Monday, 23 February 2009
Ugonna Okegwo is one of the most distinctive and sought-after jazz bassists in the world. Critics across the globe have praised him for his rich tone, supple sense of swing, stylistic range and inventiveness. These qualities have not only earned him a place on the bandstand with jazz legends as diverse as Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Pharoah Sanders and Joseph Jarman – they have established him as one of the leading lights of a younger generation redefining jazz for the new century.
Born March 15, 1962 in London to a German mother and Nigerian father, Okegwo was raised in Germany and grew up listening to African-American music -- James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and, eventually, the great Charles Mingus.
Recently, Okegwo expanded his horizons and became a bandleader. In 2002 he took his quartet to Europe and documented the group with a recording entitled "UOniverse" [Satchmo Jazz]. The material, which consists of his compositions and brilliantly arranged standards, draws from a wide range of influences, including jazz, African, funk, and classical music.