OMAR X Zaska X Jeru The Damaja
Triple Headline Bill
Born October 14, 1968, in London but raised in Canterbury, Omar Lye-Fook couldn’t escape the call to music even if he’d tried. His father, Byron Lye-Fook, was a studio musician and drummer who worked with reggae greats Bob Marley and Horace Andy, as well as the Rolling Stones.
Designated by many as the father of British neo-soul (though his impact extends to U.S. shores as well), singer/songwriter/producer Omar began as one of the U.K.’s most promising R&B hopefuls with his early-’90s international hit “There’s Nothing Like This.” Unintentionally avoiding pop stardom, he chose never to compromise his artistic credibility, and because of that, people like India.Arie, Erykah Badu, Angie Stone, Gilles Peterson, and his biggest idol, Stevie Wonder, are all personal fans (with the prior three naming him an influence).
Although he gets thrown into the R&B category, Omar has no real definitive boundaries. In interesting new ways with each album, he has molded soul and urban music to fit his wide variety of influences, including ragga, hip-hop, funk, jazz-pop, rock, and Latin/Caribbean dance. Despite his lack of chart success, his original techniques have garnered him a strong legion of followers in the U.K. and a devoted fan base in diverse regions across the world.
Max Zaska is a guitarist, songwriter, musical director, and producer best known for his feel-good blend of neo-soul, modern funk, and indie jazz. ZASKA is a supergroup of Irish talent with collaboration at its heart that started with the band’s original vocalist, Hozier.
ZASKA’s second album, A Better Way, has a sustainability theme and will be released in fall 2022 with singles out throughout the year. This album draws inspiration from the contemporary UK jazz & neo-soul scene and features vocalists Tolü Makay, Faye O’Rourke (Soda Blonde), Melina Malone, J Smith, Jess Kav, and more.
It Takes A Village is ZASKA’s critically acclaimed 2019 debut album featuring over 25
performers including Wyvern Lingo and Loah and was named Album of the Year on RTÉ 2XM.
“A benchmark example of the talent that exists in this country” – The Irish Times
In a one-month residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris in 2022, Max invited guests Gemma Dunleavy, Shiv, Kean Kavanagh, and Melina Malone to collaborate. Each week a different artist wrote with Max, concluding in a live show presenting the new work. The Paris Sessions will be finished in studio and released in 2023.
In 2021, Max produced and co-wrote 2 albums as part of the ambitious project, MåsExödus,
blending contemporary jazz with hip hop elements. The project culminated in sold-out shows at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival with Chicago-based Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Denise Chaila. A concert film was produced and directed by legendary hip hop photographer B+ (Brian Cross). The albums and film will be released in 2022.
With a reputation for incredible, high-energy live performances, ZASKA has headlined shows and festivals throughout Ireland. Named one of Ireland’s best guitarists, Max Zaska has a B.A. in Jazz Performance.
JERU THE DAMAJA
Jeru the Damaja (born Jeru Davis) aka D. Original Dirty Rotten Scoundrel was born and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn where the everyday occurrences around him from an early age later became the source from which his rhymes flow. Jeru created and took on the persona of “the Damaja” (because he damages the mic) that is part conscious truth teller and part true to the streets Brooklyn hard rock. Jeru the Damaja hooked up with DJ Premiere and Guru, collectively known as Gangstarr, shortly after they moved to New York on the late 1980’s.
Jeru introduced his unique “hardcore conscious” style to hip-hop audiences on “I’m the Man” a track on Gangstarr’s 1992 Daily Operations album. In 1993 he cemented his place in the hip-hop world by releasing the now classic single “Come Clean” from his legendary album, The Sun Rises in the East. The Wrath of the Math was released two years later which included the hit singles “Ya Playin’ Yaself” and “Me or the Papes” and Jeru the Damaja was proclaimed the savior of hip-hop due to his honest and straight forward critique of the state of hip-hop music. In 2000 Jeru released Heroz 4 Hire completely autonomously, from the production of the album to its release on his independent label KnowSavage Records Jeru’s second independent album Divine Design on his new label Ashenafi Records featuring production by new producers Ed Dantez and Sabor and the new classics singles “WAR” and “Don’t Get it Twisted” featuring Lil’Dap from the Group Home.
Jeru’s third independent release Still Risin’ hit stores mid-2007. Taking his music to a new level by creating a style that is fusion of years of life experience translated to lyrical content set to rugged, real production. Still Risin was arefreshing appeal to intellect from a real life, everyone can relate to point of view.
Jeru has one of the most consistent tour schedules in hip hop and has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. In between tours Jeru has done joint projects with Grammy nominated UK group Groove Armada, DJ Cut Killa, French actor Doudou Masta , and DJ Honda from Japan. He also worked with platinum Polish group Slums Attack and received a platinum plaque for this collaboration. Jeru has recently added Photographic artist to his resume. Jeru’s had songs on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, True Crime: New York City and GTA IV video games, as well as collaborating with OG street skater Josh Kalis and DCshoes. Jeru was also named on of the 50 Greatest Emcees in Kool Mo Dee’s book “There Is a God On the Mic” and is looking forward to continuing that legacy in the future.
Through nearly twenty celebrated years in the music business Jeru has established himself as a multitalented, multifaceted artist and businessperson.
Live at St. Luke’s
Fri 28th – 7.30pm
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MUSICIANS ON THE PLANET
– Miles Davis
Brandee Younger is the go-to harpist of her generation, with credits ranging from veteran saxophonist Pharoah Sanders to John Legend and Drake
SEUN KUTI FURTHERS HIS FATHER (FELA KUTI’S) MESSAGE