Includes African dance lesson at 9 pm.
With a greatly expanded band of Nigerian and American musicians, the Afro-Groove ConneXion is the newest project from Babá Ken Okulolo, the great Nigerian bassist and singer known for leading such popular bands as Kotoja, the folk-roots Nigerian Brothers, and the West African Highlife Band. Afro-Groove trumpeter Will Magid opens the night with his trio, playing its own mix of African and jazz blends.
The Afro-Groove ConneXion updates and expands to a world view the musical and cultural ideas that Okulolo began to develop as far back as the early 1970s in Nigeria with Joni Haastrup and their groundbreaking band Monomono. This may be his deepest, funkiest band yet. Featuring a lineup of top Nigerian and American musicians, the colorful ensemble spices up its musical blend with jazz, funk, highlife, and juju. With Okulolo on lead vocals and bass, Afro-Groove ConneXion is drummer Lemi Barrow, talking drum and conga player Rasaki Aladokun (formerly with King Sunny Ade), guitarists Patrick Owens and Ron van Leeuwaarde, keyboardist Jennifer Jolly, and the horn section of trumpeters Will Magid and Henry Hung, tenor saxophonist Zack Pitt-Smith, and Danny Bittker on baritone sax. The tightly focused ensemble delivers Okulolo’s message of a better world through music, the universal language.
Following a recent West African tour with performances in Ghana, Togo, and Mali, trumpeter, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist Will Magid brings his compact Will Magid Trio to Ashkenaz, featuring music from his recently released CD, “Midnight High.” Based in the Bay Area (after studying ethnomusicology at UCLA), Magid is often on the road, having performed on every continent except Antarctica in bands led by everyone from Solomon Burke and Kenny Burrell to Afrolicious and Mutaytor. Magid’s own music is a mix of live electro-swing, deep house, and Afro-funk, with more than a little jazz improvisation.
When & Where
Ashkenaz is the East Bay's home to world music & dance... established 1973; nonprofit since 1997. We are always all ages! Kids 12 & under are admitted free unless otherwise noted.
All of our online ticket sales are will call. We will have a list of ticket buyers at the door; you do not need to bring a printout of your ticket/order confirmation.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, or 30 minutes before the dance lesson if there is one, unless otherwise noted.
Ashkenaz's Café opens when doors open and offers beer (draft and bottled), wine, kombucha, juices, sodas, coffee and tea, and snacks and light meals (all vegetarian, mostly organic).