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Iyeoka Okoawo with Nigerian-American background, is a multifaceted creative soul who is known as a singer, poet, and an activist. The poesy and creations of the powerful artist awakens the soulful being of Nina Simone, Sadde, Lauryn Hill, and Amy Winehouse. Soul, r’n’b, rock, hiphop, and jazz elements meet in her music.


Iyeoka’s name in her mother tongue means ‘I wish to be respected’. Channeling the ancient influences of her roots, her goal has been to achieve positive influence through inspiring and healing messages. In her heart, a storyteller, Iyeoka’s poems full of home are a true gift to the listener, touching on topics like love, culture, and women’s choices. “My goal is simple – with every poem, I want to reach the next level of enlightenment.” As a musician and top poetess, she has reached the higher league of this field.


She started her music journey in the group The Rock by Funk Tribe that connected poesy with jazz, blues, funk, and gospel. In 2004, her first solo album ‘Black and Blues’ was released. In 2008, a poetry fusion album ‘Hum The Bass Line’ followed. In collaboration with producer David Franz, she changed her musical direction more traditional, reaching a form of electronic soul with elements of pop and dance.


In 2011, Iyeoka was nominated for the Independent Music Awards with the track ‘This Time Around’ in the r’n’b category. Presenting her freshest album ‘Gold’ at the moment, she has toured with Femi Kuti, Souldive, and Zap Mama, shared the stage with Chuck D and Musiq Soul Child, in addition to that, her poesy has attracted great attention separately.


At Jazzkaar, Iyeoka will introduce her latest album ‘Gold’ that was recorded in California. Among the inspiring and touching songs, there is also ‘Akomen of Udomi’ that is devoted to the imprisoned Nigerian girls. The album is an eclectic mix of afro beats, pop, jazz, rock, dance, and there is also a version of the track ‘Sinnerman’ which is a bow to Nina Simone.


vocal, ukulele, hand drum
Blinky Bill
vocal, electric guitar, electronics
Andrew Bergman
tenor saxophone
John Beaudette
bass guitar, vocal
Aine Fujioka