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Bukky Leo & Black Egypt


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Growing up in Lagos Nigeria, Bukky was spotted practising his first saxophone by the original Afro-beat drummer Tony Allen. He was immediately ushered into Tony’s newly formed band. Bukky went on to play with the great Fela Kuti where the seeds of Afro-beat were being sown. After sometime in the band and under the influence of Tony Allen, Bukky decided to follow his own journey with his distinct style of Jazz and Afro-beat.

In 1982, Bukky’s path led him to London, where he became one of the forerunners of the Acid-jazz scene. A young A&R man called Giles Peterson (Radio 1) signed him to the newly formed Acid Jazz label. His first release ’ Rejoice in Righteousness’ was at the heart of the Acid Jazz world. It went straight to number one in the Rhythm and Blues, Dance and Jazz charts. The follow up album ‘River Nile’ led him to being nominated for the US African Music Awards in New York. There he became aquatinted with the legendary late tenor saxophonist ‘Joe Henderson’ who invited Bukky to his home in San Francisco.

Since the Acid-jazz days, he has remained loyal to his goal of making ground-breaking Afro-centric grooves. This led to the creation of the Source. The band toured extensively and recorded a self-titled album, featured on the club Africa 2 compilation on Strut records. In the mid 90s, he embarked on the definitive pilgrimage to Egypt where he laid down the intellectual and musical foundations for the formation of Black Egypt. The trip to Nile was an eye opener for him.

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