Monday 26th July 2021
£25.00 - £35.00
Line-up: TONY KOFI saxophone; POPPY DANIELS trumpet; MATT JACOBS piano; MYRA BROWNBRIDGE bass; JACK THOMAS drums
“The music of Thelonious Sphere Monk is like a journey into the past, present and future all at the same time.” Tony Kofi
One of the most recorded jazz composers of all time, THELONIOUS MONK needs no introduction. Making numerous contributions to the standards cannon, ‘Straight No Chaser’, ‘Round Midnight’, ‘Blue Monk, to name a few, it’s hard to overstate Monk’s importance to jazz history. A formative influence on Bebop, Monk's unorthodox approach to composition and improvisation with its characteristic dissonances, angular melodic twists, switched key releases, percussive stabs and abrupt, dramatic use of silence remains thrilling for performers and audiences alike. Recording volumes for Blue Note & Columbia Records, his list of collaborators is a who’s who of jazz iconoclasts: Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins.
Multi-instrumentalist, Tony Kofi is a UK Jazz icon at this stage. A player of the Alto, Baritone, Soprano, Tenor saxophones and flute; the award-winning artist has established himself as a totemic presence in British jazz as a musician, a composer, and educator.
Known for his fluent and fiery hard-bop style, Tony remains one of the most in-demand players in the country. For those unfamiliar, you may have heard Tony’s contributions to a ream of projects alongside, The World Saxophone Quartet, Courtney Pine, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, The David Murray Big Band, Sam Rivers Rivbe Big Band, Andrew Hill Big Band, Abdullah Ibrahim, Macy Gray, Julian Joseph Big Band, Harry Connick JR, Byron Wallen's Indigo, Jamaaladeen Tacuma's Coltrane Configurations and Ornette Coleman.
He currently leads his own bands including the Tony Kofi Quartet, Tony Kofi Sphinx Trio, Future Passed Trio, and is also the co-founder of the Monk Liberation Front, a group that is dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk.
When NYJO set out to celebrate the work of the iconoclastic pianist, they knew there would be no one better to approach than Monk-specialist, Tony Kofi. Much like Tony’s Portrait of Cannonball (dedicated to Cannonball Adderley), this programme will celebrate someone who’s singular vision served to alter the fabric of jazz forevermore.
The work of Thelonious Monk serves as a perfect example of such unwavering artistic vision. The most compelling jazz musicians are usually the ones who are successful in creating their own original world of music with its own rules, logic, and surprises – and with this in mind, Monk’s work represents a perfect repertoire to explore.
If this wasn’t enough, Kofi’s powerful and expressive performance style will be supported by one of the rising stars of UK Jazz right now, trumpeter Poppy Daniels and a tight-knit NYJO rhythm section to boot. Expect a colourful programme full of joy and celebration!
About NYJO Presents
NYJO Presents was built to showcase up and coming talent from across the UK jazz scene during the national lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This grassroots, bottom-up platform was there for plural creative voices to continue to express themselves at the start of their careers, despite of the restrictions in place.
After an amazing run of livestreams featuring the likes of Helena Debono, Rosie Frater-Taylor, Roella Oloro, Karen Shiraishi and Asha Parkinson, NYJO Presents welcomed its first live audience for multi-instrumentalist, Emma Rawicz to coincide with the re-opening of Ronnie Scott’s. This latest series of events will pair established, seasoned professionals with young stars of the future, to explore the work of world-renown jazz icon together.
National Youth Jazz Orchestra
NYJO are back for 2021 with a post-lockdown energy you don’t want to miss! Watch some of the most talented young jazz musicians in the UK mix a swingin’ rhythm section and a variety of expressive soloists, into one of the most thrilling jazz orchestras playing right now.
After decades of performing in a variety of venues across the UK and Europe, NYJO has helped launch the careers of many of the country’s most renowned jazz musicians in the process, such as Guy Barker, Amy Winehouse, Mark Nightingale and Laura Jurd. Expect a programme that explores the history of large ensemble jazz, from its formative years right up to present day.
The 24-piece orchestra has always proudly provided a gateway for accomplished young musicians to progress into the industry. The band represents a unique opportunity to gain vital experience in professional environments; explore the myriad styles and sounds with the genre; and form new relationships with a range of other musicians.
NYJO exists to empower young jazz musicians and inspire music audiences across the UK, through engaging Learning & Participation projects and impactful live performances. Founded in 1965, NYJO has grown from a single jazz orchestra, to a multi-faceted music organisation that champions national music education for young musicians, as well as professional development experiences for those at the onset of their careers.
Throughout all of its activities, NYJO are actively seeking to create a dialogue; between the established and the experimental; the past and the present; with captivating experiences that inspire and entertain.
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