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Ola Onabule (born 30 March, Islington, London, England) is a British-Nigerian, soul, jazz, singer-songwriter, musician and producer.
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Onabule was born in Islington, London. At the age of 7 he returned to Lagos, Nigeria where he spent the next 10 years in education. At the age of 17 he returned to the UK to study A'Levels at Millfield School From there he attended law school almost completing a three year degree before deciding to enroll at Middlesex Polytechnic for an arts degree. Whilst studying he began to perform in and around London at clubs and music venues and started to perform and write his own material.
Onabule has had a career that spans almost two decades, defined by his decision to release his music independently on his own label Rugged Ram Records. This followed a brief recording contract with Elektra Records (Warner Bros. Records). His first album, More Soul Than Sense, was released in 1995, and his more recent 2007 release was The Devoured Man. Onabule's seventh album, Seven Shades Darker will be released in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland Belgium and Holland in March 2012.
Onabule has performed internationally at some of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals and concert halls, including the main stage of the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2009, and subsequent visits to Vancouver, Edmonton and Victoria Jazz Festival in British Columbia in 2010. Since 2009, Onabule has also appeared with Germany's big bands, WDR Big Band Köln and SWR Big Band, as well as the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg in Potsdam.
In Summer 2012, Ola Onabule, performed his first concerts in the Baltic region. He was invited to perform at Estonia's renowned Muhu Future Music Festival and at the highly regarded Saulkrasti Jazz Festival in Latvia. On this first visit to Estonia Ola was also introduced to The ETV Choir and performed a concert with them in a church in Saramaa.
This wonderful collaboration led to Ola returning in December 2012 for further concerts with Villu Veski (esteemed saxophonist) and the ETV Choir leading to a concert in the capital Tallinn, in the famous Kaarli Church which was produced and filmed by ETV. The concert was broadcast in December 2012.
Ola returned to Latvia in 2013 for shows with The Mirage Jazz Orchestra . The performance at The Saulkrasti Jazz Festival was so well received that the promoters decided to bring Ola back to perform in November 2013 for two shows at The Splendid Palace in Riga.
in December 2013 Ola returns to perform for the third time with The WDR Big Band for two shows which will be filmed and recorded by WDR for broadcast. Ola Onabule also performed with a song called Stand ! in Okan Ersan's second album called "A Reborn Journey".