Positions: Road Manager for IU Soul Revue, Administrative Assistant for Camp S.O.U.L.
Sylvester Makobi hails from Nairobi, Kenya. His first professional performance engagement was as a member and soloist of the Kenyan Boys Choir, he later co-founded and was Director of the men’s a cappella group Taifa Mziki. His performances with these and other ensembles have taken him to cities in East Africa and other countries including the UK, France, China and the US, one of the highlights being a performance in the first inauguration of former President Barack Obama. As a member of the Ravenna Festival Chorus in Nairobi, Makobi performed with Ricardo Muti; appeared as a soloist with Nairobi Voices of The Hospice; performed in the celebration of the conclusion of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union; as well as sung in the ensemble of a Bill T. Jones show, courtesy of the African American Arts Institute. Makobi’s concert experiences include tenor soloist in Mozart’s "Mass in C Minor", "Requiem Mass" and "Coronation Mass", Haydn’s "Creation", and Handel’s "Messiah". His operatic roles include Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Mozart’s "Marriage of Figaro", Ferrando in Mozart’s "Cosí fan tutte", Second Priest in Mozart’s "The Magic Flute", Rev. Horace Adams in Britten’s :"Peter Grimes", Elder in "Ondieki the Fisherman" by Francis Chandler, and the tenor roles in "The Firebringers" by Chappell Kingsland (Premier). Makobi is currently working on the role of Joel in the premier of the Kenyan opera, “Nyanga” by Francis Chandler. While in the US, Makobi has performed as soloist, has done recitals and featured in concerts in Chicago, IL., Madison, IN., Indianapolis IN., and in Bloomington IN. He has been involved in the recording of five albums where he was featured soloist and played different Kenyan instruments including Ohangla drums, Chivoti, Nyatiti and Kĩgamba. He recently featured on Bloomingsong’s latest album “Building Blocks”. Makobi has a commitment to community engagement and as such has worked as a volunteer both in Kenya and the US. He was a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club, Giving Back to Africa, KILEO Taste of East Africa, Ghetto Classics and Tunaweza Kimuziki and Reimagining Opera for Kids (ROK). Makobi was the 2019 recipient of the Carlton Hodge Price, which is awarded to an Indiana University doctoral student, for their commitment to excellence in African Studies, in outreach, and in other activities directed to the wider public. He is now a fourth year, Doctor of Music student under the tutelage of Professor Marietta Simpson.