Previously at the ICA - Events

Photo: Bernard Benant

Tony Allen in Conversation with Kevin Le Gendre

7 Nov 2010

Please note: This event has been cancelled.

In conversation with Kevin Le Gendre and with his favourite drumkit closeby, Tony Allen – co-creator of Afrobeat with Fela Kuti - will discuss his musical output and demonstrate drumming techniques in this exclusive talk for the ICA as part of Rhythm Section. Having very recently celebrated his 70th birthday, Allen will provide insight into how he manages to sound as if ten drummers are performing at once and why luminaries such as Brian Eno have gone on record describing him as "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived”.

Allen’s own influence upon contemporary music is strident, having been a mainstay of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979 and following with a prolific output that includes No Discrimination (1971), Black Voices (1997) and 2009’s supergroup release The Good, The Bad and The Queen alongside his friend and collaborator Damon Albarn. Fela Kuti once stated that, "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat” and this truth has been repeatedly born out with Allen constantly updating and adapting the genre he pioneered throughout his career. Finish multi-instrumentalist Jimi Tenor attests to this dexterity who after working with the drummer on the Inspiration Information LP series, an ongoing experimental project that matches artists from different backgrounds commented “The absolute timing, the ease of perfection…’s unbelievable”.

Presiding over this afternoon’s event is Kevin Le Gendre. Le Gendre is a journalist and broadcaster with an interest in black music and literature who since the late 90s has written about soul, jazz, African and Caribbean musicians in a wide variety of publications including Echoes, Jazzwise, The Independent, and The Guardian. He has also contributed to and presented programmes for BBC Radio on assignments from St Lucia to South Africa reporting on musicianship and international festivals.

Tony Allen


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