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JAJA MATSIMELA: Bio

JAJA MATSIMELA: BIO

“Musical performance, whether live or recorded, should cut into the consciousness and heart of a listener with the same care and precision that a diamond cutter cuts into a stone.” Such is the philosophy of Kwasi, percussionist and leader of the ‘World Music’ band Jaja Matsimela. The Flavors of Africa, Brazil, Cuba and the Caribbean convene with the sounds of Motown, Philly, Blues from the Delta, and Jazz from 52nd Street to propel, the listener into a world alive with thought and movement. This provocative- by -nature band’s mix of arrangements is smooth and balanced. Just like a cut diamond. The group’s recent release of their new CD Blues Sauce featuring 10 songs made for a fiery and soulful listening experience, powered by urban rhythms and melodies, cultural versatility and a jazzy African back-beat.

This is some of the hippest “fusion” music made in the early 21st century by a band that has unlimited potential, and deserves attention far beyond its home environs.
- Michael G. Nastos Rovi (Allmusic.com)

Very good CD reaction is very good I am still playing it now. Thanks again.
- riddim master VIBES 90.6-FM United Kingdom

An excellent album from beginning to end, with melodies in 6/8 as in Moon Goddess with hot Cha Cha Cha in the case of Blues Sauce (the best style of Poncho Sanchez) and a lot more. - DJ El Chino-Cali Colombia

Jaja evolved from an idea Kwasi had when he wanted to lay down more eclectic arrangements to Reggae, Blues and Latin Jazz.
The members of Jaja are: Kwasi (Congas, Bongos, Timbales, principal songwriter, and arranger); “Big Bill” Williams (Music Director, Flute, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Sax); Laurent “LB” Bass (Harmonica, Soprano, Alto, and Tenor Sax); Harry Rosario (Bass); Jeff Johnson (Drums); Isaac Castro (Piano).
On stage the personalities are juiced and alive, whether it LB blowing fire, riding the rhythm of his sax, Isaac burning up the keys of his piano, Harry giving life new meaning through his bass, Jeff’s magnetic grooves, or Big Bill cracking jokes during his gusty playing. “And Big Bill’s playing can make your hair stand on end.” says Kwasi

“The components of our music naturally stimulate your emotions and other senses,” says Kwasi. “It can excite, relax and even make you create vivid images in your mind.” This gift to stimulate has earned these players critical acclaim and recognition from performances at The Philadelphia Film and Music Festival, The Kimmel Center, World Café Live, The Mellon Jazz Festival, The Painted Bride Art Center, The Bethlehem (PA) Music Festival, and The SoHo Music Festival in Connecticut (Headlining under the name of Mozambique). Jazz On My Mind TV (Internet stream) Their music and interviews have been heard worldwide.

This mix of Soul, Latin, African, and Jazz is so hot it could ignite a fire in the heaviest rain storm. -Richard T Blackwell - Jazz On My Mind.TV