Category: Blog

Kamaal Williams in DNVR (9/13)

London Jazz Virtuoso Kamaal Williams (a.k.a. Henry Wu) to Mesmerize Denver at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox on Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Denver, CO — Prepare for a night of sonic transcendence as Kamaal Williams, the innovative London-based jazz pianist known for seamlessly blending genres such as house, funk, soul, jazz, and more, graces the stage at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox in Denver, Colorado, on September 13, 2023. This eagerly anticipated performance comes hot on the heels of the release of his third solo album, “Stings,” on the acclaimed Black Focus label.

“Stings” is a musical journey that marries the roots of the South London jazz scene with the ethereal and cosmic realms of Claude Debussy and futuristic hip-hop and electronic beats. Williams, also known as Henry Wu, embarked on this musical odyssey during the pandemic, independently and free from external influence. The result is an album born from isolation, reflection, and spirituality, capturing the essence of a truly unique artist’s journey.

The album’s title, “Stings,” carries a dual meaning. It represents the strings that vibrate throughout the album, connecting its diverse musical elements. It also alludes to the personal struggles that Williams has overcome in recent years. Like a wasp’s sting, it’s an unwanted attack that leads to martyrdom, mirroring Williams’ all-consuming live performances.

Kamaal Williams’ discography includes the critically acclaimed “The Return” (2018) and “Wu Hen” (2020). “Stings” was recorded in iconic locations across Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago throughout the early months of 2022.

In addition to the album’s orchestral framework, Williams will be releasing three digital singles that expand upon the world of “Stings.” These tracks will delve into electronic sounds and vocal experimentation, including the lead single “PKKNO” and alternate versions of key album tracks like “Magnolia” and “The Last Symphony.”

Born in London with Taiwanese heritage, Henry Wu is not only the mastermind behind Kamaal Williams but also the founder of the London-based jazz duo Yussef Kamaal. The duo’s album, “Black Focus,” ushered in a new wave of jazz in the United Kingdom. Besides his work as Kamaal Williams, Wu explores electronic music under his given name, Henry Wu.

Don’t miss this opportunity to witness Kamaal Williams’ breathtaking live performance at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. Experience the convergence of musical genres and the profound journey of an artist who continues to push boundaries.

Event Details: Date: September 13, 2023 Venue: Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, Denver, CO

Tickets: Available HERE $32-$37

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:Stephen Smith-Contreras / / 213-587-2770

About Kamaal Williams: Kamaal Williams, also known as Henry Wu, is a London-based jazz pianist renowned for his genre-blurring musical style. His innovative approach to music seamlessly fuses jazz with house, funk, soul, and electronic elements, captivating audiences worldwide. As the creator of the London-based jazz duo Yussef Kamaal and a solo artist, Williams has left an indelible mark on the modern music landscape. His latest album, “Stings,” promises to be a transcendent musical experience that defies categorization.

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SIEMBRA, a tropical music dance party is going down on Friday(9/23) at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox in downtown Denver.

Proceeds from this Friday’s event will go to Taller Salud, a grassroots organization in Puerto Rico supporting disaster relief from Hurricane Fiona. The team at Ophelia’s has agreed to match our donation, and we are looking for additional organizations/people to amplify our efforts. Come out, support, enjoy great music, and please help spread the word!

Performing live is Conjunto Colores, a 12pc Salsa band! DJ’s Musa Starseed, Selecta C, and Yucasoul will be spinning Afro-Latin beats, Afrobeats, Dancehall/Reggaeton, Salsa, Cumbia y mas!


SIEMBRA, a Tropical Music Dance Party, is back at Ophelia’s on Friday, August 26!

This month we are building the vibe with special guest DJ Swazi Sunshine repping South Africa via Los Angeles. Swazi Sunshine is a cultural activist passionate about showcasing and contextualizing South African dance music on the global stage. He will be spinning Afro-House, Amapiano, Gqom and more styles of South African dance music accompanied by Yucasoul on live percussion.

Also bringing the heat are DJ’s Selecta C and Yucasoul who will be spinning Afro-Latin beats, Afrobeats, Dancehall/Reggaeton, Salsa, Cumbia y mas! You do not want to miss this one…


SIEMBRA, una fiesta tropical, regresa a Ophelia’s el viernes 26 de agosto!

