Afrodizz is an eight-member afrobeat/afrofunk band from Montreal. Their music is a modern mix of afrobeat, jazz and funk, that has been described as having nuances of The Herbaliser and Tony Allen.
The band was formed in 2002 by Montreal jazz guitarist, Gabriel Aldama--who also serves as the band's chief songwriter. Aldama was first introduced to afrobeat as a university student, when a friend played him some vinyl recordings by the genre's pioneer, Fela Kuti. Aldama has also credited the Beastie Boys' 1996 jazz-funk instrumental compilation The In Sound From Way Out! as an album that greatly influenced him.
The other members of Afrodizz include vocalist Vance Payne--who performs songs in English, Yorùbá and other languages of Nigeria--as well as François Plante (bass), Jean-Philippe Goncalves (drums), François Vincent (percussion), David Carbonneau (trumpet), Frèdé Simard (tenor sax), and François Glidden (baritone sax). Goncalves and Plante are also part of the electro-jazz trio, Plaster and Goncalves is also one half of the electronic music duo Beast.
Albums and awards:
Afrodizz released its first independent, 4 song EP in 2003. The band played the Montreal International Jazz Festival that same year and was named "Revelation of the Year" at the event. Andy Williams--an English-born Montreal DJ known internationally for his vast knowledge of jazz--brought the band's EP to the attention of Adrian Gibson, owner of the UK Label Freestyle Records and programmer for the Jazz Café in London. The band was then invited by Gibson to record their first album in London on the Freestyle label. The album, titled Kif Kif was also distributed by Do Right! Music in Canada, however Afrodizz seemed to find a bigger following in Europe, than back home. At the height of their popularity they were able to sell out shows at the prestigious Jazz Café, a venue known for hosting many up-and-coming jazz bands.
In 2006 the band released their second album Froots on Montreal's C4 label. Montreal rock artist Deweare also appears as a guest vocalist on the song "Fashion Terroriste" in a Gainsbourg-esque performance. The album went on the win Best Worldbeat/Traditional Album at the 2006 GAMIQ Awards (Quebec Independent Music Awards), and also won Best Artist in the Cosmopolitan category of the Montreal International Music Initiative Awards (MIMIs), an honour which is given to the best "roots, intercultural and new musical language" artist.
Afrodizz performed the song "Africa Music" on the tribute album Les machines à danser (dancing machines) released in June 2010; the album is a compilation of songs originally performed by French West Indies/French Guianese pop band La Compagnie Créole and includes covers by artists such as Ariane Moffatt and Dubmatique.
According to the band's official website, Afrodizz is also set to release its next album, titled From Outer Space, in the summer of 2011 at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.