Ibeji, the name of an Orisha representing a pair of twins in the Yoruba religion of the Yoruba people, is the title of Xhosa’s collaborative project with 6 percussionists from the African Diaspora. In 2020 Xhosa was the recipient of the Peter Whittingham Jazz award with his proposal to collaborate on 6 brand new duets with world class percussionists.
Xhosa is currently workshopping the music with the collaborators and will be recording later in the year for a Winter 2021 release.
In demand drummer, Jason Brown, has been a driving force behind major artists since the early days of his career. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Ohio; Brown learned his trade under the tutelage of Billy Hart.For seven years he toured and recorded with Grammy nominated vocalist & composer, Carmen Lundy; with Pat Martino he appeared at major festivals worldwide, such as Jarasum International Jazz Festival and Rochester Jazz Festival. He has also worked with renowned artists such as Lizz Wright, Cedar Walton, Nicholas Payton, Wayne Escoffery and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Now a key member of Amina Figarova’s Sextet, Jason Brown has performed at the Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg and major venues throughout Europe and the USA.
As a leader, Brown has been a featured artist with the Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra of St Petersburg on several occasions and taken his quintet, featuring saxophonist Steve Grossman, to the White Knight’s Festival in Russia.
Twice Grammy award winning Nigerian percussionist, Lekan Babalola, is well known for his innovative musical style, using his native Yoruba tongue infused with traditional music, Afrobeat and funky dance overtones. Lekan started his career playing in the Yoruba Christian Church owned by his father. As custodians of Yoruba tradition his family taught him first hand Yoruba art and culture and this has influenced all his work .He also received a cultural and political apprenticeship from the late Fela Kuti. In 1980 he came to Britain and as his skills as a master percussionist grew was invited to join Gasper Lawal in 1982. He continued his career in New York as part of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and returned to the UK where he performed with the likes of Ernest Ranglin, Branford Marsalis, and recently African Jazz All Stars, Roy Ayers, The Kate Luxmoore Group, David Byrne, Joshua Redman, Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, The KLLB Band, Axelle Red, Pinse Saul, Queen Salawa Abeni and Jean Toussaint.
Mark has had a career taking in many styles and genres, this history informs his now mainly free improvisation based work, but he also works in theatre, dance, contemporary classical and conceptual art situations. He has played with many renowned improvising musicians including Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Roswell Rudd, Okkyung Lee, Barry Guy, Jah Wobble, Charles Gayle, Peter Evans, Trevor Watts, William Parker, Nate Wooley, Ivo Perelman and Nicole Mitchell. He works with John Edwards in a duo and with groups including trios with Evan Parker, John Butcher, Elliott Sharp and many other groups visiting the UK and in Europe.
Born and based in Derby, Dr Corey Mwamba’s commitment to jazz and improvised music in Britain and Ireland drives all aspects of his work, whether through making, presenting, promoting, or researching music.
Corey predominantly plays vibraphone; and also plays dulcimer and uses audio processing software. Corey Mwamba is recognised as a highly creative improviser and composer working across a wide range of jazz and contemporary music. Mwamba’s distinctive approach and tone is instantly recognisable in any context: a potent blend of pure sound, highly melodic phrases and ethereal textures; barely whispered chords and ear-piercing robotic screams. Corey won a PRSF/Jerwood Foundation Take Five artist development award in 2007; was short-listed for the Innovation category in the BBC Jazz Awards in 2008; and received nominations for “Rising Star on Vibraphone” in the 62nd, 63rd, 64th, 65th, 66th, 67th, and 68th DownBeat Annual Critics’ Polls.
Ian Parmel is a Trinidadian percussionist specialising in Dejmbe and dunduns. He co-founded ACE (African Cultural Exchange) dance and music in 1997 with his wife Gail and has been instrumental in ensuring that the company remains true to its core vision of placing dance at the centre of all they do. Ian has spent time honing his craft working across the globe collaborating with dancers and musicians from all areas of the Africaqn Diaspora. As Artistic Director at ACE, Ian has been instrumental is producing ACEs numerous dance productions from an audio and visual perspective.