The Monk Liberation Front presents
The Complete Works of Thelonious
Monk, featuring: Tony Kofi, Jonathon Gee, Ben Hazelton, Winston
Clifford, Quentin Collins,
Cleveland Watkiss & Corey Mwamba
@ Southbank Centre's / Royal Festival Hall
25 November 2007
Click an image to enlarge.
Tony Kofi biography
Tony Kofi was born in Nottingham to West African
parents. His musical journey began after attending a series of workshops
in Leicester, run by Nick Hislam.
After receiving a full scholarship, Kofi attended
the legendary Berkley College of Music in Boston Mass, USA. Here
he would share invaluable experience with the likes of Ernie Watts,
Andy Magee and Billy Pierce.
Kofi was a member of the UK’s Jazz Warriors
from 1991, he also played a vital role in Gary Crosby’s Nu
Troop. Kofi continued to impress critics, fans and fellow musicians
throughout the 1990’s with his hard work ethic. Acclaim would
come from many sources. The list of musicians he has performed,
or shared a stage with is impressive:
Branford Marsalis, Billy Higgins,Claude Deppa’s
A.J.E & Horns Unlimited, Byron Wallen’s Indigo, Clifford
Jarvis, Courtney Pine, Cheikh Tidiane Fall Quintet, Digable Planets,
Donald Byrd, Dr Lonnie Smith, Eddie Henderson, Jean Toussaint big
band, Julian Joseph big band, Jazz Jamaica all stars, Jullian Arguelles,
Queen Latifah, Salt’n Pepper, Ralph Moore, The David Murray
Big Band, Us-3, The Township Express Orchestra, Tim Richards’
Great Spirit, The Grand Union orchestra, Andrew Hill’s Anglo-American
Big Band, Sam Rivers Rivbea orchestra, and Lucky Ranku’s African
jazz all stars.
As well as the above achievements, Kofi has composed
music and performed with The Kofi Trio, the Afro Jazz Family (a
ten-piece group) and the World Saxophone Quartet. Since 2000, Kofi
has worked with Jonathon Gee, Ben Hazleton, and Winston Clifford
with featured artist, Orphy Robinson (vibes & Marimba). The
result is an acclaimed collection of Thelonious Monk compositions,
all 70 of which were performed in a marathon 6 hour set at the 2003
London Jazz Festival. The Quartet’s album “All is know”
received the 2005 Jazz Parliamentary award, as well as the 2005
BBC Jazz award for best ensemble & best album.
The most recent Tony Kofi Trio + 1 consists of
Tony Kofi (saxophones) Byron Wallen (trumpet) Anders Olinder Ob
B3 Hammond Organ and Winston Clifford on drums. This group also
augments into a six-piece band including Robert Fordjour (drums)
Cameron Pierre (guitar) and Donald Gamble (percussion).
Jonathon Gee biography
Since being voted Guardian/Wire British Jazz Awards
‘Most Promising Newcomer’ in 1991, Jonathan Gee has
enjoyed a highly successful ten-year collaboration with bassist
Steve Rose and drummer Winston Clifford.
Gee has also worked with many of the country's
leading jazz musicians including Steve Williamson, Iain Ballamy,
Orphy Robinson, Ed Jones, Claire Martin, Tim Whitehead and Christine
Tobin. He has also collaborated with top US artists David Murray,
Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Mark Murphy, Harry Allen, James Spaulding,
Sonny Fortune, Ted Curson and poet Lemn Sissay.
Gee has performed in 18 countries around the world
including most recently, Finland, Sweden, Spain and Italy. His trio
has toured Azerbaijan, Israel, Cameroon, Singapore, and performed
in Nicosia with the Cyprus Chamber Orchestra.
Current projects include the Monk Liberation Front,
a band dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk, trios based in
the UK, Italy and Scandinavia, a fusion band, and duets with singer/pianist
Jonathan Gee has released five albums in his own
name. They include three trio recordings and a solo album “Wishbone”
featuring songs by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.
Corey Mwamba biography
Corey Mwamba is one of the exciting new generation
of composers and musicians in improvised and contemporary music,
and a committed advocate of culture and heritage in the East Midlands
region. His music contains elements of jazz, folk from different
countries, and electronica. Mwamba is primarily known as a highly
creative improviser with a wide stylistic range. He has performed
with the likes of Orphy Robinson, Pat Thomas, Lol Coxhill, Andy
Hamilton, Tony Kofi, the Master Drummers of Africa, Evan Parker,
the Quantic Soul Orchestra, Robert Mitchell's Panacea, as well as
his own solo performances and with his collective the Symbiosis
Ensemble. He has also worked as a percussionist with Derby Concert
Orchestra. In 2005 his solo improvisation, Three Two One, was selected
for the Freeness album set up by CDR, Chris Offili, and the Observer
Corey Mwamba was recently selected for the Jerwood/PRS
Foundation's Take Five Initiative, which is a significant artist
development scheme for emerging jazz musicians.