Led by composer/arranger and leading UK-based Djembe player, Yahael Camara Onono and featuring members of bands including Kokoroko and SEED Ensemble, Balimaya Project intently synthesizes and bridge London's bustling jazz circuit with traditional repertoire and folklore of the Mandé peoples of West Africa, and in turn connect the music's contemporary and ancestral forebears.
Their album Wolo So arrives after five years in the making, yet its roots chart a young percussionist forging a deeper musical identity from even further back. Like Fela's Egypt 80 or Sun Ra's Arkestra before them, Balimaya Project is a big band unlike any other. Made up of members from across the UK's landscape of Afrobeats and jazz to UK Rap, the idea was to create a fuller sound with many instruments that are used for traditional music.
Camara Onono's vision on this project has been to bring together and make emotionally available to each other, young black men in the diaspora and celebrate them in a way that doesn't happen enough. He has brought together people who understand the music of black Britain and of the African continent.