Saturday Night: Kenge Kenge’s Too-Big-for-the-House Concert in Takoma Park
I’ve always wanted to have a concert in my living room. That way I wouldn’t need to be the designated driver, no bouncers would push me around, and passing out after the encore would be a breeze. Up in Takoma Park, concert organizer Marika Partidge hasn’t just been dreaming about such possibilities—she’s been putting on home shows for 25 years now. But this weekend, her ambitions have outgrown her living room. Kenyan benga band Kenge Kenge was originally set to rock her house, but the guest list got too big, and so the show is being moved to the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church.
For the past 20 years, Kenge Kenge (which literally means “fusion of small, exhilarating instruments”) has been touring its homeland and the world, incorporating traditional instruments such as the plucked nyatiti, the percussive nyangile, and the bowed orutu. The band also uses an electric bass, though there's no guitar. The group will perform tunes from its recent album Introducing Kenge Kenge, and may just break out its campaign song “Obama for Change” (seen below). No word yet on whether seating will be in pews or if people will be allowed to bring couches from their living rooms.
The concert takes place tomorrow from 7 to 10 pm at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, 310 Tulip Ave.