Koku Gonza
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Koku Gonza

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Acoustic

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Music

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"All Things Beautiful...Koku Gonza"

Few things reign supreme.

Music is one of the elements that, without a doubt, give us that feeling… Of loveliness. Of pretty. Of glory. Of majesty. Of radiance. Of love.

Music is beautiful.

The soundtrack to our lives has run something like this…Nina Simone, Billy Holiday, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Marley, Kings of Leon, Mary J, Sade, Earth Wind & Fire, Citizen Cope, Diana Ross, Maxwell, Ella Fitzgerald, Fela, Dolly Parton, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Dinah Washington, Al Green, Chaka Khan, Etta James, Curtis Mayfield, Lauryn Hill, Sam Cooke, Lena Horne, Marvin Gaye, Abby Lincoln, Patsy Cline, Teddy Pendergrass, Loretta Lynn, Donny Hathaway, Minnie Riperton…

Music is Beautiful. Past, present and future.

Join us for a series of listening parties as we hang with some of our favorites and a few new artists as well. Help bridge music and all things beautiful at GEORGIA.

Enjoy,

Jodie
- Georgia Botique


"Meet The Very Talented Koku Gonza"

don’t know about those of you reading, but I am always on the lookout for new music. While there are bands that I love and will listen to on repeat to the point where my husband will ask me to play something, anything else, I still crave new music to listen to. I have a few friends who are gifted with making mixed CD’s and they often introduce me to music I never would have found on my own. Recently, Jeanne forwarded me the link for Koku Gonza and I was immediately enamored. If you check out her website, you will see why. - Daily Grommet


"Exposed!"

eXposed art exhibtion + auction 11.12.09. Purchase your tickets in advance!
A collaborative photography project between orphaned children of AIDS in Tanzania + artists in America…
Live performance by Koku Gonza
Celebrity host Matthew Santos
—–
Thursday, November 12, 2009
7:00pm - 11:00pm
Salvage One:
1840 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL
—–
$25 dollars advanced tickets online
http://www.peacehousefoundation.org/salvage_one_reservation.html
$35 at the door

—-

eXposed is a collaborative project between teenage students from Tanzania and artists from America. An integration of photography and art to create visual translations of childrens stories across the globe. Haastyle has been invited to be a participating artist in this exhibit + silent auction. All proceeds benefit the students of PEACE HOUSE SECONDARY. - http://www.haastyle.com/?p=1643


"Introducing - Koku Gonza"

Two key musicians in her life--her father and her mother, influenced Koku. Her father, a renowned Tanzanian composer and guitarist, exposed Koku to the African music of his roots. Koku Gonza's mother, a flute/sax player and a cultured musician from the U.S., shared her knowledge in multiple genres such as Gospel, Jazz and Classical music with Koku. Koku Gonza inclines the creativity of a combination of various styles of music. - Uzuri Magazine


"Organic Groov"

http://www.digitalfuntown.com/showpage.php?showid=17 - Digital Funtown


"Koku Gonza at The Chicago Soul Music Festival"

I am very excited at the opportunity to invite you to attend the upcoming Chicago Soul Music Festival 2009. The 3-day outdoor music festival is set to take place June 26, 27 and 28th at Union Park-blocks away from the Oprah Winfrey's Studios-produced in cooperation with Alderman Burnett and the Mayor's Office of Special Events.

Recognized as a "Top 50 Fab Fests" 2009 by Chicago Tribune/RedEye Daily, and one of the more sought after events in the city; The Chicago Soul Music Festival is to capture the essence of the City's musical history, to catapult Chicago as the destination for soul music along with it's rich traditions-both nationally and internationally. This Festival will provide Chicago residents and it's visitors with high quality entertainment that features a concert series, upscale food vendors, artisans, fashion market, fashion shows, children's interactive area, and much more.

See you there! - Union Park/Press Release/Event Invitation


"Koku Gonza"

Soooo I was being bored on Youtube watching some natural hair videos (Yes, I'm going natural) and stumbled upon the page of an up and coming artist named Koku Gonza. At first I was mesmerized by her gorgeous hair, but then being in the state of boredom that I was, I decided to watch one of her videos. I was immediately entranced by her hypnotic voice as she sang an original song entitled "So High". Though the song was great, the video was basically a slide show prompting you to visit her website. Since I liked her sound I decided it wouldn't hurt to visit. I'm now glad that I did because she offers three FREE MP3 downloads of her original music directly on the site. I wasn't wild about the first jam, "This Beat Is For You" (I hate fast music), but the other two were promising, which include "So High". Go take a listen and see what you think!
- Frugally Fab.com


"http://www.spokenvizions.com/musicreviews.html"

Neo soul artist Koku Gonza is truly a beauty and a beautiful talent. She’s a songwriter, musician and performer who has been compared to the likes of India-Arie and Corrine Bailey Rae also having a unique eclectic style with a hint of nu-soul and blues.

