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Remembering Kofi Burbridge: 1961-2019

Alan Bryson By

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He paid the band their going rate, but didn't have time to adequately promote the impromptu event. An email chain of serious music fans brought together about 40 people, and about 35 curious locals from the town showed up not knowing what to expect. I was lucky enough to be there and convinced a somewhat skeptical jazz promoter from Switzerland to meet me there.

The band understood the financial sacrifice this dedicated fan had made, and knew the small group of fans had traveled from all over Europe to this small town to support them. They were determined to put on the show of their lives, and they did. It was a small venue which that night seemed more like a large living room. Many of the guests recognized each other from previous shows, so it had the feel of a relaxed private party. That was a magical and unforgettable evening.

On that first tour the band had been remarkably accessible. Offstage Kofi had a natural grace and dignity, and he was friendly and engaging in conversation. Onstage he was intuitive and his flute solos were definitely highlights, I had the good fortune to hear him play "Afro Blue" several times and it was always an experience.

Finally, when the evening was over the Swiss jazz promoter ended up buying a CD and got the entire band it sign it.

Photo: YouTube screen capture with effects by A.Bryson
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