Gig Seeker Pro


Baltimore, Maryland, United States | INDIE

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | INDIE
Band World Acoustic


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"Presenter Quote - UPenn"

"We had a great event! …a full house! My favorite thing about Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa is the way they incorporate old and new, near and far styles that represent Uganda, Africa, and our interconnected world."
- Anastasia Shown - African Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania

"Presenter Quote - One Longfellow Square"

"One Longfellow Square was very pleased to present Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa in our venue. Their genuine warmth with the crowd, impressive musicality and overall enthusiasm created a truly enjoyable and memorable evening for our audiences. The accolades are still arriving and we look forward to bringing this engaging group back."
- Tom Rota, Managing Director


Herbert Kinobe is slight in build and he talks in tones so low, one can easily dismiss him for another of Kampala’s many young men with no serious plan. He never dresses up in the way that “serious” people do and he will never be seen in the places that the typical Kampala resident will frequent. But Kinobe is an extra-ordinary musician. This Uganda’s world music star is set to perform in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 20, 2007 as part of his 15-African nation music tour. STEVEN TENDO writes.

“I do world music and that is a strange genre here,” he says. He is convinced that it is going to take a long time before his craft is accepted in Uganda. “In fact, I plan to start a project where I go around the country, giving lectures and resources to those who want them.”

Kinobe understands world music as “a fusion of different types of music. “I bring together my knowledge of Balkan music, West African music and music from around Uganda among others. It is a fusion of the many instruments from around the world.”

Now he has released his first solo album, Soul Language. This is no mean feat for the young artiste. The album was released by the World Music Store, located in Vermont, United States. It is under the auspices of Multicultural Media, a company that collects original music from around the world.

“My music caught their attention mainly because I always record it live. I go to the studio and play the instruments there,” Kinobe explains.

The musician was “discovered” by the director of World Music Store, Stephan McArthur while he was attending a world music festival in France three years ago.

“I was appearing on a number of songs for Rwandan musician Jean Paul Samputu. I was playing the akogo (thumb piano) and it seems I impressed Stephan,” Kinobe says.

Kinobe was busy for most of 2004 and for most of the subsequent years and it was difficult for him to get back in touch with McArthur, though the latter tried to record him desperately after he had seen him in France.
Herbert Kinobe on drums with Michael Ouma on kora and Richard Okia on guitar

Soul Language was recorded at Kinobe’s home in his new studio. It has 11 tracks, four of which were written by his brother Jude Mugerwa. Seven tracks on the album were mastered at Chillumwoods Sounds, a new studio owned by Gareth Sandell in Bukoto, Kampala.

Kinobe says the music was later sent to the USA where McArthur did some further work on it. He sent 15 songs in all but the album came out with 11 which were judged best.

“There is nothing electric on this album,” he says. “All the music here is acoustic. It pays tribute to my love for acoustics. It is a fusion of different styles from the various countries I have been to.”

Kinobe has been around on the Ugandan scene playing back-up for bigger acts like Percussion Discussion Africa but this is the first time he has come out to produce something on his own as an independent artiste.

He believes he has grown up since he started working with the different musicians he has interacted with.

“I have come full circle,” he says. “My music involves Arabic music, Latin music, West African music and many other styles. This album, for instance, is focused on all these diverse styles.” The next, which he plans to bring out soon, in will be focused on Latin music.

“The next CD will be called Kinobe and Soulbeat Africa. This is the group that I have worked with on the project. It includes friends I have grown with, Michael Ouma and Richard Okia,” he explains.

Uganda does not have many representatives on the world music stage. Other stars in the field are Samite and Geoffrey Oryiema who don’t even perform in Uganda.

“The problem of the indifference of the public to this kind of music is puzzling,” Kinobe admits. “Out there, the rest of the world would like to know what is coming out of Uganda and it has to be indigenous to the country. Instead, we have musicians trying to sound like foreigners.”
Herbert Kinobe speaks to ArtMatters.Info

When he sits down for this interview, he admits it has been difficult to meet earlier because of his tight programme globe trotting and performing at different festivals and conferences.

Kinobe was born on July 19, 1983 to Ruth Nakyagaba and Fred Serunkuma. One of six children, Kinobe, went to University of Bordeaux in France for a degree in World Music after Makerere College in Uganda.
He hails from Buganda Kingdom, one of Uganda’s more prominent societies. He grew up in Bugerere, a village situated about 50 km from Kampala where he started playing the traditional instruments at the age of five with the local musicians.

