiti instrument,” Otieno told Music in Africa. “I am looking forward to meeting other musicians from around the globe because I am not only going to share my knowledge of the Nyatiti but also learn about other genres of music.”

Otieno, who is also a music teacher in Nairobi, says that the experience will be a plus for the classes he gives because his students will have something knew to learn. He is working on releasing his album in a few months. Apart from the nyatiti, Otieno also plays the Adungu, Nyangile, Poko/Peke, Obokano, and the Ongeng’o among other instruments.

The OneBeat program brings together emerging musical leaders from around the world to collaboratively create original work and to develop a global network of civically engaged music initiatives.