Tony Allen


To attend this Elbphilharmonie concert, reservations must be made in advance.

Art Blakey, the legendary bop-drummer who died in 1990, had a strong influence on Tony Allen. Towards the end of the 50s Allen began to beat the drums in Lagos/Nigeria and closely followed the music of Art Blakey and his colleague Max Roach by studying the records of these virtuous drummers. Later the already 76 years old African drummer played in Fela Kutis’ band Africa 7 and with his own formation became the pioneer of Afro-Beat. Last year Tony Allen paid his respect to his Afro-American paragon with a tribute album which was released on the Blue Note label, the same label which released Blakey’s groundbreaking works with his Jazz Messengers in the 50s and 60s. Together with his four-piece band Tony Allen presents his interpretaions of the Blakey-classics at ELBJAZZ.

There are quite a lot of parallels between the Afro-American who was said to be the “most African” jazz drummer and his Nigerian colleague. Both created their own style, both at first were “sidemen” (Blakey with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk and Allen with Fela Kuti), both of them have/had a special connection to Paris: Allen has been living there with his family since 1985 and Blakey recorded some of his best albums in Paris.