Este mes estamos construyendo el ambiente con un invitado especial DJ Swazi Sunshine representando a Sudáfrica a través de Los Ángeles. Swazi Sunshine es una activista cultural apasionada por mostrar y contextualizar la música del club de sudafricana en el escenario mundial. Tocará Afro-House, Amapiano, Gqom y más estilos de música dance sudafricana acompañado por Yucasoul en percusión en vivo.

Tambien trayendo candela son DJ’s Selecta C y Yucasoul quines tocarán ritmos afrolatinos, afrobeats, dancehall/reggaeton, salsa, cumbia y más. No te lo quieres perder!


This Saturday, July 16 SIEMBRA is back at Ophelia’s!

Performing live are Orquesta La Brava, a 10pc Salsa band! DJ Chris Milly, Sugar Auntie, and Selecta C spinning Afro-Latin beats, Afrobeats, Dancehall/Reggaeton, Salsa, Cumbia y mas!


¡Vengan el sábado 16 de junio a SIEMBRA, una fiesta de música tropical en Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox!

¡Tocando en vivo está Orquesta La Brava, una banda de 9 piezas tocando Salsa Dura! DJ Chris Milly, Sugar Auntie, y Selecta C tocando musica afro-latina, afro-beats, dancehall/reggaeton, salsa, cumbia y más.


Join us on Saturday, June 11 for SIEMBRA, a Tropical Music Dance Party at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox!

Performing live are Media Luna, a 9pc tropical band playing Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, and Salsa jams! DJ sets by Cumbia con Flavor, Selecta C, and Yucasoul spinning Afro-Latin beats, Afrobeats, Dancehall/Reggaeton, Salsa, Cumbia y mas! $10 cover all night, doors open at 9pm.


¡Vengan el sábado 11 de junio a SIEMBRA, una fiesta de música tropical en Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox!

¡Tocando en vivo está Media Luna, una banda tropical de 9 piezas tocando Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia y Salsa! DJ sets de Cumbia con Flavor, Selecta C y Yucasoul tocando ritmos afro-latinos, afro-beats, dancehall/reggaeton, salsa, cumbia y más.

Chicha y Cumbia de la Selva (Vinyl Set)


Yucasoul Sessions 01: Chicha y Cumbia de la Selva (All Vinyl Set)

While in Peru visiting family in 2017, I ended up making the trip to Jirón Quilca (the word Jirón is the Spanish term for ‘street; from the Spanish colonial era), a street in downtown Lima where there are several record shops and vinyl dealers. Jirón Quilca is in the old, dusty, colonial section of downtown Lima surrounded by unique businesses(or galleries) that sell magazines and other forms of analog media. I went to Jr. Quilca to look for Afro-Cuban music, Salsa(Fania, NY, PR, Colombian), and Afro-Peruvian records, as those are the musical genres I am most interested in and collect.

Walking down Jr. Quilca, I came across a few record dealers, some who just held down a street corner near the entrance to a larger shop or gallery. Others with more traditional stores, and large organized collections, but still a unique ‘old school’ vibe- like they had been in business in the same location for 50 years, and had never repainted the walls and rarely dusted. This is exactly what I was looking for!

As you can imagine, some of the record dealers in downtown Lima are straight up characters. They are vinyl hustlers, caught in a musical time-warp, relying on the records they sell daily, and extremely knowledgeable of their craft and tropical musical genres. While I did find several Afro-Cuban and Afro-Peruvian records, I started to listen to some of the old Chicha or Peruvian-Cumbia records, mainly 45’s. Chicha is a style of cumbia that started in small towns in the Amazon region of Peru like Iquitos. It has elements of Colombian Cumbia, as well as Afro-Cuban elements, but it is unique as the sounds are also inspired by traditional music from the Andes of Peru like Huayno, and of course sounds and life in the Amazon jungle. The use of the electric guitar is used melodically to sing traditional Peruvian riffs and scales in a grungy, ‘lo-fi’ manner, giving the music a unique sound and character. These are some of the Chicha 45’s purchased during this trip!

To me, these sounds are mesmerizing- they transport you to that jungle town where the heat warms your blood, your mind connects to the rhythm of the bass and percussion, and your body flows with the guitars and vocals like a jungle river. These sounds are turbulent, like a tropical storm- listen with caution. Enjoy!

One note, I have included one track from Colombia(Entre Rejas) and one from Venezuela(Petroleo) where you can hear many musical similarities, and differences like the use of the accordion and harp.