Kokoroko at the BBC Proms Online
London jazz band Kokoroko bring a West African-inspired show to the Royal Albert Hall stage for their Proms debut broadcast, live-streamed on BBC Radio 3 and BBC iPlayer. Making clear musical references to Afrobeat and highlife, this eight-piece group – led by trumpet player Sheila Maurice-Grey – perform a chilled-out jazz set that perfectly concludes a sunny start to the week. Tuning in on a Monday evening to listen to Kokoroko with a glass of wine or a cup of tea in hand is no doubt a pleasure that’s long overdue.
Performing without a physical audience – with Cassie Kinoshi on saxophone, Richie Seivwright on trombone, Tobi Adenaike-Johnson on guitar, Duane Atherley on bass, Yohan Kebede on keys, Onome Edgeworth on percussion, Ayo Sawalu on drums and Maurice-Grey on trumpet – the ensemble blend their sounds beautifully. The setlist for this concert is relaxing and calm while at the same time uplifting and light. Carry Me Home has a nostalgic rhythm and an energising pulse, Edgeworth and Sawalu’s beats recalling the gentle push of a sea breeze.
Ti-de is like the glass of wine that sits untouched when the conversation inspired by music takes you momentarily away. This show is an ode to the fluid yet subtle movement of the body and contemplation of life that occur when we look at the sky and listen to sounds that quieten the mind.
The highlights of the set are Uman, which resonates somewhat with Éthiopiques, and Abusey Junction, in which Adenaike-Johnson and Atherley take the spotlight on the guitar and bass respectively. When listening to this show, it doesn’t require much imagination to see oneself sitting on the grass in the sun watching Kokoroko live.
Watch the video for Abusey Junction here: