Featuring an internationally renowned lineup that traverses The Gambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana and Australia, the Senegambian Jazz Band channels over eight thousand years of African musical traditions, transporting the power and beauty of these ancient sounds, rhythms and melodies to euphoric audiences across Australia.
Fronting the seven-piece band is the phenomenally talented Amadou Suso, direct descendent of the world’s first kora player, Koriang Musa Suso. As a music maker, or ‘jali’ by birthright, Amadou embodies the griot traditions of the Mandinka of West Africa. Known widely as the 'Jimi Hendrix of the kora', Amadou fulfils his ancestral duties to share the culture of his people through an intoxicating contemporary mastery of the African harp.
Complementing the band's sublime kora-led melodies are the formidable percussive talents of Boubacar Gaye, from Senegal, on the djembe and congas, and Julius Sackey, from Ghana, on drum kit. World-class musicians in their own right, Boubacar and Sackey harness the rhythms of West Africa, providing the irresistible foot-stomping drum beats that see fans losing themselves in the music and dancing the night away.
Linking in on bass is mainstay of the international Ethio-music scene, Yosef Bekele. With his skillful grasp of the group's polyrhythmic elements, Yosef seamlessly connects the band's harmony and groove, adding his own unique Ethio-jazz flavour. Add to the mix the soulful strains of Tom Benson on sax and the slicing electric guitar solos of Luke Koszanski, and the Senegambian Jazz Band is ready to enchant global audiences with an elaborate and joyful sound that is paving the way for a new African jazz genre.
Currently performing with the band while visiting Australia is internationally acclaimed singer Yusupha Ngum (aka Joloffman), from The Gambia. Also hailing from the Mandinka jali tradition, Yusupha delivers messages of peace, hope and unity, through sweet, mesmerising song that build on the work of his late father, legendary Senegambian Mblax singer Musa Afia Ngum.