BOI AKIH effortlessly weaves modern jazz and improvised music with folk traditions from all over the world, creating a unique sound that is unconventional, yet totally recognisable and accessible. Acoustic sounds merge with the versatile, warm voice of Monica Akihary, who sings and writes her poems in both English and Haruku, the endangered language of her father’s island (Moluccas/Indonesia/Melanesia). She is an exceptional vocalist who sends her song directly into the listener's soul.
In Storyteller, the new album, Akihary and virtuoso guitarist and intriguing composer Niels Brouwer, who form BOI AKIH, are joined by Hungarian recorder player Dodó Kis and Guinean kora player Sekou Dioubate. With musical curiosity Kis moves nomadically between styles and traditions, from early music to Hungarian folk music. Dioubate plays a 35-string kora with additional chromatic strings, specially designed for BOI AKIH’s repertoire. He combines his knowledge of the West African musical tradition with an inquiring mind. These four evoke a world where boundaries dissolve and the distances between places, time and traditions don’t seem to exist.
All About Jazz, Feb 2021
“Storyteller is a wonderfully resonant blend of cultures and textures which hails traditions and innovations alike. Akihary and Brouwer have always shown deep respect for tradition but know, too, that without evolution there is stagnation. Above all, however, the music is a tale of ingenuity, loss, resilience and, ultimately, of triumph.”
Heaven Magazine , Feb 2021
“Boi Akih have been playing together for 22 years and they treated us to a phenomenal concert, …combining sublime instrumental interaction with Akihary’s vocal beauty and emotion.”
“High-quality music that despite its mostly light tone is not lightweight, and precisely because of that can withstand a lot of spins without becoming tiresome”
JazzNu, Jan 2021
“..balance, daring, new musical insights and an intriguing mix of composed and, especially, improvised music.”
“Her scats are unpredictable, brimming with maturity and confronting within the concept that Boi Akih has developed