The Souljazz Orchestra
Since first arriving on the Canadian scene at the turn of the millenium, the Souljazz Orchestra has never stopped pushing the limits of its signature sound: an explosive clash of Soul, Jazz, Afro, Latin and Caribbean styles, unleashed by blaring majestic horns, dusty vintage keyboards, and an arsenal of earthquaking percussion.
The multicultural collective just released a hard-hitting new record in the fall of 2015, Resistance, resuming its link-up with UK-based Strut Records, and adding fresh dancefloor-oriented elements of Coupé-Décalé, Zouk, and Ndombolo to the band's heavy mix of Afro, Soul and Jazz styles.
In keeping with the group's previous work, the band maintains powerful lyrics at the heart of its music, delivering some biting social commentary alongside messages of hope. Recorded using the group's signature analogue techniques, the resulting album is a bold musical statement, a defiant celebration of social justice and human empowerment.
Now celebrating its 15th year, the Souljazz Orchestra continues to be an unstoppable force. Nominated for a Canadian Juno award for the third time in 2016, the band regularly tears up venues worldwide through its punishing schedule. In fact, years of relentless touring have formed the Souljazz Orchestra's live concerts into the stuff of legends - more often than not culminating in ecstatic, sweat-soaked, cathartic affairs, mixing pulsating arrangements with eruptive improvisations.
So far, the Canadian sextet has been fortunate enough to bring its dynamite show to over two dozen countries across the globe, sharing bills along the way with heavyweights such as Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and Femi Kuti, while showing no signs of slowing down. As saxophonist Ray Murray puts it, "Souljazz is more than just a band for us, it's a way of life."
THE SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA (from left to right)
Pierre Chrétien - vintage keyboards, percussion, vocals
Marielle Rivard - percussion, vocals
Ray Murray - baritone saxophone, percussion, vocals
Philippe Lafrenière - drums, percussion, vocals
Steve Patterson - tenor saxophone, percussion, vocals
Zakari Frantz - alto saxophone, percussion, vocals