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Toni Kofi 350Tony Kofi: A Portrait of Cannonball

British jazz saxophonist Tony Kofi will be headlining at the next Jazz Hastings session on 7 May with his new show A Portrait of Cannonball. Julian Norridge supplies the details.

It’s a loving celebration of the jazz giant (in every sense) Julian ‘Cannnonball’ Adderley, which traces the explosive music of the legendary Cannonball from his first session as leader in 1955 through work with Miles Davis (including, of course, the epic album Kind of Blue) to the soul-jazz of the late 1960s. Expect Adderley classics like Things Are Getting Better, This Here, Del Sasser, Dat Dere, Sack o’Woe and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.

Born of Ghanaian parents, Tony Kofi is a British multi-instrumentalist who plays alto, baritone, soprano and tenor saxophones and the flute. A former Best Instrumentalist in the BBC Jazz Awards, he has established himself as a musician, teacher and composer of huge authority.

He has won multiple awards over the course of his career, which began with a four-year stint at the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. On his return to the UK, he became part of the country’s leading jazz group of the 1990s, the Jazz Warriors. He was also a key member of Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop.

Since then, he has worked and recorded with artists such as Ornette Coleman, Courtney Pine, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, the David Murray Big Band, Abdullah Ibrahim, Macy Gray, Harry Connick and the Julian Joseph Big Band.

Toni Kofi 2 350He currently leads a number of his own bands, including the Monk Liberation Front, a quartet dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk. At the 2007 London Jazz festival, the quartet’s groundbreaking, marathon six-hour performance of all 70 of Monk’s compositions received a standing ovation.

His work has led to much critical acclaim. “Tony Kofi’s full-bodied sound, clear articulation and committed attack,” wrote the Financial Times, “carry the immediacy and impact of the established masters of the jazz saxophone…his improvisations…..tell stories and have emotional purpose”.

Playing with him for this evening will be Jazz Hastings regulars John Donaldson on piano, Simon Thorpe on bass and Spike Wells on drums.


Tony Kofi: A Portrait of Cannonball Jazz Hastings, Tuesday 7 May, East Hastings Sea Angling Association (on the Stade behind the lifeboat station). Doors open 7.45pm for 8.30 start, tickets £10 on the door, under 18s £3.


Posted 19:42 Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 In: Music & Sound

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