Soulful sounds in Surrey

Ola Onabule jazzes up the Bell Performing Arts Centre stage Nov. 25.

Jazz entertainer Ola Onabule performs at the Bell Performing Arts Centre Nov. 25.

Dynamic soul and jazz artist Ola Onabule is back in B.C. for a series of a concerts, including a Nov. 25, 8 p.m. date at the Bell Centre for Performing Arts (6250 144 St.)

The British-raised, Nigerian-born singer and composer is credited with combining a butter-smooth style, incredible vocal range and sensitive, intense projection of poetic lyrics with a magnetic stage presence and charmingly dry sense of humour.

He’s a born entertainer who seems to be having as much fun on stage as his audience in the auditorium.

He’s performed with such soul and jazz greats as Gladys Knight, Diane Reeves, Patti LaBelle, Al Jarreau, Roberta Flack, Natalie Cole and Roy Hargrove, but after years of dues paying, his explosive live performances are winning fans and attracting great press at the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals and concert halls.

His debut at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2009 opened the door for more North American touring, and a documentary about his career, aired on CNN’s African Voices, has inspired a new project, a PBS special to be filmed in the U.S. next spring.

The Nov. 25 concert will feature material from his new album, Seven Shades Darker, which will be released internationally in early 2012.

For tickets ($45), call 604-507-6355, or visit www.bellperformingartscentre.com

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