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Tony Kofi
The Monk Liberation Front
Tony Kofi

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 Dominic Alldis.

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 Music Monthly.

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.

The Monk Liberation Front

Cleveland Watkiss

Quentin Collins

Corey Mwamba

Winston Cifford



Blue Saga It's Gone


Further Recommended

  Click Tony Kofi's images below to view more photographs...

Tony Kofi @ The Crypt, London (Click to go to this page) Tony Kofi @ the Spitz (Click to go to his page)

Go back to the London Jazz Festival 2007 home page.

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