The Souljazz Orchestra Autumn Tour

souljazz_orchestra5_cropWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The Souljazz Orchestra is simply one of the hardest working, must see live bands in the business. With their incendiary new album Resistance out now, the Ottawa-based sextet lead by Pierre Chrétien is taking to the road for an absolutely epic series of dates that sees them taking their very own fusion of roots music, jazz and funk from their native Canada to Europe and back again, making converts as they go. Dress light, as these shows will be HOT!

Resistance is available now via online retail and the Strut Store.

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Full Tour Dates

Sep 12 – Port Hope, CA – All-Canadian Jazzfest
Sep 26 – Ottawa, CA – Babylon Nightclub
Oct 03 – Lausanne, CH – Holy Groove Festival
Oct 04 – London, UK – Jazz Cafe
Oct 05 – Zurich, CH – Moods
Oct 08 – Beauvais, FR – L’Ouvre-Boîte
Oct 09 – Sannois, FR – EMB
Oct 10 – Rennes, FR – Ubu
Oct 11 – Laval, FR – 6PAR4
Oct 13 – Paris, FR – New Morning
Oct 14 – Massy, FR – Paul B
Oct 15 – Lyon, FR – Marché Gare
Oct 16 – Montpellier, FR – Rockstore
Oct 17 – Chalon-sur-Saône, FR – La Péniche
Oct 19 – Bristol, UK – The Lantern
Oct 20 – Liverpool, UK – The Kazimier
Oct 22 – Milan, IT – Biko Club
Oct 23 – Barcelona, SP – Say It Loud
Oct 24 – Madrid, SP – Sala Clamores
Oct 25 – Berlin, DE – Yaam
Oct 27 – Bochum, DE – Bahnhof Langendreer
Oct 29 – Cologne, DE – Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
Oct 30 – Pfarrkirchen, DE – Club Bogaloo
Oct 31 – Offenbach, DE – Hafen 2
Nov 03 – Vienna, AT – Andino
Nov 04 – Prague, CZ – AghaRTA
Nov 05 – Athens, GR – GazARTE
Nov 07 – Marseille, FR – Cabaret Aléatoire
Nov 14 – Gatineau, QC – Le Petit Chicago
Nov 20 – Hamilton, CA – This Ain’t Hollywood
Nov 21 – Toronto, CA – Lee’s Palace
Nov 27 – Québec, CA – Le Cercle
Nov 28 – Montréal, CA – La Sala Rossa

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band Tour Europe

Rehearsal photo 3 cropThe self titled debut album from legendary Ghanaian vocalist Pat Thomas and his newly formed Kwashibu Area band was one of the soundtracks to our summer. Firmly rooted in the tradition of classic West African musicianship, the album showcases Thomas’ incredible voice and reinvigorates our love of Highlife. This Autumn, Thomas and company are hitting the road together, performing tracks from the album as well as classics from throughout Pat Thomas’ career. Don’t miss an opportunity to see one of the foremost living practioners of Highlife music, live in the flesh.

Pat Thomas And Kwashibu Area Band is available now via digital retailers and the Strut Store.

01.10.15 – Norwich, UK: Norwich Arts Centre
02.10.15 – London, UK: Richmix
03.10.15 – Cornwall, UK: Mount Pleasant Eco Park
04.10.15 – Whitstable, UK: Duke of Cumberland
07.10.15 – Brussels, BE: AB Club
08.10.15 – Paris, FR: New Morning
09.10.05 – Zurich, CH: Stall 6
10.10.15 – Lyon, FR: Le Sucre
15.10.15 – Rotterdam, NL: Lantaren Venster
16.10.15 – Groningen, NL: De Oosterport
17.10.15 – Utrecht, NL: Rasa
18.10.15 – Amsterdam, NL: Paradiso
20.10.15 – Berlin, DE: Bi Nuu
21.10.15 – Warsaw, PL: Pardon To Tu
22.10.15 – Vienna, AT: Fluc
24.10.15 – Budapest, HU: Womex
29.10.15 – Rome, IT: Afropolitan
30.10.15 – Bologna, IT: Locomotiv
31.10.15 – Milan, IT: Biko Club

