A charismatic and masterful guitarist on Coke Studio Africa A house band, Kato Change has an inimitable improvisation while approaching music – he flirts with virtuosity. Hailing from Kenya, the guitarist’s beaming onstage persona is paired with a nimble command of his instrument. Self-taught, Kato’s curiosity in guitar was nurtured by an emerging online community of musicians on YouTube. Foundational to his ornate, self-directed style is a universal musical pulse, energized by the continuous feedback loops that link artistes across the globe.
Kato is also a talented composer and arranger. Dawn is one his acclaimed singles from his debut album: The Change Experience. Kato’s debut album draws from his experience as a young artiste in Africa, with his sights set on the world. From silky vocals and stellar instrumentals, thumping rhythms and mellow sounds, each collaborating artist’s perspective shines through as they join him on his musical journey. The album starts out with an acoustic sound, slowly building in vocals and instruments, and as it progresses, aspects of house music are introduced to the steady African rhythms. It concludes by blending in an alternative piece.
He has played with many of the greats including Salif Keita, Seun Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Fally Ipupa and Dave Douglas. In his live videos, one can observe his leadership and generous collaborative spirit. Kato continually draws inspirations from a heritage of jazz legends as well as African, Flamenco, rhythm and blues and rock genres, creating sounds that are both familiar and utterly singular. A much sought-after player, Kato strums regularly alongside his Jazz Ensemble, The Change Experience, The Aaron Rimbui Quintet, Ma3 and several other groups in Nairobi.