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To support the featured artists and ensembles, the many Kenyan session musicians were split into three backing bands. Band 2 performed with Iddi Achieng’, Ontiri Bikundo, Gargar, Kenge Kenge, Makadem, and Suzanna Owiyo.

Lydia Mwango Ogoti Onchangu is a gifted and versatile vocalist from Kisii County with a distinct voice. She has been featured extensively on the Spotlight on Kenyan Music Programme for both studio and live performances. She sings in many local dialects and has backed artists from all over Kenya. Lydia doubled as the manager of the Slum Drummers, a group of young musicians who play improvised percussion instruments from collected materials.

Shadrack “Shaddy” Muithya Makau is a Kenyan multi-instrumentalist who has toured with Makadem and other top artists. He plays piano, keyboards, and percussion in addition to providing vocals.

Charles “Chao” Otieno Owino is a bassist with an uncanny ability to find the right groove for any style of music. He is well versed and experienced with Kenyan rhythms and has toured extensively with Makadem and Yunasi.

Matthew “Matayo” Rabala Omondi is a versatile drummer on the Kenyan music scene. He has played for many Kenyan artists including Winyo, Acheing Abura, and Iddi Achieng’. He has toured extensively with Makadem and is also a member of Mwangaza’s band that plays for Spotlight on Kenyan music artists from all over Kenya. Matthew organizes a drummer’s collective called Drum Jam that brings together drummers, percussionists, and bassists to learn various rhythms.

As a sought-after guitarist, Thobias Imani Koech has performed with Patricia Kihoro, Gargar, and other East African artists. He originally hails from Kericho.

Jackline Kasiva Mutua is a world-famous percussionist from Nairobi who began drumming when she was young, learning traditional drums from her grandmother. Her performance style is influenced by Afrobeat, zouk, samba, reggae, and soul.

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