If you want to listen to jazz that is fun and has great musicality then search no more. The Balimaya Project a 16-piece band is winning fans all over the world. The band was started by percussionist, Yahael Camara Onono in London, U.K. in 2019. The music is a mix of West African folk music and U.K. jazz. It's fun and energetic and reminds me of the jazz band Kokoroko.
The band uses instruments from the Mandé people of Senegal and Mali. Since their inception, they wanted to bring kinship with the rest of the members of the band. The band's name Balimaya Project comes from the Maninka language meaning kinship. The Mandé people believe that kinship is not just family members but also those that are extended family and friends. Many of the band members although born in London have an African heritage that they bring to this project. They were recently nominated for Album of the Year in the Africa and Middle East categories by Songlines Magazine. The Balimaya Project made its debut in 2021 with the album, Wolo So and it received raving reviews. They have sold out shows in and around the U.K. and other parts of the world that people just can't stop talking about them. I'm hoping they come to the U.S. and play some dates here and especially here in NYC. They just released their latest single, Season of Baraka and I expect a new album soon. Check out these amazing and talented musicians and support independent music worldwide. Happy listening!
Seasons of Baraka