Multi-instrumentalist Yussef Dayes' highly anticipated debut solo studio album, Black Classical Music, is due September 8 via Brownswood Recordings, Warner Music, and Cashmere Thoughts Recordings and in the US on Nonesuch Records. You can watch the video for the title track, featuring Venna & Charlie Stacey, here:
"What is jazz,” Dayes asks. “Where did the word derive from? Birthed in New Orleans, born in the belly of the Mississippi River, rooted in the gumbo pot of the Caribbean, South American culture, and African rituals. Continuing a lineage of Miles Davis, Rahssan Roland Kirk, Nina Simone, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong—music that is forever evolving and limitless in its potential. The groove, its feeling, the compositions, the spontaneity, with a love for family, the discipline and dedication in maintaining the very high bar set by the pantheon of Black Classical Musicians. Chasing the rhythm of drums that imitated one's heartbeat, the melodies for the mind and spirit, the bass for the core. A Regal sound for this body of music."
Yussef Dayes’ drum licks and Rocco Palladino’s bass are the anchors to Dayes’ nineteen-track debut solo studio album, aided by Charlie Stacey (keys/synths), Venna (saxophone), Alexander Bourt (percussion), and a host of features including: Chronixx, Masego, Jamilah Barry, Tom Misch, Elijah Fox, Shabaka Hutchings, Miles James, Sheila Maurice Grey, Nathaniel Cross, Theon Cross, and the Chineke! Orchestra—the first professional orchestra in Europe to be made up of majority Black and ethnically diverse musicians.
Yussef Dayes’ career is expansive and wide reaching; his rise can be first linked to the Afrocentric quartet United Vibrations, alongside his two brothers, Ahmad and Kareem, and saxophonist Wayne Francis. This was followed by the highly successful but short-lived duo Yussef Kamaal, with keyboardist Kamaal Williams. More recently, Dayes released Live at Joshua Tree, an EP presented by Soulection, and other solo releases including the live album Welcome to the Hills and Love Is the Message, which was recorded live at Abbey Road Studios.
His extensive list of collaborators includes talents across both music and fashion—from 2020’s Top 5-charting collaboration with Tom Misch, What Kinda Music (Blue Note), to an official remix of Pa Salieu’s “Frontline” on Wizkid’s Made in Lagos album to production for R&B artists Kali Uchis and Kehlani. Dayes had a special artistic relationship with the late Louis Vuitton innovator Virgil Abloh, who hand-picked him to soundtrack and curate a Louis Vuitton dinner show for Paris Men’s Fashion Week and invited him to perform at the Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris, among other collaborations.