DK Ibomeka
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DK Ibomeka


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"Love Stories - Review"

DK Ibomeka has released his debut album "Love Stories". He's a mighty impressive singer with great range and power. Perhaps his six feet seven inch frame helps out there! He actually blends a lot of different strands into his sound, drawing from the Blues as much as the jazz tradition, with splashes of soul and pure pop along the way. Taking his inspiration from the likes of Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ray Charles, his range is as impressive as his tone, with delicacy and emotion just as important as power and tone. He is redolent of Seal in that way. - Classic Rock Society

"Love Stories - Review"

Love Stories
In & Out Records IOR 77083-2

Singer DK is the Canadian born son of Nigerian parents, with a silky-smooth, cool vocal style and a musical approach that occupies the territory where blues, jazz and soul meet. His own inventive lyrics (he helped to write half of the twelve tracks) are delivered in his rich, deep voice and he is accompanied by a small combo of equally talented musicians on guitars (electric and acoustic), keyboards, and a rhythm section including the gentler sound of acoustic bass.

Although much broader than a “simple” blues set, the blues is well-represented here. ‘If It’s Over’ is a gospel inflected bluesy ballad, Lennon/ McCartney’s ‘Oh! Darling’ evokes Charles Brown, ‘Found Around The Blues’ has particularly fine guitar work and is a little reminiscent of the sophisticated style of Percy Mayfield, whilst the closing ‘Sugar In My Bowl’ is the Bessie Smith number courtesy of Nina Simone. These are all pleasingly low-key, but the up-tempo blues shuffle - with almost rock and roll styled backing vocals - of ‘So Long (It’s Alright)’ is a fine change of pace and a chance to cut loose somewhat. There is no problem with that; it just showcases another facet of DK’s talent.

Like Ray Charles and the aforementioned Ms. Simone, who are both acknowledged inspirations, DK keeps one foot in the blues camp. And like those two artists, he is indeed a classy performer.

 Norman Darwen - Norman Darwen, Blues Art Review (Austria)

"Downtown Jazz Festival Reviews (Toronto)"

Jacksoul/Divine Brown/ DK Ibomeka
Habourfront Centre, June 22

An all-Canadian bill at Harbourfront Centre kicked off the 2006 Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival. It was a perfect early summer night to sit back and relax or stand up and groove to three fabulous local bands. No need to go south when the Canadian talent is as incredible as DK Ibomeka, Divine Brown and Jacksoul.

The evening began with the smooth, deep, rich vocals of DK Ibomeka. The man is a towering presence -- physically and vocally. He sang a number of songs from his new CD, including one he co-wrote with Jacksoul. He also performed an excellent jazz version of the Beatles ‘Oh Darling’, and concluded his brief appearance with a Nina Simone’s ‘Spell on You’. He cleverly incorporated the introduction of his band into the lyrics of this song. It was a great way for him to end his set.

Divine Brown wowed the crowd with her sensual style -- a bit of scat and reggae and a lot of pop-rhythm and soul. The Jacksoul Band joined her on stage. She sang a collection of songs from her gold selling self-titled album. In the middle of her performance, she invited her daughter on stage and dedicated the song ‘Single Momma’ to all the single moms out there. She ended her show with a very sultry tune ‘Old Skool Love’. This lovely and energetic artist had a great rapport with the audience and left them wanting more.

Headliners Jacksoul, and especially lead singer Haydain Neale, did not disappoint the fans and left no question as to why they were the headliners. Dressed in basic black, they performed their singles plus a number of songs off of their latest CD. The guitarist provided an amazing acoustic accompaniment to Neale’s vocals on ‘Try’. This got the audience going, as did their superb version of the Guess Who’s ‘These Eyes’. Neale did not leave the audience ‘High and Dry’ as he got them to their feet and to sing along. Ibomeka was invited back out for the finale. It was a great way to end an amazing show and to kick off the festival.

- Anna Stitski - Anna Stitski,

"Port Hope Jazz Festival: "Two New Voices""

All Canadian Port Hope Jazz Festival opens with ‘Two New Voices’

All Canadian Port Hope Jazz Festival opens with ‘Two New Voices’

The All-Canadian Port Hope Jazz Festival has a track record of signing rising stars just as they burst into international prominence, and this year’s festival-opening “Two New Voices” concert carries on that tradition.

Kellylee Evans and DK Ibomeka both released new CDs this spring, and the rave reviews for the CDs have been followed by enthusiastic cheers at major summer jazz festivals.

