The Kennedy Center

Peter Akwabi


Peter Akwabi has been composing and teaching music for over five decades. Born in Khwisero in western Kenya, he has been credited with popularizing omutibo beats, a form of processional music from that part of the country, characterized by rhythms inspired by a traditional dance of the Luhya community. His first album, released in 1963 when he was still a teenager, was a tribute to fellow singer George Mukabi. He has taught performing and creative arts at Kenyatta University, works as a freelance music lecturer, and has 13 TV episodes and over 250 songs to his name.

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/28/2014: John Nzenze and Peter Akwabi

Veteran guitarists and songwriters John Nzenze and Peter Akwabi team up for an evening of Kenyan classics. Part of the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Peter Akwabi