Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer and songwriter, Jumaa is an accomplished musician who writes music that is at once sophisticated but also accessible and soulful. Born in Stuttgart, now living in Berlin, Jumaa has always been curious about expanding the world around him, life beyond his personal experiences. This is most evident in his music, the diversity and richness of his musical influences – jazz,soul, afrobeat, rhythm and blues, funk, highlife amongst others, are unmistakeable. It all makes sense when you understand his musical journey. Thanks to an older sister with an eclectic music collection, Jumaa grew up listening to Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, James Brown and Louis Armstrong amongst many others. It is the same Louis Armstrong who is responsible for Jumaa’s first instrument choice, the trumpet. Later, Hendrix caused Jumaa to teach himself the guitar, he also taught him the poetry of meaningful lyrics which, combined with the soul greats like Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, awakened in him a love for great vocals and Gospel-influenced harmonies.
In his late teens he picked up the saxophone (also belonging to his sister) and dug deeper into the world of jazz and all its heroes; from Miles Davis to Dexter Gordon to Charles Mingus and so many more.
In his 20’s the great griots from Mali and Senegal, Mulatu Astatke from Ethiopia, Fela Kuti, afrobeat and highlife from Nigeria and Ghana opened Jumaa up to a new musical language. The connection between his jazz training and his love of the sounds of West and East Africa have made Jumaa a great horn arranger and a lover of groove and a solid, infectious bassline.
The thread that ties all these different genres and artists together is what Jumaa calls a ‘spirituality in their music’, Music that touches the soul, music that moves you. And that’s what Jumaa’s music is like – he has drawn from all these diverse genres and put his seal upon it and made music that is uniquely his. It’s that ‘thing’ that goes beyond being a master of your instrument, however important it is, to a vibe or feeling that can’t be taught. As Jumaa says ‘at the end of the day, what I want to hear is something deeper, something that can’t be measured by any instrument, only by your heart’. And that’s Jumaa’s music, an experience that is as much a reflection of who he is as an artist as who he is a person. It’s music from his heart.