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The Coronet Theatre Jazz Festival: Indigo - Byron Wallen Band

(This is a past event and is no longer running)


Byron Wallen will be joined by his highly acclaimed band to play music from his 2002 album Indigo. Inspired by the deepest parts of the Central African rain forest the work explores ‘the influence of various strands in evolution of black music… the effect is mesmeric’ (Jazz UK).

Prior to the gig, Byron Wallen will be showing a screening of Tom Parsons’ film Revelations In Small Steps (which shares its title with Indigo’s forthcoming live album). Completed 13 years after the first shoot – a gig Indigo played at The Crypt in Camberwell – explores the evolution and blossoming of the quartet. Using interviews, archive video and live clips, the film tells a story of friendship and the search for a new shared language of music inspired by the vision of the band’s founder, Byron Wallen.

Indigo (2002)
Through an Afro-American heritage of more than three hundred years, jazz was born of blues, spirituals, children’s lullabies, ring games, work songs and other sounds of American culture. The blues and the spirituals belong to an older indigenous music whose sound can be heard from all corners of the globe. Music as a reflection of environmental and biological sounds has always been a vital part of human existence.

Indigo is the timeless sound of this existence. The cohesive blend of trumpet, baritone saxophone, bass and drums weave complex rhythms with flowing melodies to evoke sounds of the soul. The inspiration for the music comes from the deepest parts of the Central African rain forest, the remotest parts of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, the early music of Europe as well as the more obvious influences of jazz, funk, drum and bass and blues. Indigo is a colour, an experience and many moods.


Line Up:

Byron Wallen – trumpet/flugelhorn/shells

Tony Kofi – saxophone

Larry Bartley – bass

Rod Youngs – drums


OTHER SET available on 16 JUN

Each band costs £15. Book three or more events and get 10% off.

9:00pm – Portrait (Four Corners)



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Additional Information

Byron Wallen (b. 1969) was raised in a musical family and as a child studied classical piano, euphonium, trumpet, flute and drums. In the mid 1980’s the trumpet became Wallen’s primary instrument of choice. Wallen’s first major work, Tarot Suite, (1994) was inspired by a love of mythology and symbolism, which reflected the archetypal journey of human life through an interdisciplinary pan-continental approach. Wallen’s study of cognitive psychology has aided his transition towards conceptualising music as a medium for healing. Wallen raises awareness and invokes change by unlocking boundaries through the nature and science of sound. Widely recognised as a seminal figure in Jazz, Wallen is an acclaimed writer and producer whose original scores have been commissioned by The London Science Museum; PRS For Music, The BBC, Jerwood Foundation, Southbank Centre, National Theatre, Arts Council, FIFA and Sage Gateshead. He has also composed soundscapes for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and Game of Thrones. Wallen’s current PRS commission ‘Anthem for Woolwich’ forges new links between schools, venues, musicians and residents to strengthen the resilience and promote the cohesion of the community. Wallen has received the BBC Jazz Innovation award (2003) and has been nominated several times for the MOBO award.


Larry Bartley
Larry studied music theory under Laurence Canty (author of How to Play Bass Guitar) at University of London, Goldsmiths College from 1988 to 1991. In 1992 he switched to double bass and began touring with Jean Toussaint and Courtney Pine. In 1997 he was involved in the theatre productions Unforgettable – The Nat King Cole Story and Grapevine – A Celebration of Soul Music. Since then he has joined bands led by Ciyo Brown, Caroline Taylor and Cameron Pierre. Larry has recorded with Cameron Pierre, Alex Wilson and Mercury Award nominee Denys Baptiste.


Tom Skinner
Tom Skinner started playing the drums at the age of nine and studied at W.A.C. in North London with Ian Carr for three years. He also attended many Jazz summer schools in this period. He has performed with Stanley Turrentine, Martin Speake, Romanian saxophonist Nicolas Simion and Croatian trumpeter Dusko Goykovich.


Tony Kofi
In 1988 Tony Kofi won a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music. Following this, Tony moved to London where he played with Gary Crosby’s Nu-Troop. Tony then worked with Digable Planets, Us3, UB40, David Murray and Eddie Henderson. He is in much demand as a saxophonist and is also a powerful composer.