Long touted as the London Jazz scene’s most raucous act, groove-laden jazz-funk quintet Ezra Collective is one of the more ubiquitous groups on the scene, known for wildly energetic performances and bold improvisation.
Formed in London in 2016 by Femi Koleoso (drums), his brother, TJ Koleoso (bass), Joe Armon-Jones (keys), Dylan Jones (trumpet), and James Mollison (saxophone), the group first made a name for themselves on the underground London jazz scene. Using elements of Afrobeat, dub, salsa, UK funky, hip-hop, grime, R&B, and jazz, the five-piece delivered their debut EP, Chapter 7, in 2016. Quickly becoming a hot ticket act in London, they played sold out shows across the city and country, picking up awards for “Best UK Jazz Act” and “Live Experience of the Year” at the Jazz FM awards along the way.
Their most recent release, Where I’m Meant To Be, is a thumping celebration of life, an affirming elevation in the Ezra Collective’s winding hybrid sound and refined collective character. The songs marry cool confidence with bright energy. Full of call-and-response conversations between their ensemble parts, a natural product of years improvising together on-stage, the album – which also features the mellifluous vocals of Sampa The Great, Kojey Radical, Emile Sandé, Steve McQueen, and Nao – will light up sweaty dance floors and soundtrack dinner parties in equal measure.
After sold-out European spring and summer shows and long-awaited big label support, Ezra Collective is bringing its biggest and boldest show yet to City Recital Hall.