Ka Safar

Ka Safar is a 17-piece world jazz ensemble based in Leicester, UK. The band is inspired by free jazz, Afrofuturism, ancient music, Latin American styles, funk, Indian and Japanese influences. Their message is one of inclusivity, spiritualism, love and humanity.  

‘Ka’ is the ancient spark of the spirit

‘Safar’ is the journey

Ancient Tribal Hearts vinyl LP cover art

Ancient Tribal Hearts (2022)

Bob Hill Illicit Grooves radio: “Wow, this is so good… I love the musicality and the spirituality… Doing the east Midlands very proud here.”

Sarah Evans – Radio Alhara/Gilles Peterson’s Producer: “This. This is where it’s at! Spiritual Jazz from the East Midlands! Big up Leicester! This record in incredible!”

Songlines – Jane Cornwell: “Global interstellar sounds… a world jazz juggernaut… where golden nuggets are found inside the harmony, within the flow.”

Formed by Lee Allatson in 2017, early repertoire included tunes by Alice Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Sanders, Mulatu Astatke and Johnny Dyani…

The band quickly began to develop its own sound built around Allatson’s compositions and bespoke approaches to improvisation. Pyramid (2019), Satoru, Seikilos Epitaph and Samba Arabique (2020) were each released as download singles via Bandcamp.

In 2021, Allatson was approached by the Spanish boutique vinyl label 2 Headed Deer to produce and release a full length Ka Safar album. ‘Ancient Tribal Hearts’ was released worldwide in January 2022.


Ka Safar have gained airplay on BBC3’s Freeness show, Radio Alhara, The Garden of Earthly Delights, SourceFM and ExileFM. In 2019, the band hosted and performed at their own monthly club night – ‘CASBAH!’ and have played live shows at Peggy’s Skylight (Nottingham), Coal Vaults (Coventry), Cube/Deda/Museum of Making (Derby) and Northampton Music Festival, as well as Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, The Musician and Bottle Garden venues.

“Filmic Jazzy Oriental Psychedelic very absorbing mixture of disparate cultural influences. Highly Recommended!” Paul Murphy – Jazz DJ legend

“… this is a remarkable record bursting with energy and ideas that needs to be in the collections of those who love Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra et al.” 

Truth and Lies Magazine

Press and Radio Responses to Ancient Tribal Hearts from the Week of Release