Molpé Music

Amélie Salembier +336.


Shems Records



Sarah E. Charles: Vocals

Yacine Boularès: sax

Jesse Fischer: keyboards & production

Kyle Miles: bass

Michael Valeanu: guitar

Philippe Lemm: drums

Also with:

Keita Ogawa: percussions (2,3,5)

Foluso Mimy: djembe (1)

AJOYO at Jazzahead 2019

credit Shervin Lainez
photo credit: Shervin Lainez

Album released 4/21/15 on Ropeadope

AJOYO is the vision of multi-reed player Yacine Boularès, a mystic brew blending African tradition, Jazz and Soul. More than music, it's a joyful ceremony, a fuller experience bringing musicians and audience close together. AJOYO chants in the name of Tony Allen, Oum Khalsoum, Charlie Parker and Donnie Hathaway. Stomping towards you in the eye of the dancer, arms open, horns, bell and bass interwoven like the fabric of a ceremonial dress, AJOYO speaks the language of the talking drum with a New York accent.

Based in New York and originally from France & Tunisia, Yacine Boularès has played sax, composed and arranged music for Cameroonian musicians such as former Fela Kuti drummer Jojo Kuo, for Martino Atangana, for the Haitian Kompa legends Tabou Combo, Orchestre Septentrional and for Placido Domingo’s latest album Encanto Del Mar. He is also the recipient of  the 2015 French American Jazz Exchange for his album Abu Sadiya with Vincent Segal and Nasheet Waits, a Fulbright Laureate, a grantee of the Brooklyn Arts Council and of the Arab Fund for Culture and the Arts.

The project originated in these encounters and influences, as Yacine assembled a band that reconciles his North African and Western heritages. AJOYO features vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles and celebrates life, love and justice through socially conscious lyrics and music: music for the heart, the mind and the body, the kind that is soulful, sophisticated and that makes people want to dance.



Molpé Music

Amélie Salembier +336.

Nina Senoyer +336.

Distribution WOrld

Ropeadope Records, Louis Marks


Rock Paper Scissors Ryan Dawes


Accent Presse Simon Veyssiere




Jazz Society of Oregon  [Ajoyo] feel(s) like the world’s tightest jam session [...] the vision becomes crystal clear and the music impossible to define.

All About Jazz (Chris M. Slawecki) "Ajoyo makes clear that the organic whole of this music sounds greater than the sum of its still very enjoyable parts..."

Celebrity Cafe "Ajoyo’s self-titled debut album melds old-world Cameroonian beats with traditional jazz themes to create a distinctive and unforgettable sound" (...)

Exclaim! "Ajoyo delivers a record mixed with tracks that are both danceable and grooveable" (...)

Inside World Music  "highly-contemporary and driven with diverse sounds and hypnotic lines that will keep anyone enthralled for a long time" 

World Music Central "Ajoyo is a splendid debut album by one of the most interesting new bands in the New York Afro-rooted world music scene" (...)

All About Jazz (James Nadal) "the music exudes sophistication, yet responds to a primordial pulse" (...)

Black Grooves "Ajoyo takes musicians and influences from across the globe and creates a jazz fusion album that leaves behind technical worries and embraces life and love fully"


Jazz Weekly "exciting and visceral release"

The Daily Vault "Ajoyo's uncontainable energy and extremely detailed musicianship elicit a level of beauty, grace, and fun that few artists can attain"


Djam La Revue "Ajoyo est habité d’une esthétique qui laisse pantois. Cohérente, [...] si parfaite dans la fusion des influences, que j’en suis encore à me demander comment est-il possible d’asseoir un tel mariage de genres sans que ceux-ci perdent de leur individualité."

La Bande Passante RFI "Un Tunisien a New York, un des jazzmen les plus talentueux de sa génération"

Les chroniques de Hiko "Ajoyo fait parti de ces disques magiques qui provoquent un engouement dès la première écoute" "probablement l’un des meilleurs [disques] de cette première moitié de 2015"

Wana Music "l’esprit de l’album, un mélange d’Occident et d’Afrique. Un pur régal!"

Saphir News "Célébrer la vie, l’amour et la justice » tout en décloisonnant les frontières... un pari largement relevé par ce musicien qui promet de faire entendre parler de lui dans le monde du jazz."


MC Doualiya live with Mayssa Issa