NIGERIAN AFROBEAT & HIGHLIFE
Oleku Band formed in 2006 from a group of Nigerian musicians that
had settled in and around Dublin over the preceding 6 years. Lead by
composer/arranger Allen-Taylor Adeniyi, originally from Abeokuta in
SW Nigeria the birth place of Fela Kuti, the band plays authentic
Afrobeat and Highlife from their Nigerian (Yoruba) roots.
Oleku made their debut Irish performance in 2007 at a festival in Cork City and have since graced many stages at festivals around Ireland, including The National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore and the Festival of World Cultures in Dun Laoghaire on a number of occasions.
In 2010 Oleku toured ireland aided by funding from the Music Network touring awards where they played at festivals in Kinsale, Letterkenny, Dun Laoghaire & Cork as well as venue concerts in Bray, Waterford.
In April 2011 Oleku travelled to Eger in Hungary where they performed at Eger Ethno-Fest to great acclaim, they are now Eger's favourite African Band, were filmed by the local TV station and feted by the press. Around this time they were also being filmed by Ireland's national TV station (RTE) for their news & current affairs programme 'Nationwide' on RTE 1 and to be broadcast in May 2011. Youtube videos of their trip & performance in Eger can be viewed by following the links on the sidebar .
Singing lead vocals, mostly in Yoruba, Allen-Taylor also plays the Saxophone & Hammond XB2 organ with backing vocals supplied by his wife Tomilola, Segun Akano and Otolorin ‘Oto’ Olalaleye the trumpeter. Oleku’s rhythm section features Segun Akano on keyboards/percussion with Otto's son Sammy on bass guitar and Felix Oludare on drums. Before moving to Ireland trumpeter ‘Otto’ featured in Femi Kuti’s band (The Positive Force) based in Lagos.
Originally playing covers of songs by Fela & Femi Kuti all the songs in Oleku’s current repertoire are now written and arranged by Oleku Band. As all the musicians are multi-instrumentalists Oleku Band are able to tour as a smaller than usual Afrobeat band (as small as a 6 piece) thus reducing tour costs Allen Taylor released his 3rd album, the spiritually inspired ‘Oba nla’ in early 2009, and the new Oleku Album ‘Awesome’ has just been released.
Instrumentation: Tenor/Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Stick Congas, Bongos, Shekere, Clef, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Hammond XB2 Organ, Korg Trinity, Korg M1, Drum Kit & Vocals
Photos of Oleku Band in Eger courtesy of Barócsi Diána © DIA PHOTO
ALLEN-TAYLOR'S AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA
Oleku Band were always an afrobeat orchestra in miniature and In accordance with convention it was inevitable that the 6 piece band would one day grow-up and metamorphose into the FULL AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA. Afrobeat orchestras always have a brass section, rhythm section, chorus etc and so Allen-Taylor's Afrobeat Orchestra was born. Born to play the big stage, with large audiences. Allen-Taylor Adeniyi is still in charge and his wife Tomilola still runs the chorus.