Jazz Matters Digs Afrika

Back in 1975, my African musical odyssey kicked off with the infectious beats of Osibisa "Sunshine Day" blasting from the radio. My musical radar was on high alert, and without a second thought, I found myself on my way to the record shop, leaving with my newfound treasure.

From that moment on, I was on a relentless quest for more sounds that resonated with the rhythms that had captured my soul. Thankfully, serendipity led me to an independent record store specializing in Ska, Bluebeat, Reggae, and African music. It was there that I was introduced to the iconic Fela Kuti, and my musical landscape expanded exponentially.

The vast realm of African music unfolded before me, revealing the enchanting melodies of wandering minstrels, the wonderful rhythms of West Coast Latin, Ethiopian Jazz and the regal sounds of African music royalty. Each discovery felt like stumbling upon a hidden gem, adding layers to my ever-growing musical tapestry.

In a fortunate twist of fate, much later on, I had the opportunity to book Tony Allan and Ty during their UK tour. Their unique blend of sounds, which they dubbed African Hop, resonated deeply with me. Little did I know that this encounter would not only forge musical connections but also steer me towards the orbit of Peter Gabriel's record label.

Life has a way of weaving together the threads of our passions, and in my case, it was the beats and melodies of Africa that formed the intricate pattern of my musical journey. Through chance encounters, record shop discoveries, and the camaraderie with fellow music enthusiasts like Tony Allan and Ty, my connection to the vibrant tapestry of African music has only grown stronger.