Program text

What a mix! Afro-Atlantic music meets Mediterranean lightness: cosmopolitan and masterful, witty and warm-hearted. Helmed by the charismatic Brazilian singer Jabu Morales and the Italian accordionist Alberto Becucci, the music of this sextet, whose members hail from five different nations, is both thrilling and fascinating. The tongue-in-cheek song “Cachaça com macarrão”, or “sugar cane schnapps with spaghetti” – so typical of Ayom’s clash of cultures – tells of the meeting of two personalities (and cultures). The band takes its name from an Afro-Brazilian musical deity of music who, according to traditional West African Yoruba beliefs, resides in the drum. Jabu Morales has studied Afro-Brazilian tradition intensively. The diverse rhythms of the Brazilian northeast and music from the Brazil–Cape Verde–Angola triangle, combined with the poetry and, at times, nostalgia of the accordion, form the basis of the band’s infectious compositions, a band whose debut record topped the European Radio Hosts’ best album list and was named Band of the Year 2021 by Songlines music magazine.

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