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Corey Mwamba

When he started making his own music, Corey Mwamba explains, it was mainly electroacoustic. But “any conversation about black British experimental music is a short one, even today, and I am never included in it”, he comments – so he focused on vibes, as a performer.

As a live performer, that career has now ended, he explains, in a statement somewhat reminiscent of Glenn Gould. Mwamba made the decision a few years ago, and his farewell gig was in his hometown of Derby on 23 March this year. But he will still be making home recordings, and continuing as creative director for Derby Jazz and Out Front!

One of the UK's leading vibraphonists, a composer, a band leader, promoter, jazz activist and Creative Director of Derby Jazz. His most active current band was YANA with Joshua Blackmore and Dave Kane. Born and based in Derby, Corey Mwamba's commitment to jazz and improvised music in Britain and Ireland drives all aspects of his work, whether through composition, playing, or promoting new music. Corey predominantly played vibraphone; he also played dulcimer and uses audio processing software. He is recognised as a highly creative improviser and composer working across a wide range of jazz and contemporary music. Mwamba's distinctive approach and tone is instantly recognisable in any context: a potent blend of pure sound, highly melodic phrases and ethereal textures; barely whispered chords and ear-piercing robotic screams. Corey won a PRSF/Jerwood Foundation Take Five artist development award in 2007; was short-listed for the Innovation category in the BBC Jazz Awards in 2008; and was nominated for "Rising Star on Vibraphone" in the 62nd, 63rd, and 64th DownBeat Annual Critics' Polls.

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