SOMI’s New Afro-Jazz Quintet

Volkshaus Basel
Saturday, 23 March

Somi (born Laura Kabasomi Kakoma on June 6, 1981 in Champaign, Illinois) is an American singer and songwriter. She has released a number of critically and commercially successful albums. Somi releases pieces that oscillate between jazz, pop, and avant-garde, and in which her family roots play a significant role. She sees herself as a representative of a transatlantic sound that incorporates the most diverse worlds of African and American jazz, soul, and pop.
Although she was born in the United States, her parents came from the African continent, namely Rwanda and Uganda. She also grew up in Africa for about half of the 1980s, when her father took up a job in Zambia. Somi now lives in New York City, where she releases music with African influences and sometimes political aspirations. In her songs, she deals with such topics as immigration, African communities in the United States, and civil rights. Somi has learned a lot from her long-time mentor, the famous South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who is particularly known for his anti-apartheid songs. Somi's recordings and her intense live performances often earn her comparisons with Nina Simone.
Her 2014 album “The Lagos Music Salon”, which reached number 1 in the U.S. jazz charts, was created after an 18-month sabbatical in Lagos (Nigeria). The songs are an expression of her experiences on the African continent—skin bleaching, prostitution, female circumcision, and even genocide. She performs her songs in English, but also in various African languages. Today, Somi is often described as a modern version of the South African singer Miriam Makeba, and her album "Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba" from 2022 is a tribute to the South African artist and civil rights activist.
Tickets are CHF 34.10-89.90. Combination tickets, which include both this concert and the preceding concert at 19:15 (Danilo Pérez Trio Feat. John Patitucci), are CHF 49.90-99.90.


Volkshaus Basel
Rebgasse 12-14
4058 Basel

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