The story behind Jujuba...
Jujuba delivers a funky, danceable style of Nigerian Afrobeat and Juju music. The strength of the 10-piece revolves around its energetic cohesion between percussion, rhythm and horn sections. Renowned for their ability to engage a wide variety of audiences, the band draws a dance floor full of smiling faces at every performance.
Jujuba features Nojeem Lasisi from Igbo Ora, Oyo State, in Nigeria. He ranks among the world’s elite talking drum players. Nojeem was given his first drum at age four by his father, also a master drummer, who handed down to Nojeem its powerful language. As a member of Nigerian superstar King Sunny Ade's group, the African Beats, Nojeem toured the world and appears on numerous recordings with King Sunny, including "Seven Degrees North" and "Odu”.
Marc Silverman (keys) and Ethan Flaherty (guitar) moved to Portland in 1999 with a driven focus to start a band built on a foundation of West African drumming. Their studies of Ghanaian drumming, and Marc's travels in Africa listening to and learning rhythms in Tanzania and Ghana, inspired an idea in Marc to apply these rhythms to bass, keyboard, and guitar parts in an electric rhythm section. After playing with hundreds of musicians during their first few years in Portland, Marc and Ethan met percussionist Tobias Manthey, who brought them together with his teacher, Nojeem Lasisi, for the first rehearsal of what would become Jujuba.
The band has been fortunate to include in its roster many inspiring musicians throughout the last two decades and continues to find its lifeblood and creative spark in the beating of the drum. Since 2002, positive feedback from audiences, concert promoters, festival organizers, and the press has reinforced Jujuba's reputation as a dependable source of joy in the Portland music scene. As Marty Hughley of The Oregonian put it, “the heat and flavor was all in the groove.”