The Owiny Sigoma Band is an evolving collaboration between two Kenyan musicians, masters of the traditional music of the Luo people of Western Kenya—Joseph Nyamungu (nyatiti, vocals) and Charles Owoko (percussion)—and five British musicians—Jesse Hackett (keys), Louis Hackett (bass), Sam Lewis (guitar), Chris Morphitis (bouzouki/guitar) and Tom Skinner (drums)—members of the English funk collective Elmore Judd and colleagues of the globe-trotting producer Damon Albarn.
The project started in 2009 when Jesse Hackett and other members of the electronic hip-hop and soul collective Elmore Judd went out to Kenya at the invitation of a voluntary organisation promoting local musicians. Here they met up with Joseph Nyamungu, an exponent of the traditional nyatiti 8-stringed lyre, and began performing with him and local percussionists, naming their band after Nyamungu’s music school (and his late grandfather). Back in London, Judd played one of the tracks they recorded to DJ Gilles Peterson, who was so impressed with “this weird collage with a great groove” that he commissioned a full album for his Brownswood record label, a self-titled album released in 2011.
Power Punch!!! is their second album, released on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings in 2013.