Griot-descended Jupiter Bokondji grew up steeped in music. He played percussion instruments with his grandmother, a renowned healer who taught him traditional Ekonda music—including the famous Zebola rhythms that are said to cure the sick.
Jupiter arrives at Town Hall for a Global Rhythms concert with his band Okwess International, bringing his inexhaustible energy and a blend of African and American rhythms. Jupiter & Okwess weave traditional Congolese rumba with motown, funk, and soul through fierce drumming, ringing guitar, and vibrant bass—delivering music that gives voice to the tumult, oppression, and anarchy in the Congo region. Their music blends tradition with modernity, energizing our instincts and connecting us with communities around the world.
Jupiter & Okwess are joined by opening performers L’Orchestra Afrisound—a mainstay at regional African community events and clubs across Seattle. Afrisound are led by Frank Ulwenya of the the Luya ethnic group in the Maragoli area of Western Kenya, an area known for producing many of Kenya’s top musicians. Frank moved to Seattle in 1985, and just two years later he founded L’Orchestra Afrisound with other African and American musicians. Frank and Afrisound have become an important fixture in the local Seattle scene, especially for the East African community, for whom Frank is considered the musical standard-bearer.
Join us for two performances to move our soul, connect us to our roots, and invite us to share the fruit of encounters and influences from journeys around the world.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.