Canada's hardest-working super-group, the Souljazz Orchestra, have been perfecting their signature sound for over a decade now: a percussive explosion of Soul, Jazz, Afro, Latin and Caribbean rhythms, driven by majestic horn-drenched melodies, all backed by an arsenal of overheated primitive keyboards.
The multicultural collective returns at full throttle this year with Solidarity, a dynamite new collaborative album released by UK-based Strut Records, featuring a range of unique artists connected to the group through Canada's vibrant underground scene, yet hailing from a variety of backgrounds, from Senegal to Brazil to Jamaica and beyond. These guests were the catalyst for memorable artistic exchange, where the group remained rooted in rhythmically rich musical traditions of the past, but kept their eyes firmly on the future, pushing the boundaries of Soul, Jazz and Tropical styles with a fresh set of heavyweight new songs, unified by an underlying message of positive social change.
Now celebrating their 10th year, the Souljazz Orchestra continue their impressive run of memorable albums. Breaking through on Toronto label Do Right!, Freedom No Go Die (2006, featuring the huge single ‘Mista President’) and Manifesto (2008) set the bar high. Rising Sun (2010), their first album with Strut Records, was subsequently recognised as a landmark in deep, spiritual Afro Jazz. Meanwhile, as a live unit, years of relentless touring have formed the Ottawa-based combo into an in-demand fixture at venues and festivals worldwide.
Philippe Lafrenière - drums, percussion, vocals
Zakari Frantz - alto saxophone, flute, percussion, vocals
Pierre Chrétien - vintage keyboards, percussion, vocals
Ray Murray - baritone saxophone, percussion, vocals
Marielle Rivard - percussion, vocals
Steve Patterson - tenor saxophone, percussion, vocals