Yahael Camara Onono grew up in London, but has been interested in the musical legacy of his West African roots from an early age. With his formation Balimaya Project, he deepens those roots and mixes them with contemporary jazz and afrobeat.
Balimaya can rightly be called a big band: seventeen musicians collaborated on debut album Wolo So, many of whom are no strangers to the bustling London jazz scene. Percussion plays a central role in the compositions – Camara Onono herself mainly plays the djembe, but West African instruments such as the sakara, dunun and shekere are also featured. So count on a performance in which stirring drum rhythms are never far to seek.
“A deeply satisfying mix of folk rhythms from the Mandé people with Fela Kuti-referencing horn lines and jazz improvisations” – The Guardian