Dele Sosimi - Afrobeat Orchestra / Jazz
Bamidele Olatunbosun Sosimi, known as Dele Sosimi, is a Nigerian-British musician (born 22 February 1963, London).
His career began when he joined Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's Egypt 80 (1979–86). Sosimi then created Positive Force band with Femi Kuti, with whom he performed from 1986 to 1994. In both bands he was keyboard player, also musical director taking care of re-orchestrating and arranging music as well as handling the recruiting and training of new musicians.
Based on Afrobeat, Dele's music is a blend of complex funk grooves, Nigerian traditional music (including hi-life), African percussion, underpinning the jazz horns and solos from other instruments, as well as rhythmical singing.
His keyboard work can be heard on several of Fela's albums, as well as some of Femi's. Dele has also performed often with Tony Allen.
Following his first solo album Turbulent Times, he was invited to select the tracks for the 3-CD compilation "Essential Afrobeat" (Universal, 2004). He was producer and co-writer of "Calabash Volume 1: Afrobeat Poems" by Ikwunga, the Afrobeat Poet (2004). He is a central member of the Wahala Project. He has also featured on British rapper TY's album Closer and his "Turbulent Times" is featured on The Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project (2006). His album Identity has been described by Songlines magazine as “A sizzling set from London’s Afrobeat leader”.
His performances include the Montreux Jazz Festival, Joe Zawinul's Birdland (Vienna) the Treibhaus (Innsbruck ), Paradiso and Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Oerol Festival at Terschelling, also in the Netherlands, the Ollin Kan Festival (Mexico City), Canada Afrobeat Summit (Calgary, Canada), Sensommer Int Musikkfestival (Oslo, Norway), Festival Musicas Do Mar and Festival Musicas do Mundo (Portugal), Festival Art des Ville - Arts des Champs (France) & the London African Music Festival, Hot Club in Lyon and Cave à Musique in Mâcon (France). In November 2010, Sosimi was appointed Afrobeat music consultant for the London production of Fela! at the National Theatre, London, in which he also plays keyboard.
Based in London, Sosimi is an educator and instructor in Afrobeat (via his Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Foundation, and as a Visiting Lecturer in Music and Media, London Metropolitan University). He performs in one of three formats, each as compelling and funky as the others – a 15-piece Afrobeat Orchestra (featuring a 5-piece horn section and dancers), a 6- to 9-piece band (the most frequently used format) or a trio/quartet (with bass and drums/percussion).
Sosimi is abetted by a group of musicians. Afrobeat is given a virtuoso treatment by a core combination of Femi Elias (bass), Kunle Olofinjana (drums), Phil Dawson (rhythm guitar), Maurizio Ravalico (percussion), Justin Thurgur (trombone), Tom Allan (trumpet) and Eric Rohner (tenor saxophone).
Suzanna Lubrano - Zouk / African Pop / Coladeira / R&B / Batuqu / Bachata
Suzanna Lubrano (born November 10, 1975) is a Cape Verdean Zouk singer based in Rotterdam. Several albums have gone Gold and Platinum, while she has won major international music awards.
Born in Cape Verde, Suzanna Lubrano and her parents moved to the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands when she was four. She started to sing when she was still a young child, but picked up singing professionally when she was eighteen. She made her debut as a professional singer in the popular Cape Verdean band Rabelados. Together with Rabelados she recorded a very successful CD album. In the meantime Suzanna had already started a solo career, resulting in three solo CDs: her debut Sem bó nes mund, the successful follow up Fofó - including the megahit Ohi Li Oh La - and Tudo pa bo. On Tudo pa bo (Everything for you) Suzanna is not only working with Jorge do Rosario, Dabs Lopes and Beto Dias, as she has done on her previous albums, but also started a cooperation with Ronald Rubinel, who had previously asked Suzanna to participate on his Jeux de Dames and Zouk me Love CDs.
In 2004 she released the song Silêncio on a single CD. This song was not only released in Cape Verdean Creole, but also in English and Dutch. The song was written for a sad occasion: a 13-year-old Cape Verdean boy from the Dutch port city of Rotterdam murdered on the street in broad day light while playing in the snow with his friends.
In summer 2007, Suzanna's new single Gone was released, the first single from her upcoming album Saida, released in 2008. The Saida album contains 19 songs: Zouk Love/Kizomba tracks, written in cooperation with Ronald Rubinel (Edith Lefel) and Jacob Desvarieux (Kassav'), acoustic songs, written together with Marcos Fernandez, Kim Alves and others, and a couple of R&B tracks in English, written in cooperation with producer Marcus "DL" Sisklind, Ryan Toby, Dre Robinson and others. The Saida album is released by Mass Appeal Entertainment. Most of the songs are recorded at the Blue Jay Recording Studio, owned by Kevin Richardson, formerly of the Backstreet Boys and Saida's producer Marcus "DL" Siskind.
