Anchored in a broad spectrum of roots music, Afro Dizzi Act have built a reputation as one of the most flexible bands in Australia. Their ability to craft a live performance for a particular audience and space is second to none and it’s for this reason amongst others the group has been able to attract such a wide ranging audience and an equally diverse array of gigs.
It hasn’t been easy to categorise a band that draws from such a plethora of musical reference points, but Afro Dizzi Act as a band have never looked for a comfortable box to reside in. Rather this adventurous five-piece want nothing more than to continue to seek out fresh musical compositions, freely combining whatever sonic elements they see fit to call upon.
Like Robert Rauschenberg’s ‘combines’, Afro Dizzi Act’s sound collects together often unrelated musical styles and through a process of unspoken collaboration and improvisation creates something electric, energetic, utterly breath taking and unquestionably greater than the sum of its parts.
Recently teaming up with Vocalist/Kora player Jali Buba Kuyateh from Senegal, West Africa, a new direction is starting to present itself for Afro Dizzi Act.
Jali Buba Kuyateh’s first performance with Afro Dizzi Act was at the Woodford Folk Festival 04/05, meeting the band there and opening their NYE show. From that date the collaboration has been going from strength to strength giving birth to a style of music that has been embedded deep in the Afro Dizzi Act hearts & veins for some time. This combination has brought to the table a rich flow of African roots & melodies blended with the signature deep grooves & world influences of Afro Dizzi Act.
After recording vocals on there latest studio album ‘Walkin’, Afro and Jail Buba decided to compose some tracks and perform them together for the Woodford Folk Festival in 06/07. This turned out to be a great success & have propelled Afro Dizzi Act into what could be there new sound.
“ One of the best African/Australian fusion bands I have ever seen come out of Australia.”
Ben Walsh (The Bird, Circle of Rhythm).
This is not an entirely new concept for Afro as they have collaborated with the amazing musicians of WALA (Ghana, West Africa) in 2002 & 2003 performing many shows at the Woodford Folk Festival & in Southeast Queensland.
Originally playing in and around Brisbane at venues such as The Zoo, Afro Dizzi Act came into existence in 1997 following a number of low-key jams. For the next few years, the quintet began building a reputation as one of Brisbane’s most consistently impressive and vigorous live acts. Word spread quickly and it didn’t take long for the band to make their way onto the Australian touring circuit. Landing a secession of slots on festivals such as the annual Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival (alongside Ben Harper, Michael Franti and Jack Johnson), The Woodford Folk Festival ’99 to ’07 (Consistently filling the 3000 Capacity Big Top Stage), the Pinnacles Jazz festival, the Townsville Jazz festival and a headlining set at Brisbane’s illustrious Valley Fiesta, Afro Dizzi Act found themselves on the receiving end of countless support slot and tour offers, but this was only the beginning.
Following a live set at the Townsville Jazz festival in 2000, Afro Dizzi Act were invited to attend the prestigious Kathmandu Jazz Festival (known as Jazzmandu), Nepal. Within moments of taking the stage, the band had won over the foreign audience – their flowing grooves, detailed arrangements and natural funk sensibilities captivating those who had turned out to see the group. This performance was to begin Afro Dizzi Act’s international touring. Directly following their set at Jazzmandu, they received two other unexpected post-gig invitations. One to attend a jazz festival, this time in Dubai and the other to tour 4 states in North East India (as the FIRST FOREIGN BAND TO TOUR NORTH EAST INDIA) which also involved performing at the India Independence Day Festival in Shillong, Megalaya, India. The Dubai Fusion Festival , JazzMajalis placed Afro Dizzi Act on the same bill as Trilok Gurtu and again the band’s musical flare won them instant acclaim. To cap off the already electric set, Afro were joined by a range of musicians including Trilok Gurtu towards the end of their set. This unplanned improvisation lasting several hours and landing them a healthy write up in a number of papers and magazines in Dubai. It’s shows like these that have made Afro Dizzi Act the talk of legend in Dubai, and arguably other countries such as Australia.
Touring has not been the only focus for Afro Dizzi Act though; in fact the band’s recording commitments continue to be equally demanding. Spending a great deal of time working in the studio to recreate the same energetic prowess they display onstage.
Afro Dizzi Act
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