TO: ALL MEDIA
DATE: AUGUST 21, 2012
AFROBEAT/JAZZ BAND AYETORO RELEASES 5TH STUDIO ALBUM ‘ASOJU OBA’
"We make music to make you dance and think as well... to transport you to places beyond the dance floor where your soul will be your pilot." ... Funsho Ogundipe
Ajoke Music & Africa-Related is proud to present the latest album by the internationally acclaimed Afrobeat/Jazz band Ayetoro. The long awaited EP 'ASOJU OBA' will be officially launched on September 8, 2012, at Ember Creek, 32 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos by 7pm.
The invitation-only Launch will host about 150 guest including media, and is expected to be graced by the Lagos State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Hon Disun Holloway. The planned program include a live music performance by Ayetoro & a few invited Guest Artists (2 sets); Formal Launch of Album & Merchandizing;
Pianist, composer, arranger and music director ‘Funsho Ogundipe, who has been describedas a maverick in the Nigerian music scene defying any easy pigeonhole says, "Today’s Ayetoro is experimenting with music genres such as Rap, Poetry, Neo-Soul and Blues and what remains unchanged is the quality of our music. There are no compromises there. The brand is rooted in tradition, yet very modern." ‘Funsho Ogundipe
'ASOJU OBA', the band’s 5th studio album which translates to ‘the king’s observer’, pays homage to the deep cultural ties between Bahia in Brazil and the Yorubas in Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana. It features three tracks which showcases the band expanding its musical base to cover contemporary Neo-soul and Hip Hop while retaining its jazz core.
‘Baba don go' is a tribute to Fela Kuti, featuring Lady Jay Wah from Ghana on vocals, Skillz from Nigeria on spoken word, solos by Byron Wallen and Shabakka Hutchings from the UK. 'Seeds in the Pod/Love is my Religion' is where Afrobeat meets conscious Hip Hop, and guest stars rapper Mendo, Caroline Fusi singing the hook with Ogundipe taking piano solos. It was inspired by the Sufi poet Abu Bakr Ibn al Arabi. The album was recorded at Alpha Junes (Lagos), Livingstone Studio (London) and Pidgen (Accra) and mastered by Sonny at Spare Dougal (London). The colourful and symbolic album cover was created by the Brazilian artist Prila Paiva from Sao Paulo.
Ogundipe plays a sweet melody on the piano with a rhythmic fluidity that bridges the gap between Afrobeat, Jazz and Funk with reflections on the past and present of both genres with style and grace. Ayetoro swings a hot eclectic number, sings a witty song about modern life, and then reaches deep for a soulful expression of values in a troubled world.
Oyiza Adaba of Ayetoro’s management says ‘the launch is an opportunity to address core issues surrounding harnessing authentic Nigerian music as export products, as well as give a one-of-a-kind culturally blended show to the band’s loyal fans worldwide who have supported the band for the last 16 years’.
This latest effort solidifies the band’s posterity with working with outstanding artists, great instrumentalists and Jazz musicians worldwide, and sets the stage for a well deserved local and international recognition.
Date: September 8, 2012
Venue Ember Creek, 32 Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi Lagos
Press Event & Private Show (by Invitation only): 6:00pm
Main Show: 7:30pm
Ajoke Music is Ayetoro’s recording label and Africa-
RSVP/media interviews/appearances, please contact Olusola Roberts to schedule +234.706.368.5895 olusolaroberts@
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Imole Ayo Balogun - Alto Sax
Michael Gbadebo - Bass Guitar
Wasiu Adepoju - Talking Drums
Babatunde Oduleye - Acoustic Percussion
Olamide Timothy - Bass Guitar
Akinyemi Ogundipe aka Skillz - Vocals/Rapper
Michael Abiola Oloyede - Drums
Olufunsho Ogundipe - Piano and Music Director
Lady Jay Wah - Vocals
Sista Soul - (Vocals)
Ayetoro is an internationally acclaimed Afrobeat/Jazz band led by one of Nigeria’s most talented composers and pianists Funsho Ogundipe. He began playing piano at age 17 and was a regular at Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti's Shrine, but formally launched into the Nigerian music scene in 1998 with his top 50 hit Something Dey, a blues-flavoured piano-driven tune from an album of the same title. This tune became the template for a post Fela Afrobeat.
After establishing the bands place on the Nigerian afrobeat scene. Ogundipe moved to London beginning a musical journey that has shot him onto live performances on many world stages alongside other notables, while maintaining working bands in Nigeria, Ghana & UK.
Although heavily influenced by Afrofuturist big band projects such as Sun Ra's Arkestra, Miles Davis's electric groups and Fela Kuti's various outfits, Ayetoro is no mere funk-jazz Afrobeat revival band. The collective's members are all established musicians in Lagos, Accra and London, with a rhythmic fluidity that bridges the gap between Afrobeat, Jazz and Funk with reflections on the past and present of both genres.
The group has been involved with changing the sound of Afrobeat with each album. In 1996 Ayetoro was the first group to fuse Hip-hop with Afrobeat with the album Naija Blues track JT's Tale, featuring the late great rapper and actor JT West.
Ayetoro's albums (Afrobeat Chronicles Vol 1 & 2) successfully demonstrate the band's immense musical growth in one decade as well as show in energy and musical diversity, the futuristic directions of their music, directed with maturity and confident expertise on the piano. The one constant with the band remains its quality of the musicianship. Featuring the best instrumentalists available inevitably meant collaborations with outstanding Jazz musicians in their own rights like, Byron Wallen the trumpeter, guitar player Jim Mullen (Average White Band) and bass player Orefo Orakwue.
The band, which recently released the introductory EP for its 5th album, currently includes rapper Skillz aka Akinyemi Ogundipe and Lady Jay Wah from Ghana - a testament to the time Ogundipe spent in that country.
According to Ogundipe, 'The future of Afrobeat and Jazz will be where we want it to be, small or big band, Hiphop, experimental or avant garde, playing to a worldwide audience on our terms'.
1. Naija Blues (1996)
2. The Afrobeat Chronicles Vol 1 (The Jazz side of Afrobeat) (2002)
3. 6000 Miles and a Minute (2004)
4. Omo Obokun The Afrobeat Chronicles Vol 2 (2006)
5. Asoju Oba (2012)