In May 2009, Suzanna Lubrano released het fifth soloalbum, Festa Mascarado. It is a predominantly Zouk and Zouk R&B album, with sidesteps to Bachata and Batuku. On Festa Mascarado Suzanna has collaborations with Ronald Rubinel, Marcus Fernandez, Rafael Payan, Nellson Klasszik, Adalberto Lopes, Denis Graca and others. The album also includes a rap of the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.
In June 2010, Suzanna Lubrano released her first DVD, "Live at Off-Corso", featuring Dutch saxophone player Candy Dulfer as a special guest. "Live at Off-Corso" originally was a TV concert which has been televised in numerous countries, including Brazil, Portugal and many others. In December 2011, Suzanna Lubrano launched her new single Ca Bu Para, and in April 2012 the song Tardi di Mas, produced by Giorgio Tuinfort. Both songs will appear on her upcoming Latin Pop album, to be released in 2012. She is also working on a new English language dance album. The first two songs from that album, Loving You Forever and Don't Go Changing are scheduled for release in 2012.
Achievements and other highlights:
In December 2003 Suzanna won the prestigious Kora All African Music Award for both Best West African Female and Best African Female at an event watched by 600 million TV viewers worldwide.
She was the first and until now only Cape Verdean artist to win this prestigious award, as well as the first and until now only Netherlands based artist.
She was personally congratulated by both the Capeverdean President and Prime Minister, the mayor of her home city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam, as well as the Dutch Minister of Development Cooperation.
Suzanna Lubrano is a Capeverdean diplomatic passport holder and the Godmother of a new Boeing of TACV Cape Verdean Airlines. Other awards include a Cabo Music Award for best singer and best duo.
In June 2010, Suzanna won the Museke Online African Music Award for best African Artist based in the Diaspora.
In March 2011 she was the most awarded female solo artist at the first Cabo Verde Music Awards, winning two awards for "Festa Mascarado"
Throughout the years, Suzanna Lubrano has received Gold and Platinum albums in Africa for various releases.
Suzanna Lubrano's "Live at Off-Corso TV Concert" has been transmitted by many national TV networks in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Tee Mac Omatshola ISELI - Afro Classical Pop
Dr. Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli (MFR) is a Nigerian flutist with cross-cultural Itsekiri and Swiss roots.
Omatshola combined his first degree in Economics from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, with a specialization in classical music concert performance and philharmonic composition of the University of Lausanne. During a rich career spanning over 40 years, Omatshola formed numerous bands, including Tee Mac & Afro Collection in the 1970s.
He recorded his first LP, United, with Polydor International in Germany with his European band Tee Mac United, in the late seventies. Omatshola hit the global music charts with two songs: "Fly Robin Fly", and "Get Up & Boogie" (owns 50% of the copy right) and toured extensively with his third band, Silver Convention, in the mid seventies.
He worked with celebrated Nigerian singer Shirley Bassey as her musical arranger & conductor and also worked as a composer for Cidi Croft Enterprise and later for Universal Films in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Even though Omatshola spent a lot of time touring across the globe (Far East, Latin America, Europe, North America and South Africa), he always invested in local Nigerian initiatives, becoming one of the pioneers of the Classical Music Society of Nigeria which eventually founded the Muson Center, Nigeria’s leading music school.
In 2007 Omatshola was elected President of the Musician Union of Nigeria PMAN, investing time and energy into helping develop the Nigerian entertainment industry. In 2009 he was appointed the Nigerian director of the Motherland Group, (initiated by Michael Jackson’s brother, Marlon, of The Jackson 5) which is getting support from the Lagos State Government to build a Historical Slave Museum in Badagry. In 2011 he was elected Chairman of FAMECorp, owned by top Nigerian Musicians and Nollywood stars, to build Cinema houses and concert halls all over Nigeria.
Omatshola was awarded the Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) national honor by Nigeria’s President Yar’adua in 2009 for his vital role in brokering peace with the Niger Delta militants and fighting for their rehabilitation. In 2011 he received an honorary doctorate degree in Arts from Bradley University in Illinois, where he serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and teaches philharmonic composition as visiting Associate Professor.
