Dele Sosimi

Name variation: Dele Shosimi
Style: Afrobeat, Afro Jazz
Profile: Producer, keyboardist and singer.
In Groups: Fela's Anikulapo-Kuti's Egypt 80, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti and the Positive Force
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Dele Sosimi stands out as one of the most active musicians currently on the Afrobeat scene worldwide.

Dele’s career began when he joined Fela’s Anikulapo-Kuti’s Egypt 80 (1979–1986) and then subsequently with Fela’s son Femi Anikulapo-Kuti’s Positive Force (1986–1994). In both bands he was musical director and keyboard player. Since Fela created Afrobeat, Dele’s Afrobeat pedigreee is therefore impeccable. The music is a blend of complex but highly danceable funk grooves, Nigerian traditional music (including hi-life), African percussion, underpinning the jazz horns and solos from other instruments, as well as rhythmical singing. Dele toured extensively around the world with Fela and Femi, re-orchestrating and arranging music and also handling the re-cruiting and training of new musicians. His key board work can be heard on Fela’s Power Show, Original
Sufferhead, MOP 1 (Movement of the People), Authority Stealing, Army Arrangeement, ITT (International Thief Thief), and Teacher Don’t Teach Me Non-sense, and on Femi’s albums No Cause for Alarm and Mind Your Own Business. Dele has also performed often with Tony Allen, the king of Afrobeat drumming.

Turbulent Times» (Eko Star 2002), he was invited to select the tracks for the 3-CD compilation entitled «Essential Afrobeat» (Universal, 2004). He was producer and co-writer of «Calabash Volume 1: Afrobeat Poems» by Ikwunga, the Afrobeat Poet (2004). He is a central member of the Wahala Project, whose single Wahala appears on Puma’s 2006 Soccer World Cup Compilation CD. He h as also featured on British rapper TY’s recent album Closer (on the track Sweating for your Salary), and his Turbulent Times is
featured on The Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project (2006). His new album «Identity» is out on limited edition pre-release (22 June 2007) and the full album will be out in October 2007 (Helico Records). His live shows are ALWAYS electric, and the crowd response is ALWAYS massive. He has performed all over the world (for example, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Joe Zawinul’s Birdland (Vienna – Dele was invited to perform as a guest alongside the late great Joe Zawinul at his Charity Event for survivors of Hurricane Katrina), the Treibhaus (Innsbruck), Paradiso, (Amsterdam), Bimhuis (Amsterdam) Oerol Festival (Terschelling, Holland), the Ollin Kan Festival (Mexico City), Afrikadey! Canada Afrobeat Summit in Calgary (August 2007), Sensommer Int Musik - kfestival 2007 Oslo, Norway (August 2007) and in London (frequent appearances at the Jazz Café, Kemia Bar at Momo’s,«The Shrine», and the South Bank Centre (Queen Elizabeth Hall & Purcell Room), Soho Jazz Festival), to name a few.

Currently based in London, Dele is an educator and instructor in Afrobeat (via his Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Foundation, and as a Visiting Lecturer in Music and Media, London Metropolitan University). Dele performs in one of three formats, each as compelling and funky as the others – a 15-piece Afrobeat Orchestra (featuring a 5-piece horn section and dancers), a 6– 9 piece band (the most frequently used format) or a trio/quartet (with bass and  rums/percussion).

  • «On his breaking new album, you’ll find… the most fluent Afrobeat you’re going to hear today as a warm wind shakes your tree»
    (Max Reinhardt, Straight No Chaser magazine, Summer 2007)
  • «Dele elevates Afro-jazz unto a new realm, the realm of cosmopolitanism – a confounding hybrid of Euro-classical and Afro-ritual»
    (Xtrax magazine, 2003)
  • «Sosimi creates some of the most bewitching grooves in modern African music. It’s little wonder that Afrobeat  atterns are sampled by DJs from Mushin to Manhattan… represents the leading edge of African jazz
    (John Stevenson, EjazzNews)
  • «Live, it’s a kicking set and worth getting a seat with a matching dance floor»
    (JohnWarr, Afrolatina)

Releases by Dele Sosimi

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Gbedu Resurrect...
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