KeruBo's Debut Album Challenges the Human Condition
June 1, 2021
BURLINGTON, VT — KeruBo’s debut album “Hali ya Utu” which in Swahili means the human condition will be released this month (June 2021) for digital downloads and on compact disk. While KeruBo’s music is in the world genre of music, her songs run the gamut from African laments to Ethno-Jazz, to Jazz-Blues.
KeruBo is a performing music artist born in Kenya. She has been a working musician for more than 20 years. Her musical influences range from traditional African music to gospel, blues, and Afro-jazz. She worked as a backing vocalist and dancer for prominent African artists such as Suzanna Owiyo and the late Achieng’ Abura.
KeruBo sings African folk music, Afro-jazz, African laments, civil rights songs, story songs, gospel songs, and more. As COVID-19 effectively stopped performances, with the exception of a few virtual concerts, she used the free time to record an album. The album was recorded at Lane Gibson studios in Charlotte, VT. The audio engineer was Jeremy Mendicino. Jeremy and KeruBo’s husband, Michael Webster, also served as producers. The album was mastered by
KeruBo also used this period to provide the local Vermont musicians she performs with an opportunity to earn some income during the studio sessions. The pandemic hit our musicians hard as the gigs and the associated income disappeared. Lane Gibson studios was a COVID-safe environment where musicians could play and earn some money.
KeruBo performs all the vocals on the album. The piano and organ is played by Michael Hartigan. The bass is played by Luke Hausermann. The drums are played by Cody Sargent. Mame Assane Coly plays percussion on several of the tracks. Connor Young plays trumpet on a few tracks as does Jake Whitesell on the saxophone. Another local musician also from Africa, Mikahely "Mika" Anatole, joins KeruBo on a couple of tracks with a valiha — a musical instrument from Madagascar. The valiha is a tube-like zither made of bamboo and it adds a unique feel to the music. KeruBo’s husband, Michael Webster, plays guitars.
KeruBo loves the redeeming power of music. As an aneurism stroke survivor, she believes music played an integral role in her recovery. She sees music not only as entertainment but as healing energy essential to our lives. She also views music as a medium to communicate messages and recently was recognized by Doug Emhoff (the second gentleman of the United States married to vice president Kamala Harris) for her song Chanjo and the benefits of her
public health message in that song.
KeruBo will be performing at this year’s Discover Jazz Festival both with her band and with musical maestro Tom Cleary in the Conversation Series.