Omatshola invested into Solid Minerals (he is the Chairman of Allied Minerals Ltd., Cass-Cotan Mining and Processing Ltd.) Chairman of Tee Mac Petroleum (Nig) Ltd. Chairman of Tee Mac Productions (owns a recording Studio), Chairman of the board of the Tee Mac-HEMLA Foundation (to build music schools for the under privileged youths of Nigeria), Chairman of ACC ( Anti Counterfeiting Collaboration, an association of Trade Mark owners), Chairman of “The Entertainment Foundation of Nigeria” umbrella of all the Entertainment Associations of Nigeria, Music and Films; Director in Hemla-Ogoni Resources Ltd. Director in D&H Energy Nig. Ltd. and the West African representative of Daewoo & Hemla (Norway) Gas and Oil solutions and Executive Director and Shareholder in James Bay Engergy Nig. Ltd.
Bez - Afro Funk / Jazz / Afro hip-hop
Emmanuel Bezhiwa Idakula, known as Bez (born 10 November 1983), is a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and composer, working in a genre known as "alternative soul", a hybrid of soul, rock, jazz and R&B. He was featured in Pulse Magazine as number one on the list of "Top 12 Musicians To Look Out For in 2014".
Bez's album Super Sun was released in 2011, and includes the single "That Stupid Song". The Boston Globe placed this song at number 3 in its top ten world music albums of 2011, calling Bez a "superb alternative-soul singer". Connect Nigeria called it "unusual and just a perfect blend for a debut album"
In an interview with Vanguard Nigeria, Bez stated "That Stupid Song" was created accidentally when someone entered the studio requesting "a stupid song". Bez's producer, the talented song writer and music producer, Cobhams Asuquo, thought to create a song that was a mixture of different songs they sang while growing up. They invited Praiz to do a collaboration with Bez and they recorded "That Stupid Song" the next day.
Bez enjoys being on stage: "Once I get on stage, it goes crazy from there. We perform with our hearts and just go in. It's great energy on stage and we try to keep it that way till the end." Recording in the studio also has many rewards. "Sometimes it may be down to business, other times and most of the time… it's just pure unadulterated fun!!"
Bez performed at many events in 2012: The New Africa Shrine in Harlem, New York; the Applause Africa Award ceremony honouring Angélique Kidjo in Manhattan, New York; Arts Alive Festival and Moshito Music Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa; Africa Utopia at Southbank Centre in London, UK; Africa Leadership Network Annual conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Nigeria House pre-Olympic concerts in London, UK. He also performed for Sol Village at SOBs in Manhattan, New York, and for the TML100 event in Nairobi, Kenya. He also performed in the "Spinlet All African Showcase, (the first of its kind), at SXSW in Austin, Texas; in March 2012. His Super Sun Concert in Nigeria, in December 2012, received raves.
In 2013, Bez made the American tour in March, and the European tour which was held later in the summer of the same year. He also played the Slide and Bounce Tour, sponsored by Globacom.
Timi Dakolo - Afro hip-hop / Gospel
Timi Dakolo (born; January 20, 1981) is a Nigerian singer. He emerged winner of the inaugural season of Idols West Africa in 2007, at the expense of the amazingly talented Omawumi Megbele. With his victory, he got a recording contract with Sony BMG, in addition to other prizes.
Idols West Africa:
In 2006, Dakolo auditioned for reality show Idols West Africa in Calabar. His songs of choice were Commissioned's More Than I and Lemar's Time to Grow. His vocals impressed the judges, and was seen as a contender for the prize. A week before the viewing of the Top 24 performances, Dakolo received the news that his grandmother had died.
Dakolo first auditioned in Calabar, Cross River State of Nigeria with Commissioned's More Than I and Lemar's Time to Grow. While in the competition, Timi Dakolo was never in the bottom 3. In the final three weeks of the competition it was revealed by the producers of the show that Timi had the highest number of votes each of those weeks.
While in the competition, Timi's grandmother died, a week before the viewing of the Top 24 performances. This was a big emotional blow to him. At that time, he turned to his Christian faith for strength to pull through in the competition. Before going to Idols West Africa, Timi was a student of Communication Studies in the University of Port Harcourt.
Bimbo Gomero – Solo Dancer / Chorographer
Bimbo Gomero is an actor, known for Cirque du Soleil: Delirium (2008)
The winner of the 1988 world dance championship in Portugal
Atilogwu is a traditionally spirited youth dance from the Igbo ethnic group of Nigeria that focuses on vigorous body movement and often includes acrobatics. In the Igbo language, the word itself “Atilogwu” translates into “has magic—as in sorcery/ witchcraft—been put into it?”
The name stems from rumors that bewitchment or magic potions had to be involved if the children of the village could perform so exuberantly and energetically, while making it look so effortless. The tempo of the dance matches the tempo of the music, which is dependent on the beat of the drum and “ogene,” a metal gong instrument.
The dance is usually performed during festivals and the festivity will also include exotic dishes created from authentic Nigerian recipes, served buffet style.
Dance of the rainforest