“The rhythm comes from the Earth,
the harmony comes from Heaven.
When these two elements are gathered then,
through the Man a third element emerges: The Trance. “
Monkuti is the contraction of Monk and Kuti. Its name symbolizes the desire to unite two great spirits of the music of the 20th century that are Thelonious “Sphere” Monk and Fela “Anikulapo” Kuti and through them, two musical movements
that are jazz and afrobeat.
At first the band would interpret and arrange the two geniusí compositions, then with time a strong musical identity asserted itself.
The numerous origins and influences of each musician (Tunisia, Benin, Caribbean, France, Armenia) gives the group all its strength and its richness, drawing its inspiration from the sounds of the world, as suggested by the mixture of the
hypnotic sound of Indian tablas with the powerful Benin drums.
Monkuti’s sound mixes harmonic and polyrhythmic richness unveiling a most original aesthetic. The solidity of its groove and the virtuosity of its instrumentalists grants Monkuti the title of formidable machine to make spirits and bodies dance.
In October 2013, a quintet was formed at the initiative of drummer Mario Orsinet. This union expanded rapidly integrating, an unique combination of Ogres of Afrobeat (companions of Tony Allen, Fela Kutiís old-drummer) and “Hard Bop” jazz musicians that were trained on stage in direct contact with the “Big Brothers” groove holders !
Several times the musicians were able to play with the old companions of Fela Kuti (Tony Allen, Dele Sosimi, Oghene Kologbo, Chief Udoh Esset, Kiala Nzavotunga), especially during the FELA DAY organized by Nazaire Bello and the Afrobeat No Limit association.
Monkuti & Kologbo
Since January 2017, the group is working on a new album in collaboration with Fela Kutiís ex-guitarist : Oghene Kologbo.
Reaffirming the spirit of the “Africa 70” period of Fela, the old and the new generation have come together to concoct a whole panoply of powerful grooves, all punctuated by a dangerous horn section.