Lele Ngoma is an eclectic Afro Soul band blending contemporary styles like Jazz, Neo Soul, Rock and Carribean sounds with
folk melodies. The 6-piece band comprises of vocals, keys, drums, bass, acoustic and lead guitars. The band is currently recording it’s first album to be released in 2015.
How did they get the name Lele Ngoma
‘Mwanzo wa ngoma ni lele,’ wahenga walinena,and from this Swahili saying came the name Lele Ngoma,both meaning the beginning and the height of music,the former being where we begun and the latter what we are striving to achieve,our music is an eclectic urban mix of Afro and Soul.
The band comprises of seven members Charles Bodo- lead male vocalist,Brenda Bor-Lead female vocalist,Kevin Koech-rythm guitarist,Joash masese-Pianist,Jack Towett-Bass,Humphrey Otieno-Drums and last but not least Daniel Kibe-lead guitarist.
It Started with Poetry
It officially started two years ago when Charles and Kevin met at Kikaoo, a forum for poetry and music. Despite their different music influences they found common ground in african music and the need to not only preserve our culture through music but to appreciate it and its values in the same vein. Six months later, they met Catherine Miano, with her powerful vocals and passion for song writing,they incorporated her into the band.
They started out as an acoustic set,with just a guitar and vocals,often being supported by their fellow artistes Charles Kahiro of Pitch 5, Fadhilee of Fadhilee music,Daniel Kimani of Pitch 5, and Allan Wanjohi better known as ‘sucre’ (I wonder why),who provided invaluable support at the time. Others include George Wambugu of I.C.C frontrunners,Barbra Guya of Kidum music and later a performer in her own right,Victor Monyi of Adawnage and Zidi and last but not least Wangui Githu ( Wangeautifull) whose influence left an indelible mark on the band. She was also instrumental in bringing the band together.
Immediately after, they were joined by Joash Masese who added elements of Smooth Jazz into their music with his piano playing. At around the same time, Jack Towett joined the group and with his strong South African music influence and passion for Jazz brought in the running bass. With a bass and piano strongly grounding their music there was a dire need for rhythm,and thus came Jack Odindo with his crazy knack for obtuse rhythms and perfectly executed rolls. Together with Mobutu Sese on percussions with his strong west african influences, the set was complete,moulding music that incorporated all their different influences.
Music that Heals
They have also been part of Mater Hospital’s music therapy program as volunteers since its inception in 2008,trying to give back where its needed. Other than that, they are now partnering with Steve Urban in the Daadab’s Ghabar project,trying to raise money through art to provide education to women in dire need of it in one of the largest refugee camps.
They have been performing together for close to a year at fashion events, weddings,poetry nights, and corporate dinners. Lele Ngoma also runs its own brand of afternoon events known as Twendelele,
So far they have partnered with Aziza (February 2012-Ndoto the event) and held the larger than life concert in September called THUM which was a culmination of their music up to this point…’thum’ meaning Music in Luo.
Where to find them
If interested in catching up with the band or sampling their music, find them at the Hilton’s Jockey Pub every Thursday from 6 p.m. or on