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Connecting cultures through music and travel / JAZZIZ Q&A with Ola Onabule

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Vocalist Ola Onabulé has always had an ear for the more socially conscious frequencies in jazz music. His 2015 album It's The Peace That Deafens sought to align the two cultural aspects of his persona - he was born in Britain and raised partially in his parents' homeland of Nigeria - through songs that drew from the musical heritages of both countries, as well as their complicated and entangled pasts.

His latest outing, Point Less, is an even more meticulous exploration of social themes, with music that takes unflinching aim at some of the most pressing issues of our present moment - global injustice, xenophobia, nationalism, civil unrest and violence - through music that nonetheless uplifts and exalts the good in all people. The album is set for release August 30 on Rugged Ram Records.

Onabulé maintains a rigorous touring schedule - he will have made four trans-Atlantic flights before the year is over - but he says it's exactly this constant sense of motion that keeps him balanced in such troubling times. "Travel has been the essential redemptive quality in my life, and it continues to renew my hope in humanity," he told JAZZIZ.

We recently spoke to Onabulé via phone to share his thoughts on trave land how it functions to make the world feel smaller, connecting people of dissimilar backgrounds and putting perceived differences to rest. He also shared his fondest travel memories, as well as his favorite spots for food and architecture. Below is an excerpt of the conversation that has been edited for length and clarity.