Innovator of Afrobeat, Tony Allen Passes Away at Age 79


Tony Allen passed away in Paris on April 30, 2020

   When you discuss Afrobeat music, the legacy of Fela Kuti and his amazing band are at the forefront of any conversation.  The identity of the music was no more important that in the pulse of the rhythm created by the sensational pocket drumming of the great Tony Allen.

   Tony Allen has long been considered a revolutionary and innovator in the world of drumming.  That sentiment was echoed by Brian Eno as he referred to Allen as “one of the great musicians of the 20th century — and the 21st.”

   The Nigerian percussionists’ career went far beyond his time with Fela Kuti.  As Fela recognized Allen for his contributions to Afrobeat, Tony went on to build his own name with album after album of funky-afro-disco-beats, slaying rhythm sections, and memorable horn arrangements.

   The cause of Allen’s death is not yet known.  But in the words of Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, “the greatest drummer on earth has left us.”

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