Outhouse Ruhabi
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Outhouse Ruhabi

Band World Jazz


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"Cheltenham Jazz Festival Review by John Fordham"

Outhouse Ruhabi played a mostly incandescent early set with five traditional drummers from The Gambia. Jubilantly gossipy talking-drum exchanges built to frenzied climaxes, while two saxophonists wound contrastingly studies, long-lined melodies over the polyrhythmic furore. - The Guardian

"Cheltenham Jazz Festival Review by Duncan Heining"

Cheltenham loves its collaborations and the early part of Saturdays programme featured Phil Robson's Six Strings and the beat and Outhouse Ruhabi, Dave Smith's twin sax quartet plus five Wolof drummers from The Gambia ... as for Dave Smith's project, his sensitivity to the culture with which he was dealing made this a real festival highlight. - Jazzwise

"Cheltenham Jazz Festival Review by Chris Parker"

Another Jerwood JazzGeneration gig followed immediately:
Outhouse Ruhabi featured the London-based jazz quartet
Outhouse (drummer Dave Smith, bassist Johnny Brierley,
saxophonists Robin Fincker and Mark Hanslip) and a Gambian
percussion group, Sabar Drums (Boubacar Camara, Biran and
Mambiran Saine, Kaw Secka and Laity Fye). Vortex patrons will
already be familiar with the former outfit, who usually dispense a
raw and vigorous mix of free-ish jazz and heavy riffs, but in this
company they adapted their sound sensitively to the demands of
the driving, whip-smart but roilingly exuberant sound of the
Wolof drummers. Breathtaking precision and passionate energy
characterise Sabar Drums' approach, and it was fascinating to
hear Fincker and Hanslip folding their respective tenor sounds
into the percussion mix, producing in the process music that was
clearly the result of close mutual attention and respect. Laity Fye,
too, proved to have a spine-tingling vocal talent that brought the
likes of Salif Keita to mind, and overall this was a triumphant
vindication of the practice of musical travelling and study (as
opposed to the more usual article, musical tourism).
The band can be caught live again at various UK venues during
May (see <www.bbc.co.uk/africabeyond/africaonyourstreet> or
<www.loopcollective.org> for details); they come heartily
- The Wire

"Quote from Peggy Sutton - Jazz on 3 producer"

"Outhouse Ruhabi is a genuinely innovative and exciting collaboration - the group's Cheltenham gig was a highlight of the jazz festival for me and the rest of the Jazz On 3 team. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we played a track recorded live during that concert on the programme a couple of weeks later!" Peggy Sutton - Producer, Jazz on 3 (Radio 3) - not published

"Quote by Tim Cumming"

"World jazz finds it feet in the shape of Outhouse Ruhabi." - The Independent


Outhouse Ruhabi (album to be released Sept '09)

Radio play:
BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3 Live from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival - May '08
BBC Radio 3's Jazz Line up studio session June '08



Outhouse Ruhabi is an exciting new ensemble that mixes the West African sound of the Sabar drum with contemporary jazz. Formed in The Gambia at the end of 2007, Ruhabi is a result of a collaborative project between London's Loop Collective group, Outhouse, and five traditional Wolof drummers.

Outhouse Ruhabi beautifully stitch together two very different musical genres to create an inspiring and somehow seamless blend of serrated jazz grooves and West African Wolof rhythms that, not only entertain, but also explore territories that have not been ventured into previously. The brainchild of Dave Smith, the drummer for Outhouse and recipient of both the Jerwood Jazz Generation and BBC Performing Arts Fund awards, this project is the culmination of years spent studying West African rhythms. What he, Outhouse and these highly regarded Gambian artists have hit upon is a formula and sound that is truly unique and has united audiences and critics alike in their praise for this groundbreaking project.

Their performance at last year's Cheltenham Jazz Festival was considered one of the highlights of the festival programme and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3 programme as a result. Furthermore, their concert at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London not only sold out but was also featured in The Independent's top 5 gigs list and both the BBC's Africa on your Street website and Jazzwise magazine ran full features on the project.

Outhouse are a quartet of Robin Fincker, Mark Hanslip, Johnny Brierley and Dave Smith who have been writing and performing together since 2003 and are affiliated with the Loop Collective, an organization of young musicians currently making waves on the jazz scene in London. The Gambian artists they've chosen to work with on this project are drummers Baboucar Camara, Biran Saine, Kaw Secka, Mambiran Saine and Laity Fye who all work under the auspices of registered NGO ECCO International (Education through Communication and Culture Organisation). ECCO are active in numerous countries helping communities develop sustainable cultural camps in which traditional artists interested in music education can work, thrive and support themselves through teaching.

Following the release of their debut album on Loop Records this September, Outhouse Ruhabi will play a series of dates across the UK in October 2009. Expect raw hypnotic grooves, free-flowing melodies and unstoppable energy in these explosive performances from a group at the very top of its game.

Search OUTHOUSE RUHABI on YOUTUBE and see footage from the Gambia development trip (Dec '07) and the London ICA concert (May '08)