Kellylee Evans currently hails from Ottawa, and she made a big splash last month at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. CBC’s Ontario Morning cited her performance as one of the “Five Must See Concerts” for the summer. She appeared on CTV’s national program Good Morning Canada recently, and only a month after her Port Hope concert, she is booked for the Kennedy Centre in Washington, DC.

That’s a heady schedule for someone who just “got serious” about jazz in 2002. She says a near-death experience from an allergic reaction spurred her to focus on what was truly important in her life – music. In addition to singing, she read widely on creativity and songwriting, work that paid off with her current album, which features 11 of her own songs.

As Joyce Corbett wrote in The Live Music Report review of the CD’s launch party, “what is so remarkable about Kellylee’s songs is their beautifully-written, intelligent lyrics.” Corbett also praised “the smooth, strong voice of which she seems to have complete control. Kellylee Evans moves effortlessly from note to note, savouring the vibrations of those she chooses to hold onto.”

Clearly, the judges at the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in New York agreed – they awarded Evans second place after listening to 160 talented competitors.

The second of the Two New Voices, DK Ibomeka, has had an equally meteoric rise. The son of Nigerian immigrants to Canada, at six foot seven Ibomeka is a towering figure with enormous stage presence.

While studying chemistry and psychology at McMaster University a few years ago, he discovered Ella Fitzgerald, whose voice, he says, “called to me in a way that no other voice has”.

He soon signed up for the vocal studies program at Humber College, and took advantage of as many open mike stages as he could find. It didn’t take long for his natural talent to be noticed.

Geoff Chapman of the Toronto Star wrote: “I first heard him on a typically storm-battered night at (Toronto’s) Distillery Jazz Festival, but he was more than equal to the challenge, swinging and scatting hard – and caressing ballads. It’s no wonder he’s been compared to Joe Williams of Count Basie band fame.”

“His voice is big, his range is big, and he is big ... but it’s not his stature that you’ll remember after a performance, but the way he can project a song,” Chapman says.

DK Ibomeka was featured in the Summer Serenades series at Dundas Square in Toronto last month and will perform in a Nathan Phillips Square concert in August. He also performed at Trafalgar Square in London with Peter Appleyard on Canada Day.

The Two New Voices concert in Port Hope will be opened by the Trinity College School Jazz Ensemble.

Tickets for the concert, on Friday September 22 at 7:30 pm, are $30, and are available through the Festival website, .
Published in The Independent Aug 2, 2006 - The Indipendent

"Love Stories- Review"

DK Ibomeka
Love Stories - In/Out Records IOR770832
By Graeme Scott

Well I don't know what they are putting in the water over there in Canada, but whatever it is it sure is working.

This refulgent debut album from DK Ibomeka showcases just how strong the music coming out of Canada is. Blending blues, jazz and soul together with just a touch of pop, DK has ended up with a high quality product. So redolent of late night sexual attraction that if you fail to seduce your chosen partner with this on the turntable, give up and join a closed order.

DK is possessed of a voice that is very smooth, soaked with honey but not in the least sickly sweet. A worthy successor to Barry White's vacant crown perhaps? The twelve tracks here are a fifty-fifty split of original songs and covers. The opener, Someone To Love Me signals the strength of what is to come. If It's Over will melt even the hardest of hearts before moving into the up-beat and amusing I'll Be Anybody. Oh Darling is almost unrecognisable, as coming from the pens of Lennon and McCartney and Dedicated To You is just a perfect love song.

Interview, Consolation Prize, So Long (It's Alright) move this collection along and I can't help but be reminded of KD Lang's Ingénue album in the way it intermixes tempo's and aural textures to such good effect.

Found Around The Blues is straight out of a blues and jazz club at 2AM with lovers draped in each others arms on the dance floor while One Warm Night, Ain't No Woman and Sugar In My Bowl are the icing on this wonderful audio cake.

DK Ibomeka's the name, give him a listen when the CD is released at the end of September.

Graeme Scott
- Graeme Scott, Blues Matters Magazine (UK)

"DK charms us with his Love Stories"

Posted: 06-13-2006

Report by Sue Bullas | Photos by Roger Humbert of the Live Music Report :

The perfect recipe for a CD release party: an intimate setting, a wine tasting, good food and lovely people. This is exactly what DK Ibomeka had Tuesday night at Revival for the release of Love Stories.

DK is expressive, charming and fun. He sings us a thank you for attending his release “I appreciate you taking the time to celebrate with me.” The crowd was engaged from his first step on stage. He loves his songs, and shared his inspiration for several of them, such as “Interview”, relating his comparison of a first date to a job interview.

