If little more than a year passes before the ZJO invites a guest for the second time, the premiere must have been a complete success: In November 2022, British-Nigerian vocalist and songwriter Ola Onabulé performed with the ZJO for the first time, and now he’s visiting again. Especially since the collaboration between Ola and Ed Partyka is a tried-and-true one: the two have worked together on and off since 2015, and Ed has arranged many of Ola’s original compositions for jazz orchestra. Ola Onabulé is both a virtuoso, self-effacing singer and a lyricist with today’s world in mind and history in the back of his head. The themes of his songs hardly leave anything out, from basic human love of life to political issues. He refrains from stereotyping, which makes his work more elaborate, but his songs all the more authentic. We are looking forward to the reunion with a great musician and a person who is as funny as he is clever.
Ola Onabulé was born in London in 1964 as the son of Nigerian students. At the age of 7, he moved back with his parents to Lagos, Nigeria, where he spent the next 10 years of his life. At the age of 17, his path led him back to England, where he graduated from school and began studying law. During this time he invested a lot of time in music and eventually made it his profession. Fortunately, because his 9 albums, countless musical performances and a self-founded music label to date stand as proof that he has undoubtedly chosen the right path.