Tony Kofi & NYJO present: The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall

  • Wednesday | 26.10.22
  • 7.30pm
  • Band on the Wall, Manchester
  • £15 Earlybird / ...

One of the most recorded jazz composers of all time, Thelonious Monk needs no introduction. Making numerous contributions to the standards canon, ‘Straight No Chaser’, ‘Round Midnight’, ‘Blue Monk’, to name a few, it’s hard to overstate Monk’s importance in jazz history.

A formative influence on Bebop, Monk’s unorthodox approach to composition and improvisation with its characteristic dissonances, angular melodic twists, switched key releases, percussive stabs and abrupt, dramatic use of silence remains thrilling for performers and audiences alike. Recording volumes for Blue Note and Columbia Records, his list of collaborators is a who’s who of jazz iconoclasts: Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins.

The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall is a seminal large ensemble recording, released in 1959. Under the direction of Tony Kofi, NYJO celebrates this powerful work with a stellar dectet of emerging UK talent, and they are performing right here at Band on the Wall.

Music Director: Tony Kofi

Multi-instrumentalist, Tony Kofi is a UK Jazz icon. A player of the Alto, Baritone, Soprano, Tenor saxophones and flute; the award-winning artist has established himself as a totemic presence in British jazz as a musician, a composer, and educator.

Known for his fluent and fiery hard-bop style, Tony remains one of the most in-demand players in the country. For those unfamiliar, you may have heard Tony’s contributions to a ream of projects alongside, The World Saxophone Quartet, Courtney Pine, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, The David Murray Big Band, Sam Rivers Rivbe Big Band, Andrew Hill Big Band, Abdullah Ibrahim, Macy Gray, Julian Joseph Big Band, Harry Connick JR, Byron Wallen’s Indigo, Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s Coltrane Configurations and Ornette Coleman.

He currently leads his own bands including the Tony Kofi Quartet, Tony Kofi Sphinx Trio, Future Passed Trio, and is also the co-founder of the Monk Liberation Front.

“You go back to that period, and just that whole thing of putting together a 10-piece band for a live performance by Monk was about as far-out of an idea as you could come up with.” – Orrin Keepnews (Producer of the original recordings)

The Band

Tony Kofi, Music Director/Alto Sax | George Garford, Alto Sax | Emma Rawicz, Tenor Sax | Alex Clarke, Bari Sax | Ewan Parkin, Trumpet | Johan Stone, French Horn | James Wade-Sired, Trombone | Hanna Mbuya, Tuba | Matt Jacobs, Piano | Myra Brownbridge, Bass | Cassius Cobbson, Drums


The music of Thelonious Sphere Monk is like a journey into the past, present and future all at the same time.

Tony Kofi