DK experimented with singing after hearing and being moved by an Ella Fitzgerald recording. He quietly wrote songs and developed his voice, eventually auditioning for his parents a capella in the kitchen before committing to a career in music. DK values his instrument and has a knack for expressing his three octave range voice throughout his songs.

Kevin Barrett (guitar), Kevin Adamson (keys), Drew Birston (bass), Aubrey Dayle (drums) gave inspired support to DK’s voice, seeming to love the music as much as the singer himself. DK has such a strong presence that I don’t think the CD entirely captures the freshness of his style.

DK’s boyish qualities and his humourous style came to the fore during his admission that he can’t tie his own tie (his neighbour helped). After attending the release party I think it’s safe to say we’d all offer to help him with his tie anytime.
- Sue Bullas , The Live Music Report

"Ibomeka feels the love in London"

June 10, 2006

DK (DeeKaye) Ibomeka is feeling the love in London . . . and London, England -- and just about everywhere.

The former Laurier Secondary School student's debut CD, Love Stories (Fusion III), is just out -- the culmination of 18 months of close collaboration with Jacksoul's Haydain Neale. Later this month, Ibomeka brings his soulful three-octave range and six-foot-seven self to Trafalgar Square on June 30 as part of the Canada Day celebrations in London, England.

Ibomeka will be in the company of such Canadian stars as Ron Sexsmith at the Canadian high commission event. He'll be singing with jazzman Peter Appleyard's band at the gig.

"I feel very privileged to have to have been asked by the high commissioner. I'm so excited," Ibomeka said yesterday.

The 26-year-old is the son of Nigerian immigrants who lived in that other London for several years before moving to the Forest City. Ibomeka still has a sister there. "I always wanted to visit there. It's exciting to be going to perform," he says.

A measure of how much is happening for Ibomeka is that this interview took place as the singer was going to a CBC Radio broadcast yesterday.

Ibomeka, now Toronto-based, plays a hometown gig on Aug. 19 at Aeolian Hall. He was magnificent there early in 2005, opening for Buffy Sainte-Marie when he was already working on Love Stories with Neale. "He's like a brother. He's like a mentor. He's my singing coach policeman," Ibomeka says of the Canadian R&B singer and producer.

Ibomeka had only begun to sing seriously after falling under the spell of an Ella Fitzgerald album a few years ago. He had been studying sciences at McMaster and was likely headed for medical school. Exposure to Ella took him into music. He suddenly found himself singing the standards songbook.

Another twist happened during the work on Love Stories. Neale produced and arranged the CD, but took the novice's poems and their emotions seriously. Soon, Ibomeka was sharing his "neurotic dating stories" -- and the soulful sounds of his real-life Love Stories emerged from all those mellowing sorrows.

Ibomeka has already played the Montreal jazz festival and been signed by a big-name agency since he last played Aeolian Hall. So maybe it's no surprise Appleyard's crew is happy to adjust to that big new voice at Trafalgar Square. - James Reaney, London Free Press (Ontario)

"Ella Set DK On New Path"

Toronto Sun: Column by Nicholas Davis
Posted: 06-05-2006

At the request of Canada's High Commissioner in London, D.K. Ibomeka is off to Britain at the end of the month to sing at their Canada Day celebrations.

For Ibomeka it's like his life is coming full circle.

"My parents lived in London, England for many years before moving our family to London, Ont.," says Ibomeka, who now calls Toronto home. "I'm touched to be given the honour of performing there on Canada Day."

Ibomeka never thought that if he ended up visiting his parents' former homeland it would be as a singer. But life, as is often the case, takes strange twists and turns that can only be credited to fate.

"I wasn't one of those people who grew up singing," Ibomeka says. "I was well on my way to med school when I moved into this house and found that some foolish person had left behind an Ella Fitzgerald CD. I dusted it off and started playing it. I also started singing it because I fell in love with the record. This discovery led me to buy CDs of Nina Simone and Ray Charles and I started singing their songs too.

"For a long time I only sang behind closed doors, but a lot of friends told me I was a good singer. So I eventually started hitting open mike nights. The response I received was overwhelming - so overwhelming that I would run off the stage and literally out the door."

One night though, jazz musician and radio personality Jaymz Bee wouldn't let D.K. run out the door. The performance he caught of Ibomeka's was too good to ignore.

