Xhosa Cole and Friends

Xhosa Cole and Friends Jazz Band

What better way to spend a warm summer’s night than listen to some spell-bounding jazz while enjoying a glass of rum and coke.

Jazz is meant to be laid back and cool and former BBC Young Musician of the Year, Xhosa Cole is as horizontal as they go.

Drygate Brewery in Glasgow was the venue for Xhosa’s appearance at Glasgow’s Jazz Festival, which runs until Sunday at a number of spots across the city.

Joined by drummer Nathan England-Jones, guitarist Steve Saunders and Josh Vadiveloo on bass, the guys played some beautiful music, and it was amazing to see how long the musical pieces were, without anyone really drawing breath.

Xhosa is a successful product of a community art outreach in his home city of Birmingham and his skills as a musician extend to playing the flute and also composing.

Having started playing the tenor sax at Andy Hamilton’s Ladywood Community Music School, Xhosa has now established himself amongst the long legacy of Birmingham Saxophonists including Soweto Kinch and Shabaka Hutchings.

Working with musical mentors including Sid Peacock and Jean Toussait, Xhosa developed a deep connection to the lineage and tradition of jazz music.

But is has been his recent various collaborative, performance and compositional opportunities which have helped him develop and establish as an emerging name on the UK scene.

His Glasgow performance saw some of his best work, from Andy’s Shuttle to Played Twice and his 45-minute set not only highlighted Xhosa’s fantastic skills, but also those of his fellow musicians who themselves are masters of their art.

One nice highlight was an appearance by a Birmingham student Andy, on guitar, who had been handpicked by Xhosa for his obvious talent.

The show enabled the audience to witness some fantastic music and also understand better Xhosa’s strong connection to his inner-city community in Handsworth, in the heart of Birmingham, which has helped him develop a fiercely unique and independent voice.

Glasgow Jazz Festival runs until Sunday, with a chance to see more up and coming talent. For more information, please visit: www.jazzfest.co.uk.

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Photograph courtesy of Xhosa Cole

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