Friday, April 10, 2015
In the final concert of the Crossing Borders series, the Zem Audu Quintet explores the intersection of jazz and Yoruba rhythms of Nigeria, with Special guest percussionist, guitarist and singer Kaleta, in conversation with Crossing Borders exhibiting visual artist, Osi Audu.
Azemobo “Zem” Audu is an award winning saxophonist, composer and producer whose fresh sound is a blend of contemporary jazz and modern grooves. He has been inspiring audiences worldwide for the past five years. On the link of music and art, he has said: “Coltrane, Fela, and Picasso (have) all inspired me. Very different artists, but they each connected to that revealing/primal spirit of music and art.” This young and soulful artist is blessed with great skills, a fresh style, and a wealth of experience. He taught himself classical guitar and piano before choosing the saxophone as his main form of expression. “I realized one day that I needed the saxophone in my life. Simple as that” Azemobo was active on the London jazz scene in the early 2000’s. His technical ability and refreshing musicianship made him the go-to saxophonist in London. During that period, he was playing, touring and recording with Jason Moran, Frank McComb, Ernest Ranglin, Mica Paris, The Black Arm Band, Plan B, and Hugh Masekela. In 2008 he won the WCOM jazz competition before moving to Brooklyn NY. In 2010 the legendary Skatalites heard Azemobo playing in Harlem and hired him immediately. The past three years have been spent on tour; 2012 saw the release of the Skatalites’ critically acclaimed new album ‘Walk With Me’ featuring Azemobo’s ‘Desert Ska’. In 2012, he released ‘Visions,’ his self-produced debut album. All seven tracks were composed by Azemobo and he plays all the instruments on the album. ‘Visions’ is a daring statement showcasing a huge stylistic range, from Afro-beat to Reggae to minimalism and the Avant-garde. http://www.azemoboaudu.com/index/
Read about Zem in the New York Times!
Kaleta was born Leon Ligan-Majek in Porto-Novo in the Republic of Benin. In his youth, the composer, singer, guitarist and percussionist was very active in “kareta” masquerade music as a dancer and drummer. He went on the perform on guitar with Kind Sunny Adé, Fela and Femi Kuti, and Shina Peters Afrojuju band, among others before moving to New York in the early 1990s. He is a co founder of the New York based Akoya Afrobeat, a thirteen piece multi-national Afrobeat band based in New York, with which he performs as lead singer, and co-writer of politically provocative lyrics, in the tradition of Fela Kuti. He has also toured internationally with Lauryn Hill.
Crossing Borders in Performance is made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.
Event Location and Ticket Information
31 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, NY 10601
Handicap Accessible? Yes
Date: Friday, April 10, 2015
Times: 8:00 pm