"I was singing Billie Holiday's A Fine and Mellow," remembers Ibomeka. "After finishing the song I looked up and I noticed I had received a standing ovation. It kind of freaked me out. Jaymz stopped me from running out of the club and told me this is what I should be doing for a living."

Bee started bringing Ibomeka to his jazz shows and allowed Ibomeka to showcase his three octave voice in front of a lot of different audiences. "After a while it became apparent to me that this is what I should be doing."

After convincing himself to take the leap into the world of music, Ibomeka had to convince his parents that leaving school was the right thing to do. His parents, who are from Nigeria, always stressed to him the value of an education.

"My parents thought I was crazy when I first told them," says Ibomeka. "You have to remember I was a psychology student with plans on being a doctor. Plus, my parents had never heard me sing before. They made me audition for them. I sang an a capella version of Amazing Grace. After a few notes my mother said she was fully supportive of my decision. My father came around as well."

Ibomeka started his career singing standards, but about a year ago he hooked up with Haydain Neale of Jacksoul who offered to help him work on some original material for an album.

"I had boxes of poetry that I had been writing since I was quite young," says Ibomeka. "A lot of it was garbage, but some of it was good and I wanted to turn those good ones into songs. Haydain really wanted me to learn the craft of songwriting so he allowed me to experiment and we pushed a lot of boundaries. We wanted to make an album of stories."

The end result is Ibomeka's debut album Love Stories. It was produced by Neale and is available in stores tomorrow. Unlike most people trying to make it in the music business, Ibomeka's journey has been relatively stress-free.

"I feel extremely lucky to have people around me who believe in me so much," says Ibomeka. "I've been blessed with talent and surrounded by wonderful musicians, and along with having my family support, it's making the music business pleasurable for me."
- Nicholas Davis, The Toronto Sun

"Love Stories - Review"

Maple Blues Online: DK Ibomeka Love Stories Wychwood Park/Fusion
Posted: 06-01-2006

Review by John Valenteyn

DK, it was Deekaye, is a young local singer whose performances have made him a man to watch. He has appeared on a couple of CDs and now his own is here. He has chosen a contemporary R&B ballad style, gorgeously produced by Haydain Neale of Jacksoul, and I think they have a huge hit on their hands. DK and Neale have supplied most of the songs and there are a number of songs that justify a review in this column. DK has a beautiful warm voice that makes the most of these ballads. He can belt it out too, at least in relative terms, "So Long (It's Alright)" is a fine original bluesy goodbye song that might be a slow song on any other album but at whatever tempo, it's a standout. "If It's Over" and a truly subdued "Found Around The Blues" should satisfy any blues lover as will the version of the Beatles' "Oh! Darling" (!). "Ain't No Woman" is another highlight and the original song has a line about wanting `sugar in my bowl'. The next and closing song is a version of that Nina Simone standard and it fits in perfectly. George Koller on bass, Davide Direnzo on drums, Justin Abedin on guitars, Ron Lopata on keys and Neale on backing vocals all do their part wondrously for a CD that can fit in to almost any taste. You should be hearing this one all over the radio dial. The CD will be out on the 6th and the official Toronto launch is at Hugh's Room on June 14. - Maple Blues Magazine

"Towering DK born to sing jazz"

Aug 5, 2004

His voice is big, his range is big — and he is big.

At 6-foot-7, you can't miss vocalist Dee Kaye, but it's not his stature that you'll remember after a performance, but the way he can project a song. And at just 24, he has a fab future ahead of him.
I first heard him on a typically storm-battered night at May's Distillery Jazz Festival, but he was more than equal to the challenge, swinging and scatting hard — and caressing ballads. It's no wonder he's been compared to Joe Williams of Count Basie band fame.

Kaye will be performing with Jaymz Bee's Royal Jelly Orchestra Saturday night from 9:30 on the Centennial Square Stage at Oakville's 12th annual jazz festival.

"I'm a dreamer," he said in an interview. "I didn't really sing when I was growing up in London, though I'd add harmonies to music that I liked, Boyz2Men and Tracy Chapman. It was intriguing. I'd spend five hours a day trying to recreate the sound, behind a locked door.

"In my final year at Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School, I sang `Silent Night' at the Christmas show and, later on, when I was at McMaster, I was the voice of Audrey the man-eating plant in Little Shop Of Horrors in a Hamilton show and I played the hunchback in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame at the Fringe in Edmonton.

"At McMaster, I switched courses from biochemistry to abnormal psychology and I took part in some cabaret shows. It was at that time, about three years ago, that I discovered Ella Fitzgerald. She sang with such feeling. I was blown away.