He grew up near one of the Kabaka’s lubiri (palaces) and there were drums played in the palace everyday. From a very young age, Kinobe was attracted to the music of his people. Kinobe’s fun was to be in the presence of the abagoma, the traditional drummers of the Kabaka. It was natural that he had to learn how to play a number of in - Uganda’s World Music Star to Perform in Nairobi - by Steven Tendo


Kinobe is a singer/songwriter, instrument maker, and multi-instrumentalist; he plays guitar, kora (West African harp), adungu (Ugandan harp), kalimba, endongo (bowed lyre), endingidi (tube fiddle) and endere (flute) from Bugerere, Uganda. An early virtuoso on many stringed instruments, he has toured Africa and Europe in various bands since he was a teenager. He's studied kora with Mali's Toumani Diabaté and played with Youssou N'Dour and Salif Keita. On this set, his first international release, the sound is acoustic and stripped down, showcasing Kinobe's understated vocals and instrumental prowess. The ambient sounds of the jungle night open "Kamungolo" a lilting melody that tells of a wandering old man nicknamed Kamungolo, who is sustained by the handouts of more fortunate villagers. It's a strong tune driven by subtle percussion, pulsing kora and thumb piano, and a refrain that imprints itself into your mind after a single listen. "Mubaleete" ("Bring Them") is a beautiful, flowing kora lullaby, while "Mwana Wange" is a forte of African blues guitar with a hint of Mali in its structure, decrying the hardships many children face in hard times. "Tutambula" ("We Are Walking) is a jittery instrumental featuring what sounds like a balafon. It paints a pastoral portrait of herdsmen walking long distances through the plains looking for a place to feed their cattle. "Empewo" ("Wind") features Kinobe's delicate harp work and Michael Ouma's bluesy guitar, which adds mournful bent notes and sitar-like runs to the composition. The album is low-key and contemplative, even on up-tempo numbers like "Lucejjera," a tune about a plague of locusts that features the jazzy popping bass work of Allan Okia. Kinobe's Soul Language is a unassuming album, one that slowly wins you over with its restrained grooves and effortless virtuosity. - Review of SOUL LANGUAGE - by J. Poet


"When it comes to traditional and contemporary Ugandan music, he is not only one of the youngest flag bearers but also one of the best." - Jane Musoke-Nteyafas


"Some of the most exquisite music coming out of Africa today. Sublime and peaceful." - Zino Saro-Wiwa, BBC Presenter


Hanover, New Hampshire
March 2, 2009

Music from the group Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa fills the gym at Hanover High School. The musicians mix sounds from traditional Ugandan instruments with the modern ones of today's rock groups. This is the first time the band has toured in the United States and has been making stops throughout the East Coast.

"The intention is to bring a lot of instruments and culture from our homeland to here," Kinobe explained. "But also the most important thing is to show them how we can fuse that with sounds of the guitar, or the bass, that they are used to, to know that the music can speak one language no matter where it comes from."

It's a language the kids pick up right away. After all, what's a concert without a little dancing? The students-- and even a few teachers-- are not bashful about their approval for the band.

"A lot of new instruments. It made dancing a little bit more interesting, because it's not your normal drums, it's not your normal guitar," said Jeff Colt, a senior. "So it was really interesting to hear what they had to bring in terms of music."

This might be the students' first time hearing Ugandan music but they are already familiar with the African country. The kids have been collecting books in an effort to raise money for "Invisible Children," a nonprofit that builds schools in Uganda.

Emily Bensen is on the Student-to-Student club that organized the book project.

"I feel like it gets the students really involved because they now know who we are as a group and they now know something about Uganda and when we talk to them about Invisible Children, and if they are giving money for a bake sale or donating their own books, they now have a face of who they are giving it to," Bensen said.

A face and a sound uniting students with the rest of the world.

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News
- An International Music Lesson


KINOBE SOLO: "Leaving the Song Behind" release date Jan 2011 a collection of solo pieces showcasing Kinobe's virtuosity on three instruments:kalimba, kora, endongo. Kinobe plays straight from his heart leading into the soul of African music.