Orlando Julius Tours USA In September

OrlandoLiveVeteran Nigerian saxophonist and pioneer of Afro soul and Afrobeat, Orlando Julius, embarks on his first set of US dates in over a decade this Autumn. Expect to hear tracks from his acclaimed new studio album with The Heliocentrics, Jaiyede Afro, alongside a host of classics from his incredible 50-year career including “Alo Mi Alo,” “James Brown Ride On,” “Jagua Nana” and “Ijo Soul,” the track which allegedly influenced James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good).” It’s a one-off chance to catch one of Africa’s all-time great musicians, live and direct.

Jaiyede Afro is available now via digital retailers and the Strut Store.

(Photo by Mariagrazia Giove)

September 18th: Chicago, IL / Mayne Stage ‘World Music Festival Chicago’
September 19th: Chicago, IL / Mayne Stage ‘World Music Festival Chicago’
September 24th: Philadelphia, PA / venue tba
September 25th: New York, NY / Le Poisson Rouge
September 26th: Albuquerque, NM / National Hispanic Cultural Center

Record Store Day 2015: Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra: Planets Of Life Or Death

Sun Ra Planets final cover
In celebration of Record Store Day 2015, Strut and Art Yard join forces once more for the first release anywhere of a live Sun Ra performance from Amiens, France in 1973, Planets Of Life Or Death. Recorded direct from the soundboard and mastered from first generation reel to reel, the title is exclusively available for Record Store Day 2015.

Sun Ra and his Arkestra had just completed a residency at the legendary Gibus in Paris in October before traveling to Amiens for a visceral Sunday afternoon concert. “Sun Ra’s use of the Arkestra as his instrument in an onslaught of sound, colour and movement stimulated and even shocked the senses and the shakras of audience participants onto a higher plane of spirit consciousness,” explains the Arkestra’s Knoel Scott.

On Side 1, the session kicks off with the theatrical overture, ‘Enlightenment’ as Sun Ra and vocalist June Tyson invite the audience to “be of our space world.” Ra then moves into a rare instrumental version of ‘Love In Outer Space,’ transforming the perennial Arkestra classic into a raw, ritualistic experience.

Side 2 of the album opens with the glistening ‘Lights On A Satellite’ led by the spiritual tenor sax of John Gilmore. Closing track, the epic, chaotic, anxious ‘Discipline 27-II / What Planet Is This’ features Sun Ra and June Tyson take a thinly veiled psychedelic swipe at life on earth: “If this is a planet of life, why do people die here?”

Planets Of Life Or Death follows 2014’s landmark compilation presented by Marshall Allen, In the Orbit Of Ra. The release features rare photos from Sun Ra’s 1973 European tour by photographer Jan Persson with sleeve notes by Knoel Scott.

Stream a track from the album below. Information on participating stores for RSD 2015 is available here.

Inside ‘African Sounds:’ Nelson Mandela’s 65th Birthday Concert, London, 1983

The musicians and promoters behind the ‘African Sounds’ concert at Alexandra Palace, London in July 1983, tell the story of the first music event to raise awareness of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment and the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. Featured interviews include Julian Bahula, concert promoter and founding member of the bands Malombo and Jabula, his wife Liza and Jerry Dammers of The Specials. Inspired by seeing Jabula’s ‘Mandela’ performed live at the concert, Dammers went on to write the massive Special AKA hit, ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ and set up Artists Against Apartheid in the UK.

While the concerts did much to raise awareness for Mandela and the politics of apartheid in South Africa, years later the architects of the event series ponder the fuzzy overlap of politics and entertainment, and wonder whether it would have been possible to more actively engage with the African ex-pat musicians,

Julian Bahula’s work in various musical projects is collected on the album ‘Spirit of Malombo,’ out now on Strut, and available at your favorite local record shop, as well as iTunes, Amazon, and the Strut Store.