Bray Jazz Festival 2024

Orchestra Baobab (Senegal)

This event is Sold Out.

Orchestra Baobab are one of West Africa’s greatest bands.

A 10-piece ensemble who first emerged from the heart of the medina in Senegal’s bustling capital, Dakar, in the 1960s, Baobab’s combination of Afro-Cuban, West African griot and international pop stylings have won them legions of fans across the globe over the past half century.

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Orchestra Baobab, who have been described by some as an African version of Cuba’s Bueno Vista Social Club, still play with the verve, energy and exuberance that have served them so well for half a century.

Indeed, their rammed to the rafters show at London’s Union Chapel in 2022 was ranked second only to Lady Gaga at Wembley Stadium as ‘gig of the year’ by Time Out Magazine!

Orchestra Baobab’s music is a heady mix of floating riffs, blaring sax, driving rhythmic beats and smooth, accessible grooves. The songs are performed in a mix of Wolof, Portuguese Creole, French, and Malinke, illustrating both the complex cultural history of West Africa, and also the licence it has given them to draw from soul and salsa, rumba and jazz, reggae and country, in their wildly captivating live shows.

‘Orchestra Baobab's easy-paced Afro-Cuban style is one of the signature sounds of west African music. Glorious!’

The Irish Times

OPENING: JAZZ IN THE ROUND (Ireland)

A new band of old hands, ‘Jazz in the Round’ is a trio led by legendary Irish guitarist Tommy Halftery, that includes seasoned pros, pianist Greg Felton and bass player Cormac O’Brien. Their set combines new arrangements of old favourites, and original music that navigate the rich harmonic backdrops of composers including Carla Bley, John Abercrombie and Cole Porter.