Kato Change (Kenya) is a self-taught guitarist whose technique was nurtured by an emerging online community of musicians on YouTube. His self-directed style draws from a heritage of jazz legends as well as African, Flamenco, Blues and rock. In 2012, Kato was a Fellow in the U.S Department of State’s One beat program.
In December 2015, Kato released his debut album, ‘The Change Experience’; a collaborative journey, with each artist sharing a unique perspective on creating music. In September 2016 he was one of fifteen musicians, composers and performers from around the globe to come together at OMI, a unique collaborative music making residency program in New York. In January 2017 he was selected as one of 6 creative individuals from all nations, working in all disciplines, in order to promote increased intercultural understanding and global interconnectedness at Sacatar in Brazil.
He has been the Lead guitarist in African projects; Tusker Project Fame and Coke Studio Africa. He has played and recorded with Salif Keita, Seun Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Neyo, Trey Songz, Aloe Blacc, Yemi Alade, Jason Derulo among others. Kato strums regularly alongside his jazz ensemble and several other groups in Nairobi.
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Some of my latest projects. My version of the circle of Life. Giving back to the community.
Music Culture Foundation.
The organization is driven by a strong belief in the importance of education in Arts and Culture in children’s growth and development. Through nurturing artistic talent, children have the opportunity to experience life more rich. Laura Lewis Brown, an expert on benefits of music and education for children notes that learning music has positive influences on language development, larger growth of neural activity, spatial-temporal skills and increased standardized test scores. Research in this area underscores the importance of culture and the arts on behavioral development noting that students involved in the arts have less discipline issues, stay more motivated, have a strong sense of community, are more self-disciplined, are better at self-expression than those who are not involved in the arts. Global studies have also noted that students participating in after-school programs focusing on music have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs among any group in student populations. Indeed, these positive behavioral effects steadily increase and persist over time.
In a society that esteems rigorous education, it is not uncommon to find less class time (and even free time) devoted to development of skills in music and the arts. Yet, there is every indication that the global economy in the near future will involve boundless creative experiences as a part of the daily work of engineers, business managers and hundreds of other professionals. Education in the arts has now to become an important facet of early education.
MCF would like to be at the forefront of encouraging education in music and integrating the use of music in developing well-adjusted and rounded future professionals. It is envisioned that beneficiaries of MCF programs and activities will, from an early age, have opportunity to realize their talent in music, nurture it and ultimately benefit from devotion to related skill development all through adulthood.
MCF has a goal to provide music instruction to children in public schools where such learning is not available. Through partnerships with various schools in Kenya, MCF will provide instruments and instruction in music as an after-school program. Music, in the end, will be an avenue for reaching underprivileged children and providing inspiration to rise above challenges of poverty. Realizing that not all children will have a future in the traditional careers, MCF would like to present to participants in the program, the skill of music as a viable tool for earning a decent living in various capacities in a budding music industry in this country and as far as the children’s imagination will go.
Kato has played guitar for five seasons and served as the band leader of Coke Studio Africa. A convergence of a diverse number of prominent African artists coming together to produce exciting new performances and combine various genres of music from all around Africa. Coke Studio Africa brings together artists from different parts of Africa to co-create music in a fusion style. This is a first of its kind music program in Africa.
A collection of moments captured through the lens.
Come journey with me.
Lets work together