Dele Sosimi

Dele Sosimi is a prominent musician on the Afrobeat scene. Dele’s journey began in 1979 when he joined Fela Anikulapo–Kuti’s Egypt 80. There he was a keyboard player for seven years (1979-1986). Afrobeat is the music that was created by Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It is a mixture of complex, danceable funk grooves, Nigerian music (including hilife), African drumming, jazz horns, solos from other instruments, and rhythmical singing. Dele was the drummer for Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s Egypt 80. He toured extensively with Fela throughout the world. Femi Anikulapo Kuti, Fela’s son and childhood friend, took over temporarily the lead of Egypt 80. Dele was the band’s musical director and learned a lot about arranging. Dele orchestrated and rearranged the Egypt 80, and also managed the recruitment and training of new musicians for Egypt 80. Dele was a keyboard player on the following Fela/Egypt hits: Parambulator. Power Show. Original Sufferhead. Customs Check Point. MOP 1 (Movement of the People). Authority Stealing. Army Arrangement. Government Chicken Boy. ITT (International Thief Thief). Teacher Don’t Teach me Nonsense. Dele and Femi quit Egypt 80 in 1986 to start their own band, Femi Anikulapo–Kuti. He was also the bandleader and musical director of the Positive Force. Dele also had responsibility for training and recruiting new members. He was also the keyboard soloist and rhythm keyboard player. They traveled extensively around the globe and performed at many of the top jazz festivals including Montreux, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. The following albums were produced by the band: No Cause for Alarm POLYGRAM (NIGERIA), 1989, Mind Your Own Business(MELODIE FRANCE 1991), and Wonder Wonder (TABU/MOTOWN USA 1995). The Positive Force was invited to perform at Jazz Club of Nigeria Festival along with other well-known musicians such as Randy Weston, Toshiko Akinosu, and Dizzy Gillespie. Dele also discovered his musical interests and influences by playing in an Afro Jazz Quartet/Quintet, and working with Alex Ouzounoff (a French bassoon player), to create a CD called Made In Nigeria (European Music Productions 1993) through the French Cultural Centre, Lagos. Dele moved to London after leaving Femi-Anikulapokuti and the Positive Force, December 1995. Dele formed a new group in London. The resulting projects are influenced by jazz, deep funk, and latin music. However, they also reflect London’s multi-cultural environment. Dele’s vocals are strongly rooted in Afrobeat’s Yoruba rhythm and heavy grooves. He began playing in London’s Nigerian venues as a resident musician. At first, it was a duo. Later, he formed Gbedu Resurrection and took the group to many London venues such as The Shrine, (then at the Brixton Fridge) and the Africa Centre (Covent Garden). Dele was a skilled composer, singer, and entertainer by this point. He also incorporated the piano into Afrobeat. Dele was a pianist for The African Jazz Explosion All Stars. This group featured Toni Kofi and Jason Yarde. Fayaz Virgi and Jean Tousaint were also present. Also, Dele worked with Lucky Ranku’s African All Stars. Lucky Ranku is the leader of the legendary Lucky Ranku. They feature Claude Deppa as well as Fayaz Virgi and Bukky Leo. Frank Tontoh was also a member. After his debut solo album Turbulent Times, (Eko Star 2002), Dele was invited to choose the tracks for Essential Afrobeat (Universal/Family Recordings 2004). He was the producer and co-writer for Calabash Volume 1 Afrobeat Poetrys by Ikwunga. (Rebisihut, 2004). He is the central member of Wahala Project. His single Wahala is featured on Puma’s 2006 Soccer World Cup Compilation CD. He also appears on the British rapper TY’s most recent album Closer (on Sweating For Your Salary Big Dada 2006), while his song Turbulent Times can be found on Nu Afrobeat Experience, Shanachie 2002, Essential Afrobeat (Universal/Family Recordings 2004, 2004), Sound Affects Africa (Paul Oakenfold Mix Malmaison 2005), and Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project(Modiba 2006). The Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project (2006). His album Identity is now available on a limited edition pre-release. Official release will be November 2007 by Helico Records. His live shows are always electric and his crowd response is ALWAYS huge. He has performed around the globe (for example, at the Montreux Jazz Festival and Joe Zawinul’s Birdland, where Vienna Dele was invited as a guest artist alongside Joe Zawinul at the Charity Event for Hurricane Katrina survivors), the Treibhaus (Innsbruck), Paradiso (Amsterdam), Bimhuis, Amsterdam), Oerol Festival(Terschelling), Mexico City), Afrikadey! Canada Afrobeat Summit, Calgary, Canada (August 2007, Sensommer Int Musikkfestival 2007, Oslo, Norway (August 2007, and frequent appearances at The Jazz Cafe, The Kemia Bar, at Momo’s). The Shrine and the South Bank Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall

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