Aimua Eghobamien

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Biography of Aimua Eghobamien

As you explore Aimua Eghobamien’s personal background his musical style begins to fall in place. With a dad who listened to a world of music from British Pop to Highlife and Calypso; a mum who sang him ?do lullabies; and siblings who were interested in all things American—Motown, Soul, US Pop and R&B charts—his musical tastes developed without limitations. London-born, he has lived at various points on three continents and experienced at firsthand Nigerian drums and folk, European Pop and American R&B. His own performance experience includes Theatre, Gospel, Rock, Pop, Contemporary Christian, R&B, Soul and the Blues. That all these find a home in his jazz repertoire is a testament to jazz’s open arms and Eghobamien’s passion in embracing diverse influences.

Eghobamien studied Jazz Vocal Performance and Creative Writing at university in New York; taught by the Tony and Emmy Award-winning American singer and actress Lillias White and the legendary jazz singer Sheila Jordan. He studied voice with Mark Oswald, one of the Metropolitan Opera’s leading voice teachers. He was a member of Barry Harris’ Jazz Ensemble Choir and the Times Square Church Choir. Though a vocalist, he draws constant inspiration from many influences especially Nina Simone, Cassandra Wilson, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Fela Kuti and Babatunde Olatunji.

His debut album, ‘Poured Gently’, combines fresh and unusual arrangements of jazz and pop standards from Ellington, Monk, Gershwin, Stevie Wonder and Bon Jovi with haunting and melodic original compositions and thoughtful lyrics. In collaboration with New York-based pianist, composer and arranger Glafkos Kontemeniotis, Eghobamien ensures that ‘Poured Gently’ produces a concept that sets a definite mood, entertains and quietly tells a story. Recorded and mixed at Avatar Studios in New York and at Strongroom and AIR Studios in London, ‘Poured Gently’ features the internationally known and highly regarded percussionist Bashiri Johnson and stellar musicians bassist Ed Kollar and drummer Scott Neumann. He teamed up with pop music video director Nick Bartleet to produce a unique music video for the track ‘Tis What It Is.

Appearances since arriving from New York include dates at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, Pizza on the Park, the Pheasantry, the Spice of Life, the Vortex Jazz Club, Ray’s Jazz and Hugo’s. With the release and tour of ‘Poured Gently’ have come radio interviews and airplay in the UK and Europe. Recent tour dates included Matt and Phred’s Jazz Club Manchester and CaféJazz Cardiff with more dates booked for the autumn 2011 tour. He is currently working on a commissioned programme of all original music for Kings Place to premiere in spring 2012. He has performed with some of the UK’s favourite jazz musicians including Gunther Kürmayr, Barry Green, Gary Crosby OBE, Mark Hodgson, Jerome Davies, Sebastiaan de Krom and Rod Youngs.

‘...brings a wealth of experience and tastes to this debut CD. Strong performances of jazz classics...set against his own distinctive work.’
—Peter Bevan, the Northern Echo

‘Original, innovative, quite refreshing to hear something different... It’s wonderful to hear music like this... [when] voice is an instrument... It’s awfully telling of the actual musicality of the artist...almost Bobby McFerrin-like. This new album really crosses the boundaries.
—Neil Jennings, ‘Jazz Moods’ Manchester’s 106.6

‘Stunning CD, ...great work, “you just don’t jazz, you rock!”’
—Ricardo Belo de Morais, ‘As Vozes do Jazz’ (‘The Jazz Voices’) Rádio Europa Lisboa

‘When I listen to your music and your vocal sound I get Ian Shaw, Al Jarreau.’
—John Lipscombe, ‘All That Jazz’ BBC Radio Cumbria

‘Jazz vocals with absolute gentleness. ...synthesizes the two finest male jazz singers [Kurt Elling and Ian Shaw] on the planet. Which is not to suggest any derivativeness. He is a true, thoroughly exciting, original.’
—Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes

‘All of the selections of Poured Gently appear to have been selected carefully for numerous reasons, such as variety of styles, infinite moods and in the end a musical portrait of a singular singer, Aimua Eghobamien.’
—Bill Donaldson, EJAZZNEWS

‘Eghobamien’s voice is rich and sure, relying for its considerable effect on its resonance and timbre... Poured Gently is an absorbing and original set, intelligently programmed and elegantly performed.’
—Chris Parker, the Vortex CD reviews

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