Edit Ejioyewole Account
Born to a royal lineage in Ibadan, Prince Eji Oyewole has had a career as a flautist, saxophonist and sometime bandleader. He trained both in Nigeria and Trinity College in London, and his life as an itinerant musician also saw him living for extensive periods in Geneva, Hamburg and in Lyon. When he told his parents that he wanted to be a musician they did not support his choice of career. They strongly opined that musicians as smokers and womanizers, so it is not suitable for people from a royal background. However, Eji Oyewole got to hang out with musical royalty instead. He played with Fela Kuti as a member of Koola Lobitos; he toured West Africa with Franco and OK Jazz; he shared a stage with Miles Davis at the Village Vanguard in New York, and spent three years with Bob Marley, famously arranging the horns for the recording of ‘Buffalo Soldier.’ He also played with Vangelis at the Royal Albert Hall in 1976. Everything that Oyewole had experienced and learned culminated in Charity Begins At Home. Recorded for EMI Nigeria at the tail end of the 70s, Charity Begins at Home finds Eji Oyewole at the height of his powers. It was re-mastered and re-released by BBE records; it’s considered a classic of the golden age of Nigerian music. Eji is often classified as Highlife, but on Charity Begins at Home, he is as influenced as much by American Funk as by jazz. It features a brasher, horn laden sound that really showcases his skills as a flautist and saxophonist. The lyrics are astute too, whereas ‘Oil Boom’ raises issues that are still topical in the Nigerian oil industry today. Oyewole is still active and playing live. He tours regularly with his own band, The AfroBars, a six piece Jazz-Afro highlife ensemble. And in 2011 he joined up with a bunch of other old school Lagos musicians to form Faaji Agba, billed as the Nigerian version of the Buena Vista Social Club.
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