Cellos for
a Cause

for the Kenya International Cello Festival

Saturday, February 18th


Noe Valley Ministry

1021 Sanchez St, San Francisco, CA

Join some of the Bay Area’s leading cellists for a showcase of everything cello, as we support our Kenyan colleagues. Meet our students from the Korogocho Slum in Nairobi while learning about the upcoming Kenya International Cello Festival. Works by Caroline Shaw, Andreas Martin, Alessio Pianelli, Barrière, and more!

$50 suggested donation 

Tax deductible donations through Opus 1 Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.


With special guests Moses Sedler and Charles Chandler.

Alberto Vasari’s prints from our 2022 festival will be sold at our event. 

All proceeds directly support 2023 KICF expenses.

Kenya International Cello Festival

Kenya International soloist.

Cellists from around the world will convene in Nairobi this March. After months of weekly Zoom coachings, American cellists Rebecca Merblum and Robert Howard will join their Kenyan colleagues live in Nairobi’s Korogocho Slum. Beginning with a five day tour into the Central Highlands, these cellists will perform for local communities, while rehearsing and honing pedagogy for their own students. After stopping in Thika, Nyahururu, and Naivasha, they’ll return to Nairobi for presentations in the Mukuru and Korogocho Slums, the Kenya Conservatoire, and National Theatre. 

We will feature recent pieces by Nyokabi KariukiReena Esmail, and Eric Whitacre, old favorites by Saint-Saens and Vivaldi, along with new adaptations from different sub-Saharan regions and Cape Verde. Ghetto Classics singers will join for a brand new adaptation of Kariuki’s work. All of this will be presented along with custom designed light sculptures from artist Eyenga Bokamba and documented by photographer Alberto Vasari. Collaborations with different local musicians at each venue promise to make each performance truly unique.

Founded in 2007, Ghetto Classics provides instruments, lessons, and ensembles to over 600 residents of Nairobi slums. Sprawled right next to the Dandora landfill, the Korogocho Slum is one of the largest in Africa. With over 200,000 people crammed into an area a third the size of Central Park, Korogocho is a world within a world. Potable water is trucked in and electricity is intermittent. HIV infection rates hover around 14%; crime rates are high. In addition to musical coaching, we monitor students’ health and safety, referring them to third-party assistance when called necessary. 

Our cellists are some of the most engaged and determined young musicians around. In addition to weekly online coaching, these young musicians mentor younger musicians in their community, all while pursuing academic careers.

Our rep is as diverse as our personnel. The Kenya International Cello Festival truly promises something for everyone. With the exact range of the human voice, the cello easily adapts to music from every background. We will pluck, tap, sing, and bow our way through music from around the world as we make our way through central Kenya. We will continue to break down barriers, whether they’re political, socio-economic, or cultural. Please help support our ongoing work!

Kindly send checks payable to Opus 1 Foundation, earmarked for Kenya Cello Festival:

Opus 1 Foundation
60 Riverglen Drive
Thiells, New York 10984

Opus 1 is a registered 501(c)3.
EIN: 84-4029712