One of the greatest and most influential drummers ever to have lived – and perhaps the greatest, according to Brian Eno – Tony Allen was as essential to the creation of the Afrobeat genre as the great Fela Kuti. After joining Fela in 1964, the two evolved a novel African groove and went on to record over thirty albums together across fifteen years, in what was a hugely important and extraordinarily productive musical partnership.
After venturing solo, Allen spent years exploring and crafting a hybrid sound, deconstructing and fusing Afrobeat with electronica, dub, R&B and rap – a synthesis to which Allen refers as Afrofunk – and he’s since recorded with contemporary artists such as Damon Albarn and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Allen’s appearance at Farmfest, performing as the Tony Allen Quartet, is a rare chance to witness his jazz-infused tribute to the great bebop drummer, Art Blakey. We’re truly honoured to have such a legend grace our main stage – and it promises to be some treat.