“without Tony Allen, there would be no afrobeat” – Fela Kuti
“perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived” – Brian Eno
Tony Allen needs little introduction. One of the founding fathers of afro-beat, his drumming style has influenced generations of musicians over the past 50 years. An original member of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and the inventor of the distinctive afrobeat drum rhythm, Tony went on to collaborate with artists from King Sunny Ade to Damon Albarn, Theo Parrish to Oumou Sangare, continuing to be a true innovator with his own music, drawing on electronics, dub, rnb + rap in a synthesis he refers to as ‘afrofunk’, clearing his own path and demonstrating the versatility and diversity of his composing and playing.
2017 saw Tony realise a childhood dream: to play the music of the most African of the bebop fathers, Art Blakey… and to release it on legendary jazz label Blue Note. A Tribute to Art Blakey was released in March 2017, followed by full album “The Source” in September. 2018 saw him tour the Source and Art Blakey shows at jazz festivals around the world while also creating and performing new shows with techno godfather Jeff Mills and Detroit soul legend Amp Fiddler. Constantly fresh, constantly innovating, history will look back on Tony as one of the most important artists of the past 100 years.