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D.O. Misiani & Shirati Jazz

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Biography

D. O. Misiani was one of the last surviving stars of the 1970s “golden era” of Kenyan music. Known at home as the “King of History”, abroad he was dubbed “the grandfather of benga” for the speedy regional roots style which became almost synonymous with Kenyan music soon after the mid-1960s.

Born in 1940, Daniel Owino Misiani grew up in a part of northern Tanzania where the main ethnic group were the Luo, most of whom live in neighbouring Kenya, around eastern Lake Victoria. His parents were singers and Misiani started his musical journey in school, hospital and church choirs, later playing percussion with a local acoustic group. His strict Christian father smashed the first guitar his son was given, but by the end of 1963, Misiani had overcome such opposition with gifts of livestock and clothing bought from his earnings as an itinerant musician in Tanzania and Kenya

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