“Every year Africa celebrates the African child's day on june 16th, in memory of children who tragically died during the 1976 Soweto massacre. That day is intended to celebrate and to keep in mind that our children are the most precious treasure Africa possesses” Jay Lou Ava.
Jay Lou Ava
Born in Cameroon, West Africa, Israël Jean-Louis Ava first emerged with a spiritual, gospel-influenced sound that was partially inspired by his upbringing. His father often wrote religious songs when he was a child, and the presence of an organ in his house led to an early exposure to music. He began to play the organ for his school band and developed chops during his early teens. When his oldest brother, a brilliant jazz guitarist, turned him onto Duke Ellington and Wes Montgomery, he understood what he wanted to do with his life for the first time. He began jamming with local jazz musicians, picking up the guitar along the way and becoming quite the virtuoso. He began starting bands and traveling across the continent.. To fulfill his father's requirement, he graduated as a Computer Science Engineer in France before starting his ongoing musical career.
Composer-arranger, collaborating most notably with Donny Elwood in the 90's, playing with the legendary Manu Dibango he also began releasing his own material, starting with 1997's Prelude. Since then, his independent albums have included 1997's "Prelude", 1998's “Remember J.L. Ava Ava” African gospel album, 2002's “Spellings”, 2006's "Ebotan" and now “Unforgettable Soweto”.
Even though Jay Lou Ava’s anti-demonstrative playing focuses on the melody and harmonies, his style, very mixed, is a soft fusion between smooth jazz and African melodies, a music genre with no bounds that he calls himself “Progressive Afro Jazz” ( PAJ ), the music of contemporary Africa.
“Unforgettable Soweto” offers a variety of explored themes that form a kaleidoscope in which Jay Lou’s musical roots are genuinely expressed. This album breaks away from the tradition of rythmic African music, and enrols in more lyric creations thus being in harmony with the artist’s description of himself : “I am not an African musician, it is too reductive; I am a musician…who happens to be from Africa