Kokoroko Afrobeat Collective is a fresh new London-based group led by the trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey and made up of eight British musicians. "We're from the greater London area and specialise in a form of brassy jazz soul heavily seasoned by our African and Caribbean roots," says the leader Sheila. As their full name suggests, the natural medium used by Kokoroko ("Be brave! " in Yoruba) is Nigerian afrobeat. Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Ebo Taylor, Tony Allen and highlife music are the inspirations they grew up with and what their parents loved. The first discovery of Kokoroko is the Out Here (2018) compilation that showcases the new generation of British jazz. Their track Abusey Junction sent streaming platforms into overdrive. Kokoroko's mainly instrumental compositions or their cover of Fela's Colonial Mentality (Live at Sofar London, 2016) are winning over an ever-growing audience. The freedom of jazz exudes from the guitar, Rhodes and really radiates from the all-female brass trio led by Sheila Maurice-Grey. The group of princesses wearing gele head ties (popular in Nigeria and Ghana) take centre stage and are what makes the London octet unique.
Crédit photo : © Nina Manandhar