Xhosa Cole Quartet


Date: 17 January 2023
End Date: 17 January 2023
Type: open

TIME: 8.00 – 11.00PM


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Xhosa Cole – Sax
Josh Vadiveloo – Double Bass
Steve Saunders – Guitar
Nathan England-Jones – Drums

Xhosa Cole presents his brand new ensemble ‘Rhythm-a-ting’, an exploration and re-imagining of the music of Thelonious Monk, taking those original timeless melodies and adding a contemporary touch with new arrangements and new rhythmic interpretations.

Winner of the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the year, Xhosa Cole is an embodiment of the success of numerous community arts programmes in Birmingham including the Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jazzlines Ensemble and Birmingham Music Service. Having grown up in Handsworth and first played the Tenor at Andy Hamilton’s Ladywood Community Music School, he’s now among a long legacy of Birmingham Saxophonists including Soweto Kinch and Shabaka Hutchings. Xhosa has performed twice at the BBC Proms, Composed music for the Flatpack Film Festival, recorded saxophone for Mahalia’s debut album ‘Love and Compromise’, completed a 22 date UK tour, and released his critically acclaimed debut album K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us alongside Soweto Kinch, Reuben James and Jay Phelps. Xhosa Also received the Parliamentary Jazz Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ and Jazz FM ‘Breakthrough act of the year’.

Xhosa has performed alongside artists including Monty Alexander and Courtney Pine and as a soloist for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; at prestigious venues including Cadogan Hall and Ronnie Scotts. As a recording artist, Xhosa featured on Soweto Kinch’s latest album ‘Black Peril’ where he played alongside African-American Jazz titans: Drummer, Gregory Hutchinson and Pianist, ELEW (Eric Lewis). Cole has also started to breakthrough as an up-and-coming composer. Some of his recent commissions have been from the Ideas of Noise Festival, Ripieno Players, For-wards & Birminghams Town Hall Symphony Hall. Much of his writing is informed by his time engrossed in the Jazz cannon, however through composition he has explored a multitude of muses including Arithmetic and Geometric Maths, Biology, Classical Western Harmony and elements of traditional Yoruba Culture and Music.

Xhosa’s deep and authentic connection to the lineage of Jazz music has helped to establish him among the most exciting young talents in the country. At this stage in his career he is continually learning, developing and growing; in keeping with this great tradition. His exposure to players from a range of different traditions and outlooks, compounded by his strong connection to his inner-city community in Handsworth at the heart of Birmingham, has helped to develop a fiercely unique and independent voice.

“He’s got technique, talent, artistry and a burning desire that shows throughout the set.” downbeat 2021

‘K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us’ brings the 24-year-old saxophonist from ‘one-to-watch’ to ‘must see’ The financial times

K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us also album of the day for bandcamp.