Having lived on three continents, and having played with such greats as Hugh Masekela, Jason Moran, Martin Taylor, Rodney Jones, the London Symphony Orchestra and the legendary Skatalites, Azemobo has proven himself to be a unique and creative musician/composer in a range of different genres, and on some of the biggest stages in the world.
Born in Benin City (Nigeria) in 1986, Azemobo Audu aka “Zem Audu” moved to England at age 3. As a child he taught himself classical guitar, and soon started playing piano. But it was at the age of 13 that he tried his first saxophone, and his life took on a new trajectory. As a teenager Azemobo started making a name for himself on the local scene and he soon began studying with world renowned saxophonist Courtney Pine. Later, he attended the Trinity College of Music under the tutelage of Jean Toussaint, where he graduated top of his class and gained a first-class BMus (Hons) degree.
Azemobo has worked extensively in London and Europe with bands such as Gary Crosby’s Nu-Troop, Jazz Jamaica, Abram Wilson’s Delta Blues project and Roll Jordan Roll. In 2009 he travelled to Zimbabwe to play the closing show at the Harare International Festival.
As a band leader he has headlined and played at the City of London festival and the London Jazz Festival with the ‘Zem Audu Quartet’, a band which has feature such artists as Martin Taylor, Benet McClean, and Abram Wilson. He also co led the critically acclaimed group ‘Rhythmica’. They released their debut album in 2011.
As a sideman, Azemobo has also performed, toured, and recorded with many great international artists such as Jason Moran, Frank McComb, Ernest Ranglin, Mica Paris, The Black Arm Band, Plan B, and Hugh Masekela.
In 2008 Azemobo won the Worshipful Company of Musicians jazz competition and in the same year he was awarded the Yamaha Jazz Scholars award, and the Trinity College of music silver medal. In 2009 He was nominated for the ‘Jazz Musician of the year’ award at the London Parliamentary Jazz Awards, he also received a “Black Child Academic Achievements Award” at the houses of parliament.
In April 2010 he joined the legendary Skatalites. He has been touring the world with this band playing such venues as The Montreaux Jazz Festival, Kubana Festival, Boomtown Festival, and South by Southwest. In 2012, the Skatalites released their critically acclaimed new album ‘Walk With Me’, which featured an Azemobo Audu composition ‘Desert Ska’.
In 2012 Azemobo also released his self produced debut album ‘Visions’, on which he composed all the songs and played all the instruments. This album is deeply personal and shows Azemobo’s different stylistic influences, from Afro-beat to Reggae to minimalism and the Avant-garde.
Azemobo now resides in New York City.