Dele Sosimi has a faultless Afrobeat pedigree. Beginning with his seven and a half years on the keyboards in Fela Kuti’s Egypt 80 (1979-1986). He toured all over Europe and the USA, recording on Fela’s albums ‘Army Arrangement’, Power Show’, Perambulator’, ‘Authority Stealing’, ‘Live in Amsterdam’ and ‘ITT’ amongst others. In 1986 Dele and Femi Kuti left Fela’s band to form Femi Kuti and the Positive Force, for which he was both the keyboard player and Musical Director for 9 years. They toured all over the world and recorded and produced two albums, ‘No Cause For Alarm’ and ‘Mind Your Own Business’.
Dele moved to London in 1995 and formed a new group, and the resulting projects reflect London's multicultural environment, with a strong influence of jazz and shades of deep funk and latin music, but all underpinned by the heavy grooves of afrobeat's Yoruba rhythms with Dele's vocals very strongly in the afrobeat tradition. The result is the next phase of Afrobeat at a time when little else in the genre appears to be extending its horizons.
Dele's first album 'Turbulent Times' (2002) featured the cream of the resident Afrobeat community on the label “Eko Star”. He is currently working on his new album BEST BET, with MOST Records (Lonodon), scheduled for release September 2005. The album will feature the likes of Tony Allen on drums Keziah Jones, Ty & Breis. Dele has also produced Calabash, a collection of Afrobeat Poems By Ikwunga & recently selected the tracks for a 3-CD compilation entitled “Essential Afrobeat”, with Family Recordings (Universal), both released in October 2004.
Dele’s band has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Joyful Noise World Music programme at the South Bank Centre (Queen Elizabeth Hall & Purcell Room), the Soho Jazz Festival and the recent Black President Festival celebrating the work of Fela Kuti, at the Barbican Centre in London in October 2004. He has also made frequent appearances at the Jazz Café, Kemia Bar at Momo’s in London and the Shrine at Cargo, London). Dele has also toured UK extensively, and played in the Hull Jazz Festival, Norwich Jazz Festival, Leicester Jazz Festival (Phoenix Centre) the X.TRAX Showcase in Manchester, the Hi Fi Club in Leeds, Crossing the Tracks in Bristol amongst others.
?“Dele has moved up, elevating Afro-jazz unto a new realm, the realm of cosmopolitanism – a confounding hybrid of Euro-classical and Afro-ritual”
?“Aided and abetted by a rhythmic core of cannily percussive Electric Bassist Femi Elias and powerhouse drummer Feyi Akinwunmi (an heir-apparent to Tony Allen) Sosimi creates some of the most bewitching grooves in modern African music. Its little wonder that Afrobeat patterns are sampled by DJs from mushin to Manhattan! “Turbulent Times” no doubt represents the leading edge of African jazz“ – John Stevenson, EjazzNews
? ”Impossible to ignore” Straight No Chaser magazine
? ”Live it's a kicking set and worth getting a seat with a matching dance floor” – JohnWarr, Afrolatina