October 18, 2018

Hartford, Connecticut’s UMOJA

Delve into the musical culture of Hartford, Connecticut’s UMOJA.  UMOJA is a seven piece ensemble which embraces the seven principals of Kwanzaa, the first of which is UMOJA, meaning “unity” in Swahili.  This group of eclectic and talented musicians assembled in 2007 and Enjoy CT Live has been following them since!

Umoja Quintet

Umoja Quintet

The UMOJA Quintet
Raynel Frazier – Trombone
Yunie Mojica – Alto Saxophone
Jen Allen – Piano
Jonathan Barber – Drums
Stephen Porter – Bass

Raynel Frazier Umoja

Raynel Frazier, Umoja

The Umoja Septet

Raynel Frazier – Trombone
Yunie Mojica – Alto Saxophone
Camille Thurman – Tenor Saxophone/Flute
Shenel Johns – Vocals
Jen Allen – Piano
Jonathan Barber – Drums
Stephen Porter – Bass

Shenel Johns UMOJA

Shenel Johns, UMOJA

Hartford, Connecticut’s jazz group UMOJA performs as the UMOJA Quintet, the UMOJA Septet and The UMOJA Music Series.  UMOJA is led by vocalist Shenel Johns, who has been performing since age 14.  Shenel has traveled to Russia, Africa and Jamaica to perform, all before the age of 21!  She strives to keep the world of jazz fresh and alive through continually evolving her sound and skill.

Jonathan Barber Umoja

Jonathan Barber, Umoja

Drummer Jonathan Barber has also had fast-paced success through hard work and diligent commitment to his craft.  Barber has performed as the Band Leader in the New Haven Jazz Festival, and has gone on to work with a list of jazz greats including Larry Willis, Wallace Roney, Jimmy Greene, Wayne Escoffery, Claudio Roditi, Antoine Roney, Nat Reeves, Julius Tolentino, and more!

Umoja Septet

Umoja Septet

With a line-up of members, each featuring an unwavering passion, UMOJA brings a cultural charge to their performances which can’t be missed!  UMOJA’s engaging stage presence wraps around the room providing a feeling of true community.  Check out UMOJA’s site for upcoming performances and events here.

Catch UMOJA at Black Eyed Sally’s Jazz Mondays in Downtown Hartford, Connecticut!