To support the featured artists and ensembles, the many Kenyan session musicians were split into three backing bands. Band 1 performed with Peter Akwabi, Chepchumba, Kadir Kotola, John Nzenze, Ayub Ogada, and Eric Wainaina.
Born in Kisumu, Robert Christopher Adwar Oyoo is a music producer, songwriter, and keyboardist. He works as a solo artist and also fronts the band The Villagers. He has served since 2011 as music director for the Kenyan talent search TV show Tusker All Stars.
David Lawrence Otieno is a much sought-after session and backup musician. He has played for mostly Kenyan artists both in the studio and on stage.
Marvin “Marvo” Maveke Mutisya is regarded as one of the most talented drummers of his generation. He has played for Eric Wainaina’s band as well as various other groups.
Carol Lynn Atemi Oyungu began singing at age ten in the junior choir at her church and has since performed with various groups, including Thrown Together by Christ, Karisma, and Eric Wainaina’s band. She has also sung as a solo artist and appeared as a judge on the Tusker All Stars reality show. Several of her collaborative projects have supported causes like sex education and river conservation.
Julius Mathew Wakake Otieno is recognized as one of Kenya’s prolific percussionists. Wakake is a self-taught musician specializing in the nyatiti and a wide array of drums. He has toured extensively and played with numerous local and international artists including the Polish jazz pianist Artur Dutkiewicz.
A graduate of Kenyatta University, Linda Wangechi Muthama participated in Tusker Project Fame, a talent search reality show in East Africa. She has also been active on the live music circuit, especially on the Safaricom Live concerts, touring with a host of popular Kenyan artists over the past three years. In 2014, Linda started the Laika Foundation to help women with complications during childbirth and organized a performance by top female acts to raise funds and awareness for this issue.
Isaack Gem Ojwang a.k.a. Izzo Gem is a respected bass player and arranger from Nairobi. He has toured with Winyo and many other Kenyan musicians. Some of his performances include Womex in 2010 in collaboration with Kenge Kenge Orutu systems.