"I concluded that I couldn't not sing, so I enrolled in the vocal jazz program at Humber College. Students were given passes to the IAJE (jazz educators') convention in Toronto (in January 2003). I took a demo tape and gave it to the guy in the Berklee School of Music booth and, a while later, they offered me a large scholarship but even with that, it was too expensive."

Kaye was determined to keep singing, so he took part in open-mike sessions at venues like The Rex, Healey's and Sax On Yonge, and made the jump into the big time with a successful week at the Senator in February. His six-song EP disc, two featuring Jaymz Bee's ensemble, showcase his abilities in jazz, soul and blues, and a full-length CD should be ready early in 2005.

"Singing has come naturally to me. It involves poetry, which I love, and has passion but the part I like best is the feeling, the communication of lyrics that send a message."

Kaye, who's taken lessons from Elaine Overholt, is a regular in the "divo" series at Potatro Blues Supper Club (he's there next Wednesday) and will appear at the Oshawa Jazz and Blues Festival next week with the Bee orchestra.

"My mom and dad encouraged me to sing, even though with my straight As I was really meant to be a doctor. I auditioned for them and I think they saw the passion in my eyes. Ray Charles was a big inspiration for me and so is Nina Simone for her lack of pretension. I love Norah Jones. I'm goal-oriented. In two years' time I want to be as comfortable as I can be onstage, to make music that trancends."

At 24, Dee Kaye has already made an impressive singing debut in Toronto. - Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star


Debut CD: Love Stories, Released via Wychwood Park Productions on June 6, 2006 through Distribution Fusion 3.

The CD was one of the most played new jazz CDs in Canada during the Summer of 2006



Introducing: DK Ibomeka

At six foot seven, DK Ibomeka (pronounced ee-bo-MECK-eh) has a towering stage presence and a voice to match. Industry insiders are calling DK one of the best new voices in years, with a three-octave range informed by the clarity and vibrancy of Ella Fitzgerald, the soulfulness of Ray Charles, the emotional depth of Nina Simone, and the deep, rich bass of Joe Williams.

DK Ibomeka’s debut album “Love Stories”, presents a mix of jazz, a touch of blues and a distinct flavouring of soul – creating a romantic late-night sound that is DK’s own.

Wychwood Park Productions, through Distribution Fusion III, launched the album in Canada to critical acclaim in June 2006 and it quickly rose to the Top Ten jazz radio charts. In+Out Records launched the album to strong reviews in the UK and Europe in the early fall of 2006.

Produced by Haydain Neale, singer/songwriter leader of Canada’s award-winning Jacksoul, with legendary engineer and producer George Massenburg on board as mixing consultant, the CD was mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, New York.

The son of Nigerian immigrants to Canada, DK Ibomeka’s musical aspirations began when he thought he was heading for medical school. Moving into a new apartment he discovered that someone had left behind a jazz CD and immediately fell in love with the music. He spent the next few months singing in the shower and writing songs. Eventually he broke the news to his parents that he wished to devote his life to music, and they asked him to audition right there in the kitchen, a capella. Amazed (they had no idea their son could sing), his parents agreed to support his decision, never dreaming that before long their son would be co-writing songs with Haydain Neale and represented by the top Canadian booking agency.

With each live performance DK continues to captivate audiences and critics alike. In Montreal he shared the stage with the Neville Brothers, Patti Labelle and Haydain Neale at the 2005 Montreal Jazz Festival. At the 2006 Toronto and Winnepeg Jazz Festivals he was the opening act for Jacksoul. In London, England, invited by the Canadian High Commission, to perform at Canada Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square, DK sang with the musical support of jazz legend Peter Appleyard.

After his first two European showcase performances, DK was immediately booked into a month-long tour of Germany and Italy - to play in many of those countries finest Jazz rooms. Touring in Europe runs through November 2006 and continues in spring, 2007 - with dates slated for The UK and France.

European representation is by Gabriele Kleinschmidt Promotions (GKP), among Europe’s top booking agencies, providing European representation for such performers as Dave Brubeck, Ron Carter, Roy Hargrove, McCoy Tyner, Eddie Palmieri, James Blood Ulmer and the Sun Ra Arkestra.

DK is represented in Canada by S.L. Feldman, whose roster includes such notable performers as Diana Krall, Nora Jones, Michael Buble, Sarah McLachlan and Ron Sexsmith.

Samples of DK’s recordings are available at:

Management: Elaine Waisglass (416) 301-7558, Wychwood Park Productions,