ALABÊ KETUJAZZAlabê is a contemporary instrumental group based on the traditional percussion of the Ketu nation of the Candomblé (the Afro-Brazilian religion created by African slaves and their descendants in Brazil) and the melodic approach of modal jazz.
The group's original compositions are a dialogue between the percussion and the saxophone, mirroring the interaction in the Candomblé of the lead drum with the Orisha (spirit incorporated by a dancer in trance).
The great richness of the Ketu repertoire, both highly structured and improvised, is a fertile ground for a new form of music with the melodies of the saxophone making it more accessible to a wider audience. Each composition is based on a rhythm dedicated to an Orisha and tells a musical story where the improvisation explores the spirit of the myth.
The sacred West-African rhythms are rarely heard outside of the ceremonies but they are the root of much of today’s popular music, including Samba and Salsa, but also Rock, Jazz, Rap and Funk. They are passed down orally from master to apprentice through countless generations. Its messenger is the sacred drummer, known as the Ogan.
Alabê aims to expose this heritage to a larger public, and in doing so contribute to the preservation and evolution of this intangible cultural treasure.
The group was founded by Antoine Olivier, a French percussionist living in Brazil who perform as an Ogan in the traditional places of worship of Rio de Janeiro, and Brazilian saxophonist Glaucus Linx (Isaac Hayes, Salif Keita, Elza Soares, Carlinhos Brown,...). The band also features the grand master of the Candomblé drums : Dofono de Omolu.
On stage the group presents the traditional percussion section of 4 percussionists (three drums and a bell) and the saxophones player.