Orchestra Baobab and Jazz in the Round @ Bray Jazz Festival 2024

Orchestra Baobab and Jazz in the Round @ Bray Jazz Festival 2024

Saturday, 4 May 2024, 8.00pm

Orchestra Baobab and Jazz in the Round perform at Mermaid Arts Centre on 4 May as part of a double bill line-up

Orchestra Baobab are one of West Africa’s greatest bands.

A 10-piece ensemble who first emerged from the heart of the medina in Senegal’s bustling capital, Dakar, in the 1960s, Baobab’s combination of Afro-Cuban, West African griot and international pop stylings have won them legions of fans across the globe for half a century.

Orchestra Baobab, who have been described by some as an African version of Cuba’s Bueno Vista Social Club, still play with the verve, energy and exuberance that have served them so well for half a century.

Indeed, their rammed to the rafters show at London’s Union Chapel in 2022 was ranked second only to Lady Gaga at Wembley Stadium as ‘gig of the year’ by Time Out Magazine!

Orchestra Baobab’s music is a heady mix of floating riffs, blaring sax, driving rhythmic beats and smooth, accessible grooves. The songs are performed in a mix of Wolof, Portuguese Creole, French, and Malinke, illustrating both the complex cultural history of West Africa, and also the licence it has given them to draw from soul and salsa, rumba and jazz, reggae and country, in their wildly captivating live shows.

Jazz in the Round with Tommy Halferty, Greg Felton & Cormac O’Brien – opening for Orchestra Baobab

A new band of old hands, ‘Jazz in the Round’ is a trio led by legendary Irish guitarist Tommy Halftery.

The irrepressible guitarist is joined by seasoned pros – pianist Greg Felton and bass player Cormac O’Brien for a set that combines new arrangements of old favourites, and original music that navigates the rich harmonic backdrops of composers including Carla Bley, John Abercrombie and Cole Porter.

Tommy Halferty has been honing his craft for over fifty years, and has worked with an impressive array of international greats – Benny Golson, Stephane Grapelli, Lee Konitz and John Abercrombie included. He has also worked closely with the UK’s great jazz singing star Norma Winstone, with whom he has played Bray Jazz on two occasions down through the years.

He is joined here by bassist Cormac O’Brien and pianist Greg Felton, two mainstays of Dublin’s jazz scene for the last few decades.

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Added by The Journal of Music on 10 April 2024

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