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Listen: Remembering Tony Allen

black and white photo of tony allen
5 May 2020

Following the sad news of legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen’s death on Thursday 30 April 2020, we host a Spotify playlist of his music as a tribute. 

 A career retrospective, this playlist is curated by Strut Records and covers the full breadth of music performed by Tony Allen. Starting with Fela Kuti and Afrobeat and ending with his final track with Gorillaz.

Tony Allen last performed at the Barbican on 21 February 2019 in a collaborative concert alongside producer and composer Jeff Mills and he celebrated his 70th birthday with a special concert at the centre in 2010.

Bryn Ormrod, Creative Producer at the Barbican said:

I’m deeply saddened to hear about the passing of legendary Tony Allen. Tony was a beautiful person with a unique talent and a wicked sense of humour, it was easy to feel affinity with him. His drumming changed music forever; a pioneer of Afrobeat along with Fela, he also had a deep love of jazz, to which he returned with a recent release on Blue Note. We were honoured to have him grace the Barbican stage on many occasions - most recently with Jeff Mills. He leaves an indelible, joyful imprint and legacy in our hearts minds and ears

We are grateful to Quinton Scott at Strut for compiling this playlist. The label specialises in archive compilations ranging from African, Caribbean and Latin styles to underground disco and post-punk and has also released new studio projects by Mulatu Astatke, Pat Thomas, Seun Kuti, Ebo Taylor and more.


photo of tony allen

Profile: Tony Allen

A career retrospective of Tony Allen's music, curated by Strut Records.

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