A new band CD "Awamu N'emikwano / Together with Friends", to be released January 2011.This CD shows once again that music is the beautiful universal language. Kinobe and his band are committed to bringing love and joy to people around the world using music as the voice to create peace and to champion a better future for children everywhere.KINOBE MUSIC

A new Cd with the Virginia Children's Choir featuring live tracks from tow sold out concerts in Virginia showcasing 200 children's voices and 6 of Kinobe's choral arrangements plus live band performance. "Mutima ku Mutima"/ Heart to Heart" is due to be released Jan 2011. KINOBE MUSIC

A new duo project with Montana pianist Phil Aaberg "Tuli Wamu" / We Are One" is due out in early 2011. KINOBE MUSIC

Kinobe, “Soul Language”
Kinobe’s debut solo album, released in 2007 by Multicultural Media. Features: Kinobe (Vocals, Guitar, Kora, Adungu, Agogo/Kalimba, Endongo, Endingidi, Endere), Michael Ouma (Vocals, Guitar, Percussion, Agogo/Kalimba, Adungu), Allan Okia (Bass) and Richard Sewagudde (Percussion).

Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa
Multicultural Media, 2009. Features: Kinobe, Michael Ouma, Allan Okia, Richard Sewagudde, Bakkabulindi Samuel, Tugume Ambrose, Lukwago Jude, and Joran De Herder. Instruments include the kora, guitar, kalimba, adungu, calabash, keyboards, bass, djembe, and various drums.

Nomad, Kinobe & Michael Waters
Kinobe and Canadian guitarist Michael Waters released their debut CD in 2008
on Multicultural Media.

Various Artists, “The Last King of Scotland, Soundrack”
Kinobe is featured on the motion picture soundtrack with Percussion Discussion Afrika.

VISIT WWW.KINOBEMUSIC.COM for audio and video samples.



Live interviews and performance from MUSIKFEST in PA


Kinobe is the new voice of Ugandan music, the inspired synthesis of African roots and world music, of traditional and modern instrumentation. These musicians represent the new vanguard of Ugandan performers, gifted instrumentalists steeped in the music of their homeland, but with ears opened to the sounds of the world at large. Driving poly-rhythms underlay transcendent melodies. Traditional African instruments – koras, kalimbas, adungus, endongos, drums – blend with guitars, drawing on influences from around the globe. This is a new groove for a new world.

Kinobe (pronounced “CHI-NO-Bɔ) is an extraordinary new talent from Uganda whose early abilities in traditional African music quickly garnered acclaim on the world stage. Born in 1983 near Lake Victoria, he began playing music at the age of five, and five years later traveled to the Netherlands with a group of musicians for his first international performance. It was this trip that introduced him to the diversity of musical traditions throughout the world, opening his ears to new sounds, and launching a life-changing interest in world music. In the years that followed, Kinobe studied with musicians all across Africa, including the family of Toumani Diabate. He began performing at festivals in Europe, led a 18 country tour of Africa, enjoyed two US/Canadian tours in 09-10 and will be returning to North America for the third consecutive year for 2011. He is a lifelong student, teacher, lover, and purveyor of the great diversity of African and world musical traditions.

Kinobe played world music and jazz festivals across the US and Canada for the last two seasons including performances at Nuits d'Afrique, International Festival de Louisiana, Winnipeg, LOTUS, LEAF, Chicago World Music Festival, Salmon Arms Roots and Blues, and many more. Kinobe has enjoyed numerous college concerts and residencies that have been one concert-one day or one week long. Beautiful world music concerts-workshops that culminate in performance-classroom visits-arrangements with choirs-string ensembles-jazz ensembles and even orchestras have all been part of the 2010 tour.

Kinobe has developed programming for choirs, string ensembles, string quartets, educational outreach, workshops in drumming/dance/singing/kalimba and African instruments.These are available for players of all levels.

Look for new collaborations in 2011 with Montana pianist, Phil Aaberg; Chicago based harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy, solo tours celebrating the 2011 release of his new solo CD "Leaving the Song Behind", and another great band tour with a new band CD "Awamu N'emikwano / Together with Friends", to be released January 2011.

In 2007, under the support of CulturesFrance, Kinobe made his first major tour to 18 countries around Africa and the Indian Ocean. He has given solo concerts and workshops on traditional instruments all over Europe, the USA and Canada. His first solo CD, “Soul Language,” was released in 2007 by Multi-cultural Media. Kinobe first toured the United States in 2009 with his band and will return for the third time (Jan-Dec 2011) to North America and Europe for another exciting year of festivals, concerts- residencies and workshops.

SEWAGUDDE RICHARD has been playing music with Kinobe since the age of five, and they have been touring Europe together since 2003. Sewagudde plays calabash, kalimba, endongo and adungu.A traditional music artist Richard adds a distinct layer of authentic sounds to the repertoire.