Jamiroquai is a Grammy Award-winning English acid jazz/funk/soul band. Jamiroquai was initially the most prominent component in the early-1990s London-based acid jazz movement, alongside groups such as Incognito, the Brand New Heavies, Galliano, and Corduroy. Subsequent albums have explored other musical directions such as, but not limited to, pop, rock and electronica. Jamiroquai has sold over 21 million records all over the world.



The band name is a blend of Jam session and "iroquai", based on the Iroquois, a Native American tribe. The lineup of the band has changed several times, and the longest serving and now core members of the band are lead singer and songwriter Jason "Jay" Kay and drummer Derrick McKenzie (1994). Despite his self-professed attempts to treat Jamiroquai as a band, Kay has always been at the forefront of how the group is marketed, and has therefore always had the lion's share of media attention, to the point where he is viewed as almost a solo artist. He was the impetus behind the formation of Jamiroquai, deciding to form the band after an unsuccessful audition to become the singer of the Brand New Heavies.

Sony BMG

Jamiroquai's first single, "When You Gonna Learn", was released in 1992 on the Acid Jazz label. Following its success, Kay signed an eight-album record deal with Sony BMG Music Entertainment. The first Sony album, Emergency on Planet Earth was released in 1993. It was followed in 1994 by The Return of the Space Cowboy. The single "Space Cowboy" gained notice on the charts and in club rotation.

While Jamiroquai was growing in popularity in the UK and Western Europe, they remained relatively unknown to U.S and other international audiences. The band's international breakthrough came with the third album, Travelling Without Moving in 1996, which yielded two big hits, "Virtual Insanity" and "Cosmic Girl". The success of "Virtual Insanity" was due in part to its Jonathan Glazer-directed video, which featured Kay's dance moves and some gravity-defying images. At the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, the creative videoclip for "Virtual Insanity" won four awards, including Best Video, Best Special Effects, Best Cinematography, and Breakthrough Video.

In 2003 Jamiroquai compiled and mixed a DJ mix album for the Late Night Tales series for Azuli Records. The track selection shows some of the band's funk, soul and disco influences, including tracks from The Pointer Sisters, The Commodores, Johnny "Hammond" Smith and Marvin Gaye.

The acid jazz flavours and ethnic influences of the first three albums continued with the release of Synkronized in 1999. Jay Kay's interest in funk and disco music were shifting the band's directions towards such. By their fifth album, A Funk Odyssey (2001), they had evolved so drastically, that some critics and listeners would remark they lost the 'Jamiroquai sound'. With the departure of more and more original band members, including Wallis Buchanan and his didgeridoo, Jamiroquai had become a very different band than that of 1992. In spite of the changes, the fifth album's first single, "Little L", reached #1 in many charts worldwide.

Their sixth album, titled Dynamite was released on June 20, 2005. It reached #3 on the UK charts. The first single, "Feels Just Like It Should" was released early in June, the second, "Seven Days in Sunny June" released on August 15th, 2005, followed by the third, "(Don't) Give Hate A Chance" on November 7, 2005.

Jamiroquai released a greatest hits collection, High Times: Singles 1992-2006 in November 2006. The release of this album marked the end of Kay’s eight-album contract with Sony. The album reached the number 1 spot in the UK album chart after its first week of release. The album featured two new tracks, "Runaway" and "Radio". On September 18, 2006, "Runaway" was given its first play by UK radio stations. It was released as a single on October 30, 2006. Kay remarked that compilation was released purely out of contractual obligation: "2006, they're out of the fucking picture."


In October 2006, Jamiroquai recorded a live session for Live from Abbey Road at Abbey Road Studios. Their performance was shown alongside those of Damien Rice and the Goo Goo Dolls on the UK's Channel 4 in January 2007. In May 2006 Jamiroquai performed during the Laureus Sports Awards in Barcelona; the event was later televised by NBC in June.

In March 2006, Jamiroquai announced their switch to Columbia Records. Future releases will appear under the Columbia imprint.

After leaving Sony, the band began work on their seventh project, and several collaborations and side-projects. In a very short mid-2007 interview with Jamirotalk, drummer Derrick McKenzie expressed his satisfaction with leaving Sony as the beginning of a period in which the band will have more creative control over their own work, together with plenty of room for experimentation and lack of pressure from a record company.

On January 11, 2008, Jason himself posted a news item in which he thanked everyone who wished him the best for his birthday, and announced that the writing process for the new album has just begun. Only a day earlier, drummer Derrick McKenzie posted an article on his MySpace weblog that the recording process for the same record has also begun.

On January 15, 2008, the band confirmed that the recording process has begun. According to the news item, eleven tracks have already been written for the new album, with more to come. As of now, none of the tracks' names are known.

On February 13, 2008, the band announced from their website that it will perform at the World Stage of the Rock in Rio - Madrid festival, being held in Arganda del Rey, Madrid with others artists who have yet to be announced.

On February 28, 2008, Jamiroquai performed at the Khodynka Arena in Moscow, Russia at the launch of the new Audi A4 car.

On June 22, 2008, Jamiroquai performed at the Wianki Festival in Kraków, Poland.

On July 4, 2008, the band performed in front of a 75.000 people audience in the Rock in Rio Madrid festival.

In pop culture


Year Album U.K. Albums Chart U.S. Pop Albums U.S. Electronic AUS SWI AUT FRA NETH SWE
1993 Emergency on Planet Earth 1 - - 21 5 11 101 15 13
1994 The Return of the Space Cowboy 2 - - 42 9 22 119 37 17
1996 Travelling Without Moving 2 24 - 6 3 9 2 16 4
1999 Synkronized 1 28 - 1 2 2 2 6 9
2001 A Funk Odyssey 1 44 1 1 1 4 1 4 13
2005 Dynamite 3 145 2 3 3 10 2 5 25
2006 High Times: Singles 1992-2006 1 - - 11 1 23 - 31 -


Current Members

  • Jason Kay - Vocals (1992 - present)
  • Derrick McKenzie - Drums (1993 - present)
  • Sola Akingbola - Percussion (1996 - present)
  • Rob Harris - Guitar (2001 - present)
  • Matt Johnson - Keyboards (2002 - present)
  • Paul Turner - Bass (2004 - present)
  • Lorraine McIntosh - Backing Vocals
  • Hazel Fernandez - Backing Vocals
  • Sam Smith - Backing Vocals

Former members

Guest appearances

  • Andrew Levy - Bass (1992)
  • Simon Bartholomew - Guitar (1992)
  • Kofi Kari Kari - Percussion (1992)
  • Vanessa Simon - Backing Vocals
  • Martin Shaw - Trumpet
  • Beverley Knight - Vocals (2001)
  • Beverlei Brown - Backing Vocals (2006)


See also


External links

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