Sunday, May 27, 2018

ORCHESTRE POLY-RYTHMO // Legendary African Orchestra celebrate 50-year anniversary with UK + Ireland Tour

“Angular melodies, punchy horn lines, psychedelic guitar, an injection of funk and insistent, powerful percussion-beaten out on drums, gourds, bells and shakers. It’s music you can’t ignore.” THE GUARDIAN

"A punchy horn section and superb percussionists who drawn strongly on Benin’s powerful ‘voodoo’ rhythms to create the Poly-Rythmo sound." THE EVENING STANDARD

The undisputed kings of voodoo music, the legendary Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, are currently celebrating an incredible 50 years together. One of the most prominent, prolific, and successful African bands of all time, the band are set to perform seven shows in June throughout the UK and Ireland, including a performance at the world famous Jazz Café in London on the 15th June.

In what is set to be a unique set of shows, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo are the longest-running African Orchestra, who released hundreds of songs and EPs throughout the 60s and 70s as well as being rediscovered in recent years by cult labels Analog Africa and Soundway.

Their mixture of utterly danceable rhythms with punchy brass choruses and spidery guitar riffs makes for a celebration of the all best things about West African music.

Blending traditional Beninese music, American soul and funk, Nigerian afrobeat, Congolese rumba, Ghanaian high-life, French pop and Afro-Cuban rhythms in their own unique style, their magnificent live show and unparalleled musical output shows them truly worthy of their full name: Le Tout Puissant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou (The All Powerful Polyrhtyhmic Orchestra of Cotonou).

Originally from the coastal town of Cotonou in Benin, they formed in the mid-1960s and performed until the early 1980s all around Africa. Their name referred to the rhythmic dexterity that the group possessed, switching as they could between traditional Vodun rhythmic styles of Benin, the Afrobeat popular in Lagos and around Nigeria, the high-life style from Ghana, the rumba rhythms of Congo, and pretty much anything else that they tried their hand at.

Reuniting in 2008, they recorded the 2011 album ‘Cotonou Club’, remarkably, their first ever studio album, but were hit with tragedy with the death of their leader, Mélomé Clément before singer Vincent Ahehehinnou revived the band for the 2016 album, ‘Madjafalao’.

Their music has since found new audiences around the world.

Catch Orchestre Poly-Rythmo at the following venues:

Fri 15th LONDON Jazz Café
Sat 16th DUBLIN Sugar Club
Sun 17th LIVERPOOL Africa Oye
Tue 19th NORWICH Norwich Arts Centre
Wed 20th LEEDS Opera North
Thur 21st MANCHESTER Band on the Wall
Fri 22nd GLASGOW Jazz Festival