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Dj Lubi presents...

LONDON AFROBEAT COLLECTIVE - "ESENGO" ALBUM LAUNCH

+ Kontiki

Leeds world music/global beats promoter DJ Lubi continues his excellent series of African music concerts at the Brudenell. In the past 4 years he's featured great shows from international and UK based bands including KOG, Santrofi, ONIPA, Jembaa Groove, Ubunye, Newen Afrobeat and tonight's headliners London Afrobeat Collective. It's been 4 years since their last Leeds show (also at Brudenell), so it's good to welcome them back to launch their new album.
 
Taking inspiration from afrobeat father Fela Kuti as well as artists including Ebo Taylor, Parliament, Funkadelic and Havana d’Primera, London Afrobeat Collective’s music and multi-lingual performances in English, Spanish, Lingala, and French have won them admirers across the UK and Europe. On the 14th February 2024, they are set to release their new album ‘Esengo’ via Canopy Records.

This eight-strong multi-cultural collective from England, Italy, France, Congo, Argentina, and New Zealand, combine traditional afrobeat and hi-life with funk, jazz, Latin, and dub to deliver party music born of their truly global DNA. A regular on the touring circuit and celebrated for their raucous energy, heavy dance grooves and conscious lyrics, the band has rocked major stages from the Glastonbury Festival to the Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria, via Imagina Funk (Spain), Fusion Festival (Germany), Cully Jazz (Switzerland), Tempo Latino (France), Earth Garden (Malta) and many more.

Releasing their debut album ‘L.A.C.’ in 2010, London Afrobeat Collective were shortlisted for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Award, opening the West Holts stage in 2011. A host of festival dates followed including Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Green Man and Cheltenham Jazz Festival, with follow-up album ‘Food Chain’ released in 2015 to critical acclaim. With recent knock out performances stretching from opening the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (Scotland) to Bardentreffen (Germany), Tempo Latino (France) Couleur Café (Brussels), Cully Jazz (Switzerland), Earth Garden (Malta), Kala (Albania), Jazz in the Park (Romania) and many more venues across Europe, the band have also been busy in the studio, working on their fourth studio album.

The resulting ‘Esengo’, produced by Sonny Johns (Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela, Oumou Sangare, Ali Farke Toure, Polar Bear), showcases London Afrobeat Collective’s love and respect for the traditions of afrobeat. With acclaimed Congolese singer Juanita Euka on vocals once more, ‘Esengo’ channels the spirit of Fela Kuti but with a willingness to create original music that crosses genres. Afrobeat is the foundation of their sound but with added elements of Congolese rumba, Ghanaian highlife and Afro-Cuban rhythms. 

Lead single and album opener ‘Topesa Esengo Na Motema’, finds the band in a lighter yet spirited mood, celebrating the joy of living, reconnecting, and getting back on the road once more, while the groove-heavy ‘My Way’ is a refreshing blast of tight percussion and powerhouse vocals from Euka. Elsewhere, ‘Freedom’ perfectly captures the raw, soulful energy of their raucous live performances, while the blaring horns of ‘El Ritmo De Londres’ and easy, loose rhythms of ‘De Kinshasa À Sona Bata’ showcase London Afrobeat Collective at their rousing finest.

The players are : Juanita Euka (vocals), Alex Farrell (rhythm guitar), Alex Szyjanowicz (lead guitar), John Mathews (bass), Luigi Casanova (bass), Giuliano Osella (drums), Richie Sweet (percussion), Klibens Michelet (Baritone Saxophone) and Andy Watts (Trumpet).

“...fantastic emblem of the vibrant London Afrobeat scene... the group establish a perfectly mixed groove that immediately ensnares the listener” - Songlines

“London's answer to Fela Kuti” - Jazzwise

“Hard-driving, politically-charged, rhythmic, irresistibly-danceable music” - All About Jazz

“A fulsome evocation of Fela Kuti’s continually inspiring blend of The J.B.’s-style jazz-funk horns lashed to a relentless mix of funky highlife and Yoruba, all delivered with aplomb....”  - Time Out

Have a listen…

Saturday 9th March 2024

Price: £12.50 advance + booking fee / £10.00 advance students + booking fee

Doors 19:30

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