Enter Joey Keysade to Propel African Jazz Music Rebirth 

Joey Keysade

  Africa’s Spirit throbs with cadence. From the mesmerizing drum to the expressive Kwela violin, the continent’s melodic legacy is opulent and lively. In recent times,a potent movement has surfaced the resurgence of Jazz,a genre that previously flourished on external ground. At the vanguard of this resurgence stands Joey Keysade, an ascending luminary pianist redefining jazz with his distinctive blend of African rhythm.

      In the vibrant tapestry of African jazz,luminaries like Sibongile Khumalo,Hugh Masekela and Tony Allen have etched indelible contributions weaving evocative tales that stands as  poignant narrative. Walking through some of the Jazz masterpieces from Africa like “The Coming of the Strange Ones” by Shabaka and the Ancestors’ that  echoes a dynamic interplay of brass instruments. Mulatu Astatke’s “Yekermo Sew” that encapsulates Ethio Jazz’s wisdom, Manu Dibango’s iconic “Soul Makossa” that pioneered jazz-infused disco.

Now enters Joey Keysade who is presently amplifying the enduring legacy of African jazz, and his rich tapestry of diverse compositions shaping the genre’s evolution. Music flowed through Joey Keysade’s existence from birth. His Dad, a choir leader and Mum a vocalist-composer, both instilled in him a profound affection for music.

The church became his initial musical playground, where he experimented with instruments like the clave, trombone and percussion. However, it was the piano, mastered under his uncle’s guidance at twelve, that genuinely entranced him. This convergence of influences-the divine resonance of the church, the rhythmic intricacy of his African heritage and the harmonic dialect of jazz-would become the groundwork of his musical persona.

     Now an emerging luminary in New York City’s jazz milieu, Keysade’s artistic expression propels Africa’s Jazz rebirth. This movement is propelled by a novel cohort of musicians who, distinct from their precursors, aren’t satisfied with merely mimicking Occidental styles. Instead, Keysade delves into his origins, interweaving the affluent tapestry of African rhythms and melodies into his music.

     His compositions engage in a spellbinding dialogue between the refined harmonies of jazz and the contagious vitality of African rhythm. The piano evolves into an extension of himself, a canvas where he portrays vivid sonic landscapes. Overlaying intricate jazz progressions with the throbbing core of African percussion,Keysade fabricates a resonance that is distinctly his own.

    Joey Keysade’s narrative surpasses merely the ascent of a gifted musician; it’s an attestation to the enduring potency of African cadence and its profound sway on Jazz. He has had people like Lionel Loueke as a mentor,as well as his tutors at City College New York like Mike Holober, Ray Gallon,Steve Wilson and Dennis Brander as influencers to his musical journey so far. In his music, we discern the resonances of the past,the throb of the present and the assurance of a dynamic future,where the African spirit regains its rightful place at the core of the Jazz realm.


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