Koku started off like many, singing in the church and learned to play piano and guitar. She attended Indiana University Bloomington where she studied music production and songwriting until she decided to pursue her singing career with no holds barred. Many singers have been molded and constructed into artists but not Koku Gonza, she is a born natural talent that has nurtured herself into become an enchanting voice.

She’s currently working on her debut album but right now she has two downloadable songs available on the Organic Groov: Vol 1 compilation CD available at http://www.amazon.com. One notable track Rainy Day is about a mystery person that catches her eye while she’s heading uptown. She says “every time it rains I think about this person”. The feel of her music is calming with her simple guitar strums that lay softly beneath her melodic story telling.

She resides in Chicago and kindly welcomes invitations to show off her stuff both locally and abroad. Be amazed!
- Spoken Visions


Discography

Confessions of A Songwriter - 2008
PlayGround - 2010
Radiozophrenic - 2011

Photos

Bio

Koku Gonza is the definition of Natural talent. She is a singer who specializes in song writing and her music can be categorized in different genres, nu soul, rhythm and blues, electro soul, etc.
Influenced by two musicians in her life. Her father a Tanzanian guitarist (Longfellow Mugarula) and songwriter, exposed her to Tanzanian music and her mother a flute/sax/keyboard player from the U.S. exposed her to Jazz, Classical and Gospel music. Her father was a known song writer in from Bukoba, Tanzania. So, naturally she is inclined to the creativity of combining various styles. At young age Koku learned how to play and piano, sung in the Gospel and Classical children's choir. While attending college, Koku Gonza studied music production and song writing at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, USA before deciding with true faith to pursue a career in the music industry. Her best friend is now her Les Paul guitar. All of her showcases always feature her playing her guitar. Koku Gonza’s voice is unique, but has been compared to that of Sia from Zero 7, artist Chrisette Michelle, and Grammy Award winner Corrine Bailey Rae. Her love for the guitar has resulted in mandatory accompaniment with most of her songs, but she works with different instruments to create her unique sound. Koku currently resides in Chicago, IL. Koku Gonza is immersed in the artist culture of Chicago as a performance artist and youth music instructor for Digital Youth Network at DePaul University. She has performed acoustic shows in at various venues throughout Chicago such as the Soul Music Festival with the Legendary Roy Ayers, Super Soul Sundays with Grammy Nominated Yazarah from Foreign Exchange and Peace House Africa -Tanzania Exposed with Grammy Nominated Matthew Santos.

“Real music is what I want to create and help others create." ~Koku Gonza~

• Chuck Lacy (drummer & b.g.vocals) is a working fixture in Chicago’s music scene playing everything from country to neo-soul. Some of the artist he has worked with are, blues artist Ana Popovic; R&B Artist Rahsaan Patterson, Shirley Murdock, Angela Winbush, Miki Howard; Gospel Legends The Caravans and Edwin Hawkins, and many more. In addition to being a drummer he is also a songwriter and producer-having co produced Gospel group Just Friends first release “Fulfillment”. He is also the music director for Just Friends as well as MTV’s Star Maker Melody Angel.

• Mendell Beckford (bass & b.g.vocals) was born and raised on the island of Jamaica, at the age of 22 he migrated to Chicago. He played reggae music exclusively throughout the US with The Waterhouse Band. He has shared the stage with a wide range of artists such as Mary Mary, Byron Cage, Chrisette Michelle, CeCe Winans, Anthony Hamilton, Lupe Fiasco, and has accompanied The Brown Sisters, Donnie Mc Clurkin, Take 6, gospel legend Mrs. Inez Andrews.

• Chris Paquette (percussionist) from the Twin Cities of Minnesota; attended Columbia College in Chicago. He accompanied Columbia’s choirs and hosted a monthly drum circle while attending. Unlimited with culture and style, He recorded on endless projects and backed a variety of artists such as, Twilight Tone,The Chicago Afro Beat Project, Omar, Dwele, Glenn Lewis, Eric Roberson,John B., Estelle, Brownstone, El Debarge, George Clinton, Chrisette Michelle, Eric Roberson, El DeBarge, Dilated Peoples, Kindred Family Soul, Talib Kweli and Anthony Hamilton.?

Koku Gonza’s eclectic iPod mix includes some of her musical influences like Sergio Mendez, Flora Purim, Brenda Fassie, Viktor Duplaix, Corrine Bailey Rae, Esperanza Spalding, Sadé, Fela Kuti, The Gorillaz, Janelle Monáe, Roy Ayers, Herbie Hancock and emerging Indie Artists such as Blah Blah Blah, William Kurk & HEAVy.

Her album Radiozophrenic is now available in digital retail stores such as iTunes; AmazonMP3; eMusic & streaming in full at Spotify; MOG & Rhapsody.
Enjoy a limited, full stream of the complete album at: http://kokugonza.bandcamp.com