J.S. Ondara's Sound Is Extraordinary And His Story Is Even Better : World Cafe Ondara grew up in Nairobi, Kenya with big dreams of becoming a musician in the U.S. Hear a studio performance of songs from his debut album, Tales Of America.
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J.S. Ondara On World Cafe

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J.S. Ondara's Sound Is Extraordinary And His Story Is Even Better

J.S. Ondara's Sound Is Extraordinary And His Story Is Even Better

J.S. Ondara On World Cafe

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/693547286/693603696" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
VuHaus

Set List

  • "Torch Song"
  • "Good Question"
  • "American Dream"
  • "Say Goodbye"

His name is J.S. Ondara and his sound alone is extraordinary. When he came into the World Cafe Performance Studio, pretty much the whole staff gathered to witness his performance and was mesmerized behind the glass.

Ondara was born in Nairobi, Kenya where he was madly in love with the American and British rock music he'd hear on the radio. But his family couldn't afford a guitar. He had big dreams to become a musician in the U.S., so about five years ago, he moved to Minneapolis... in the middle of winter. At the time, he didn't even play an instrument. Now, he has a debut full length album called Tales Of America, out on Feb. 15.

In this session, we talk about his journey, but first, a live performance of "Torch Song." Hear it all in the player.

Episode Playlist