Nairobi Nyatiti: Kamba Nane at Ziggy's in Ypsilanti


Kamba Nane

Ziggy's is a cafe, performance space, and arcade in downtown Ypsilanti that has hosted an appealing wide range of concerts ever since it opened in August 2017, from experimental jazz to hip-hop and indie rock. Most of the performers have been local, but on Friday, Feb. 2, Ziggy's goes international with Kenyan musician Kamba Nane.

Nane plays an eight-string nyatiti, a plucked lyre associated with the Luo people of Kenya. Traditionally the nyatiti is played alone, accompanied only by the player's singing and percussion items attached to his feet. But the Nairobi-raised Nane takes a modern approach to the instrument, playing in groups of all sorts, from jazz to electronica. At Ziggy's, Nane will be accompanied by the RAKA Ensemble, featuring Dave Sharp on bass and percussionists Abbas Camara and Lamine Souma.

Below is a short documentary on Nane and some of his music on Soundcloud:

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.

Kamba Nane and the RAKA Ensemble play a free concert at Ziggy's, 206 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti, on Friday, Feb. 2, at 7 pm. Other upcoming Ziggy's gigs include:
Thursday, Feb. 1: Piotr Michalowski and Peter Formanek (improvised bass clarinet duo)
Saturday, Feb. 10: Northern Threat Entertainment 's 734 Saturdays (open mic, heavy on the hip-hop)
Wednesday, Feb. 14: Neal Anderson Quintet (jazz)
Tuesday, Feb. 20: Jaurez-Lee-Alvarez (jazz)
Thursday, Feb. 22: Dikeman/Townkeepers/Piazza/Shead (jazz featuring Dutch musicians and recent U-M grad Adam Shead)
Friday, Feb. 23: Hydropark, Saajtak, Jim Cherewick (experimental indie rock)