Kokoroko is an eight-piece Afrobeat ensemble based in London. When trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey and Onome Ighamre were traveling in Kenya, they immersed themselves in the culture and music. When they returned home, they had a mission: to represent the music they had loved and heard since childhood authentically and joyfully. The group proclaims it specializes in a “soul-shaking, horn-fueled sound with West African roots and Inner London hues.” The assertion invites no argument.
A potent horn section (Maurice-Grey, on trumpet, Cassie Kinoshi on sax, Richie SeivWright on trombone) is backed by keyboards (Yohan Kebede), guitar (Oscar Jerome), bass (Mutale Chashi), and anchored by drummer Ayo Salawu and percussionist Ighamre. The group was featured on the compilation We Out Here.
The group’s multiculturality comes in the form of a mixture of men and women, English and African players, and influences from a rich musical history of Nigerian Afrobeats as well as jazz. Inspired by the likes of Nigeria’s Fela Kuti and Tony Oladipo Allen and Ghana’s Ebo Taylor, the group draws the past and present into a sonic powerhouse.