Gigs

Xhosa Cole Quartet

Birmingham Jazz

A brand new ensemble 'Rhythm-a-ting' exploring the compositions of Thelonious Monk with the Xhosa Cole fingerprint perfect for a live setting. Energetic filled with humour reconnecting Jazz music and tap-dance by NYC Dancer Liberty Styles.

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 & Birmingham 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.

Line Up: Xhosa Cole - Tenor Sax, Steve Saunders - Guitar, Josh Vadiveloo - Double Bass, Nathan England Jones - drums and Liberty Styles on Tap Dance