Visionary saxophonist, composer, bandleader and innovator Camilla George releases her new single ‘Ekpe’ featuring Sheila Maurice-Grey and Rosie Turton out today.
Following on from the warm welcome for her recent single ‘Abasi Isang’, Camilla has released ‘Ekpe’ to continue a creative and roots journey dedicated to her Ibibio lineage, which hails from south eastern coastal Nigeria. ‘Ekpe’ is the second single taken from Camilla’s third album ‘Ibio-Ibio’ 30th September on Ever Records/!K7 Music.
‘Ekpe’ is an incredible showcase of Camilla’s talents which take centre stage, with the support of the incredible jazz brass section courtesy of Sheila Maurice-Grey and Rosie Turton, backed by the syncopated afrobeat drums of Winston Clifford and Shirley Tetteh’s slick guitar. With a beautifully nuanced tempo that ebbs and flows, the atmospheric sounds perfectly complement the enigmatic meaning of ‘Ekpe’, that is the ancient secret society of the Ibibio people which upholds truth and connects with the ancestors.
‘Ibio-Ibio’ is the nickname of the Ibibio people, the most ancient settlers in Nigeria,and the album is a feast of lush instrumentation combining afrobeat, hip hop and jazz, and co-produced by Camilla George. Across eight tracks, Camilla’s virtuosic alto saxophone performance collaborates with a stellar line-up of some of the hottest players in London’s jazz scene including Daniel Casimir (bass), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Winston Clifford (drums), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Rosie Turton (trombone), Renato Paris (vocals), Sarah Tandy (keys),plusSenegalese kora player Kadialy Kouyate, acclaimed US drummer Daru Jones (Jack White, Pete Rock, Talib Kweli), and Birmingham’s finest MC SANITY.
Camilla George said “’Ekpe’ is about the secret society that my grandfather and great grandfather were a part of that was called the Amama. This society is dedicated to paying tribute to our ancestors and functions to provide law and order amongst the village. The foundation of the sound of ‘Ekpe’ is the drums, that are inspired by the late, great Tony Allen. It’s exciting to release ‘Ekpe’, the second single from ‘Ibio Ibio’ and give a glimpse of the flavour of my third album and my continuing creative journey. This album is a celebration of roots, creation and community, much like the Ibibio people, who I dedicate this album to. They stand for community and togetherness and there could be no better time to have these values.”
Camilla George has carved out her own unique identity in the vibrant London scene, with her strong cultural roots and love of fusing African and Western Music. She has studied with several jazz greats including sax giant Jean Toussaint. Following her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Isang’ (pronounced E-Sang which means ‘journey’ in Ibibio) in 2014 and much lauded follow up ‘The People Could Fly’ in 2018, Camilla has established a sound that is a hypnotising blend of Afrofuturism, hip hop and jazz, with a politically minded subtext that has a powerful connection to her Nigerian identity, lineage and heritage, reflecting African history, culture and slavery. Camilla and her band have supported Courtney Pine and Dee Dee Bridgewater and played several festivals, from Cheltenham Jazz, We Out Here to EFG London Jazz Festival. She has also been a member of celebrated group Jazz Jamaica since 2009.
With another single to follow ahead of the album’s release, Camilla George will lead an album launch for ‘Ibio-Ibio’ with special guests at London’s Jazz Café on 16th November. Ahead of that, Camilla has been touring Ireland, with more dates across the UK and Europe across summer, from Ealing Jazz Festival, We Out Here, to Blue Note Milan and supporting Femi Kuti in Belgium. ‘Ekpe’ is out now and ‘Ibio-Ibio’ will be released on 30th September on digital, CD and vinyl and available to pre-order now here.