Few artists have been more crucial for the invention, development, and popularization of Afro-pop than Orlando Julius. Starting in the '60s, Julius was fusing traditional African sounds and rhythms with those of American pop, soul, and R&B. Aside from performing and recording in his native Nigeria, he spent many years in the United States working on collaborations with Lamont Dozier, the Crusaders, and Hugh Masekela. His 1966 effort, “Super Afro Soul”, made him a national celebrity in Nigeria and even went so far as to influence music in the United States. The record's dramatic, highly melodic incorporation of soul, pop, and funk was very much ahead of its time, and some say that “Super Afro Soul” helped to shape the funk movement that swept over the United States in subsequent years. In early 2014, the renowned British band Heliocentrics brought him to their studio in North London, where they backed him in a series of recordings that featured vintage tunes that had never been recorded as well as new compositions. On “Jaiyede Afro” album, Julius takes us back to his roots, revisiting several compositions from his early years, which have never previously been recorded. Like their memorable collaborations with Mulatu Astatke and Lloyd Miller, The Heliocentrics takes Orlando’s sound into new, progressive directions, retaining the raw grit of his early work, and adding psychedelic touches and adventurous new arrangements.
20 October MKC Dancing Hall, 24:00