Ola possesses a stunning voice of enormous range and emotional clout. His voice is beautifully clear and appealingly textured, almost classical. During his shows there are moments when he lets fly with a kind of yodelling ululation and a range and elasticity to match his rich tonal qualities. The influences of soul, jazz and African music come together in subtle and sophisticated melodies and time signatures.
Ola began his career on the Elektra Label (Warner) but has since released six albums with the latest recording almost complete, SEVEN SHADES DARKER which will be released on his label, Rugged Ram Records. Ola has spent much of his career concentrating on lyrics with songs that are layered with metaphor and allegory. Ola seemlessly documents the issues of the day with the universal subjects of love and loss. Ola has guested with some of America's finest soul and jazz artists including Diane Reeves, Gladys Knight, Al Jarreau, Patti Labelle, Roberta Flack, Joe Zawinul, Natalie Cole, and Roy Hargrove.
December 2009 saw Ola as the headline artist all over the UK accompanied by the South African Jazz/Opera singer Sibongile Khumalo with band and large choir. The dates included four shows at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and similar venues around the UK. The shows were produced by Serious (producers of the London Jazz Festival).
OLA will also be the featured male artist with Grammy winning WDR Big Band at the Cologne Philharmonic Concert Hall in March 2010. The shows will feature Dennis Mackrel as arranger and conductor and China Moses (Dee Dee Bridgewater's daughter) on vocals as well.
In November 2010, Ola will appear at Leverkusen jazz Festival, Ingolstadt and Aalener Jazz Festival alongside other European Dates,.
THE GERMAN FILM ORCHESTRA BABELSBERG have invited OLA to perform at The Nikolaisaal in Potsdam a special show featuring the music and arrangements of Ola Onabule in January 2011.
THE MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL Education Projects recently invited Ola to be interviewed as an artist of distinction with regards to his influences, etc.
THE SWR Big Band in Germany has just invited Ola to perform with them next year as well as record a new album. They have just been nominated for a Grammy for 2010 for the album Fun Time" with Sammy Nestico.
BOWERS AND WILKINS - Purveyors of Audiophile hi-fidelity music listening equipment recently invited Ola to compile an album of 8 songs from his previous work which they have offered as a special compilation to their 30,000 members and 140,000 worldwide customers of B&W. They have also featured a track on their free app that will feature six tracks to accompany their multi-award winning Zeppelin iPod dock. SHURE MICROPHONES who endorse Ola's recordings have just asked to include a track from Ola's last album THE DEVOURED MAN entitled Never Known on their point of sale material to accompany their new headphones. Ola is also working very closely with the ACS - Bespoke in-ear monitors and headphone makers (Apple Itunes selected them specifically to sell with their downloads) to create a signature headphone that will be available when Ola's album is released later in the year.
EDMONTON JAZZ FESTIVAL - Saturday 26th June - Outdoor Stage in the afternoon and Indoor stage at the Maclab Theatre
VANCOUVER JAZZ FESTIVAL - Friday 2nd July - Commodore Theatre, Vancouver - Twin bill with Meshell Ndegeocello
VICTORIA JAZZ FESTIVAL - Saturday 3rd July - Outdoor Stage - Twin bill with Meshell Ndegecello