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Tony Kofi


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The playing career of saxophonist Tony Kofi began when he chanced upon a series of jazz workshops, run in Leicester by Nick Hislam. Born in Nottingham to West African parents, Tony was bitten by the jazz bug and made a point of making the journey to go along to each session. This laid the seeds for what was to come, and a stint at the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston Mass. USA, on a full scholarship. While in the US, Tony studied with such musical luminaries as Andy Magee, Ernie Watts and Billy Pierce, gaining invaluable experience that he then put to best use when back in the UK. From 1991, Tony was part of the UK’s premier jazz group of the time The Jazz Warriors. This band was (and, indeed, is, in its current form of tomorrow’s warriors) a hotbed of young talent from the UK jazz scene. Tony was also vital part of Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop; this was a big stepping stone for his solo and ensemble work, contributing massively to his own solo projects and educational projects. Tony is still committed to this ethos, regularly running his own workshops and giving individual lessons. Tony was busy throughout the 1990s, appearing in the front line of innumerable high-profile musicians and groups, as well as composing original music for his Ten piece group, the Afro jazz family, The Tony Kofi Trio, and more recently touring with the World Saxophone Quartet. Since 2000, Tony Kofi, Jonathan Gee, Ben Hazleton & Winston Clifford, with featured artist, Orphy Robinson (Vibes & Marimba) have been building their repertoire of Thelonious Monk compositions, all 70 of which were performed in a groundbreaking marathon 6 hour set at the 2003 London Jazz festival with composer Philip Clark composing original Monk inspired music.

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