Critically acclaimed saxophonist, flautist, composer, and Winner of the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the year Xhosa Cole is an embodiment of the success of numerous community outreach arts programmes in Birmingham. Having started playing Tenor Saxophone at Andy Hamilton MBE’s Ladywood Community Music School, Xhosa has now established himself among the long legacy of Birmingham Saxophonists including Soweto Kinch and Shabaka Hutchings. In this band Xhosa explores the music of Thelonious Monk with his own unique arrangements that explore different Rhythmic possibilities and dimensions.
Earlier this year, Xhosa completed his inaugural 23 date UK tour with his quartet featuring Trumpet virtuoso Jay Phelps, Birmingham veteran drummer Jim Bashford and fellow BBCYJM finalist James Owston. The band recorded his debut album K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us alongside featured guest artists, saxophonist Soweto Kinch and Pianist Reuben James. As a recording artist, Xhosa featured on Kinch’s latest album ‘Black Peril’ where he played alongside African-American Jazz titans: Drummer, Gregory Hutchinson and Pianist, ELEW (Eric Lewis). Cole also recorded saxophone for UK R&B singer songwriter Mahalia’s critically acclaimed debut album Love and Compromise.
Xhosa’s deep and authentic connection to the lineage of Jazz music has helped to establish him among the most exciting young talents in the country. At this stage in his career he is continually learning, developing and growing; in keeping with this great tradition. His exposure to players from a range of different traditions and outlooks compounded by his strong connection to his inner-city community in Handsworth at the heart of Birmingham has helped to develop a fiercely unique and independent voice.
In partnership with NQ Jazz and The Yard.