From the 1930s to the 1960s most housing estates built for African residence in Nairobi had social halls. Pumwani was built as a response to the 1921-1922 urban protests movement led by Harry Thuku. Later, With the growth of the civil service, other social halls such as Landhies, Ziwani, Kaloleni and Makongeni were built. The halls provided space for revelers to enjoy traditional music and other genres derived from international influences through media, the Second World War and travel. Some beats came from from South Africa, Congo and Cuba. Amidst these influences, something uniquely Kenyan was emerging. What were these national sounds that targeted a national audience? What was the role of the recording studios in the growth of Kenya? How did the earlier music express African identities? How was money made by musicians in the earlier days? How did musicians learn the art of music?
The growth of information technology has had a big influence on Kenyan music as Kenyan musicians interact with sounds, instruments and technologies from other cultures. Younger musicians are creating and producing music differently from the older generations. But how are they doing it? What can older musicians learn from younger ones? Conversely, what can older musicians share with younger one?
The Inter-generational Dialogue Forum on music organized by the Creative Economy Working Group is a knowledge sharing opportunity about the sector. It is a conversation of what has been going on in the music scene in order to better appreciate the evolution of Kenyan music and to explore its future trends.