Ezra Collective open their UK tour next week with the run of dates including a Manchester gig at the Albert Hall.
The tour dates follow the release of their critically acclaimed Top 30 album Where I’m Meant To Be late last year. The run forms part of a wider European tour for the contemporary jazz/pop collective.
The tour also follows the release of Ezra Collective’s BBC 6 Music playlisted single No Confusion featuring Kojey Radical and an accompanying video directed by Douglas Bernhardt. The track is a celebration of Nigerian style and culture and a tribute to one of the country’s musical heroes, the late Tony Allen. A pioneer of the Afrobeat sound and long-time musical director of Fela Kuti’s band, Allen was also an inspirational friend and mentor to Ezra Collective’s bandleader Femi Koleoso, who knew him as ‘Uncle Tony’.
“Drum lessons with Uncle Tony didn’t just change my life, but Ezra Collective’s”, explains Koleoso. “The most valuable thing he ever taught me was, always be yourself. Be who you are. Be proud of who you are. When you truly are who you’re meant to be, you have no confusion. Confusion by Fela Kuti is one of the only recorded drum solos by Uncle Tony – it’s so him, no one else could have played it. This track is so us. We’re at a place where we really know who we are as a band – and there’s No Confusion about it.”
When do Ezra Collective headline at Manchester’s Albert Hall?
Ezra Collective headline at Manchester’s Albert Hall on 23 February 2023. The Manchester gig is one of four UK dates they are headlining:
18 February 2023 – Bristol, O2 Academy
19 February 2023 – Glasgow, SWG3
23 February 2023 – Manchester, Albert Hall
24 February 2023 – London, Hammersmith Apollo
Image of Ezra Collective courtesy Aliyah Otchere