B i o g r a p h y
Kafele is a multitalented musician, singer and producer who has been creating music for over 25 years. The name Kafele (pronounced kuh-FAY-lay) is of African origin, and means “worth dying for”. Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Louisiana, Kafele was first exposed to jazz by his parents. In fact, he attributes his love and appreciation for jazz to his father who often listened to recordings of John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis among others. Later, his brothers and sisters introduced him to Hip- Hop and R&B. After becoming a Chicago resident for about 10 years, he was exposed to lively, upbeat house, afro-beat, and other types of dance music for the first time. This musically enriched background provided the influences that helped cultivate his unique sound. While attending Southern University in Baton Rouge, he studied Jazz Music Theory under the leadership of world-renowned jazz artist and educator, Alvin Batiste. During this time, Kafele was establishing a reputation by performing at various venues in Louisiana, Georgia, Texas and Alabama. He collaborated with a group of talented musicians to form The Kafele Bandele Group. This group frequently performed at M's Fine and Mellow Café in Baton Rouge. He also appeared at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, House of Blues in New Orleans and the internationally acclaimed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. After earning a degree in Physics from Southern University, Kafele moved to Chicago with plans to expand and elevate his musical career. In 2003, Kafele officially launched K. Kapano Records, Inc. in which he plans to elevate his own musical career, produce other talented artists, and perpetuate the appreciation of jazz-fusion. Already, he has released 3 albums, including his debut CD entitled "Prodigal Moon". His 2nd and 3rd albums are entitled "Acid Reign" and "New Orleans Sessions" respectively. In addition, Kafele has successfully penetrated the Chicago music scene and has performed in Baltimore, New York, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Miami and has been featured on various college and commercial radio stations. He has also had the opportunity to perform internationally in Johannesburg, Gaborone (Botswana), Toronto, Singapore, Paris, and Indonesia. In 2010, Kafele recorded with the award winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter on his debut release "Water", which was later nominated for a Grammy. He was featured on 2 songs, including the beautiful ballad "Skylark" and the hit song "1960 What?". More recently, Kafele has been expanding into other genres, and working with a number of international producers and record labels. He is currently working with hip hop producer Ski Beatz (Jay Z, Camp Lo) on his highly anticipated release entitled "Balcony Music." He has recently recorded and arranged horn parts for Musiq Soulchild's latest CD on a song called "Dowehaveto" and can be heard playing trumpet on Kid Cudi's latest CD on a track entitled "Just What I Am." And on the R&B side, he has been recording and performing with the up and coming Jade De LaFleur (a singer who also grew up in Louisiana.) Kafele's latest release with Jade, entitled "Blue Notes and Green Trees" has been featured on Billboard.com among other places. As a singer, Kafele has also released several soulful house singles which which have been responsible for expanding his reach. Most notably, a song entitled "Complicated" on GoGo Music with Ralf Gum (Germany). He later collaborated with Ralf on several other projects including "Burning Star" and "Never" which were both featured on Ralf's Album "Never Leaves You," which went on to reach Gold status in South Africa. Since then, he has collaborated with quite a few DJs and producers in South Africa and beyond. Kafele is a musical visionary who believes that there is a difference between music produced for the sole purpose of making money and music created as an expression of one's inner self. He hopes that listeners will recognize this difference in his music. In his own words, "Music is a true reflection of the heart and soul."