Live jazz, artists, venues and education in Leicester
Born in Nottingham to West African parents, the playing career of saxophonist Tony Kofi started when he chanced upon a series of jazz workshops, run in Leicester by Nick Hislam. Tony also took lessons from local saxophonist and jazz mentor George Carmichael and was bitten by the jazz. This laid the seeds for what was to come, a four-year stint at the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston Mass. USA, on a full scholarship music diploma. Returning to the UK in the early 1990s he became part of The Jazz Warriors, Gary Crosbyâ€™s Nu Troop and has subsequently led several fine bands and played in many more. Tony is one of the handful of UK jazz musicians to have been recognized by the US and global jazz scene. Between 2003-2004 Tony was an integral part of the late Andrew Hill's Anglo-American big band and Sam Rivers Rivbea Orchestra. In 2006 Tony got a call from saxophone Jazz legend David Murray asking him to join the historic avant-guard jazz ensemble the World Saxophone Quartet which formed in 1977,this is a milestone in British jazz, Tony is the first UK born musician to join the previously all American group. Since 2008 he has been a member of bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma's Coltrane Configurations Quartet (Jamaaladeen was for many years bass player with the legendary Ornette Colman's electric band Prime Time). Since 2009 Tony's been a member of EKAYA led by South African legendary composer Abdullah Ibrahim. Also in 2009 Tonyâ€™s quartet headlined was well received at the Rochester Jazz in New York and Manhattan. In 2010 was in New York recording an album in New York with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and the father of the modern free jazz movement Ornette Coleman.
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