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Constant Boty
Artist
Ivory Coast (Cote D`Ivoire)
Influences: African , North American , Caribbean
Genres: afropop, jazz, world, free improvisation, mandinga, blues
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Photo by: Constant Boty
Photo by: Constant Boty
Photo by: Constant Boty
About: With Jazz pianist Benito Gonzalez
ABOUT

Ivorian Constant Boty is among a select group of West African musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory elements of innovation and tradition. He has found his niche by perfecting a fine mix of West African folkloric music, European classical, jazz, and electronic music. He has recorded with Jazz luminaries Lonnie Plaxico, Oran Etkin, Benito Gonzalez, Marc Mommaas, Francisco Mela, Mamiko Watanabe, Luiz Santos, Kris Allen, Heather Maxwell, Daniel Freedman, Daniel Prim, Pete Frassrand, N'kumu Katalay, Okyerema Asante, and Russell Carter Sr. In addition to recordings, he has also toured and performed with Greg Osby, James Weidman, Benito Gonzalez, DJ Logic, Soloman Dorsey, Lonnie Plaxico, Poogie Bell, Mino Cinelu, Jerome Jennings, Gambian musician and composer Foday Musa Suso, among others. Boty still regularly performs in counrties across Africa and most recently, In the United Statea, both as a solo act and with his band, the GURU GURU PROJECT.

Boty is a member of the Guro tribe, a native to the Ivory Coast in West Africa, which is known to have produced some of the most prolific artists of Africa. Zaouli is a popular music and dance practiced by the Guro people and was inscribed in 2017 on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Boty has always been attached to his West African roots and his Guro music heritage. He spent many years studying the music of his people and has come to appreciate the Guro concept of the hyena, which, in his native language, is nicknamed ‘Guru Guru.’ In the Guro tradition, the hyena is known for its daring attitude of breaking common grounds and is one of the few animals to confront the lion, the King of the Savannah. By observance and his appreciation of these behaviors, Boty has translated these personality traits into his music, as he strives to explore the possibilities beyond the common jazz idioms and classical rules to infuse it with exotic West African rhythms.

Boty had studied classical guitar, modern guitar, and West African music at the National Institute of Art in Cote-d’Ivoire. He later studied jazz guitar and jazz improvisation at the New York Jazz Workshop with celebrity Jazz masters, guitarists Vic Juris and Kenny Wessel and saxophonist Marc Mommaas.

He released his debut album, 'GURU GURU', in 2015 to critical acclaim, with a second release 'LOCKDOWN DAIRIES'; an idea which was born during the uncertain COVID-19 period with a charity cause; and afterwards 'SHINE ON' due out SEPTEMBER 2021. The album features a bevy of musicians from around the globe

In August 2018, while studying Jazz Guitar in New York. Boty was informed that H.E. Mr. Kof Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, whom Boty knew personally had passed away peacefully. Boty was so close to the Kofi Annan's family and was highly impacted by his peaceful doctrines that helped to shape his visions about life and his music as well. Boty then decided the following year in 2019, to record a whole album project that will solely be dedicated to Kofi Annan and he chose to call it 'SHINE ON', so that Mr. Annan's peace legacy will continue to shine on. The project was recorded in New York and featured a bevy of musicians including the likes of bass clarinetist Grammy Award winner Oran Etkin, pianist Benito Gonzalez, master bassists Lonnie Plaxico, Mike Pope, vocalist Heather Maxwell, saxophonists Kris Allen, Marc Mommaas, Benny Rubin Jr., drummers Daniel Freedman, Francisco Mela, Lee Pearson, Daniel Prim, and Luiz Santos, and amongst others. Due to ban on travel impacts of the COVID-19, Boty could not return to New York in May 2020 to complete with the production of the album. He still plans to release the single Shine On, hopefully during summer 2021 and release the album in September the same year.