Maia Von Lekow sat on the high stool, smiled at Kato Change who was sitting a foot away with his guitar and strummed a note on her guitar, Kato follows suit. She has this thick dark hair and is dressed in an unassuming top and long skirt, her well worn flats look comfortable and light.
She opened her mouth to sing and the room fell silent. Her voice is pure and, it certainly feels like a privilege to be sitting and listening to it live. The words to her songs are dreamy yet at the same time accessible she sings of Oysters, Bata Bullets, mosquitoes…her subjects are sometimes funny and sometimes sad but everyone in the room can relate to what she is saying. Later in the night one of the audience members approaches me and tells me with gleaming eyes he hasn’t heard anything like that in a long time and I concur.
This December 19th we will feature among other artistes the Kenyan born Maia accompanied by Kato at the Rhythm And Spoken 2008 finale. Maia has numerous gigs lined up for the festive season and as we speak she will be heading out to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Few are the times the sound of music gives you cause for pause but the type strummed by this two talented individuals definitely will.
As the leading guitarist, Kato is one of Kenya’s most promising guitarists and also plays with Rock band UETA. Born into a musical family Kato has been musically prolific since the age of three, tapping on drums, experimenting with harmonicas and ultimately teaching himslef the guitar. Kato’s style is reminscent of George Benson and Paco De Lucia but with his own original twist.
For more on Maia visit: http://www.myspace.com/maiavonlekow
Music sample from a South African/Canadian theatre production, Crossroads, that raises awareness in Africa on issues of rape, gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS: http://www.cmfd.org/cmfdaudio/CrossroadsThemeMusic.mp3