Tunde Jegede answers a few questions from LS …

Tunde Jegede

kora player Tunde Jegede

Tunde Jegede is a composer and multi-instrumentalist, playing cello, kora, piano and percussion. Uniquely placed between the worlds of contemporary classical, African and popular music, he is a prolific producer/songwriter and a virtuosic performer who has worked with artists as varied as Courtney Pine and the Brodsky Quartet.

Tunde performs with the London Sinfonietta on Thursday 10 March, and took a few minutes out of his hectic performing schedule to answer a few quickfire questions for us …

What – or where – is perfection?

In the transcendental musical moment.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera)?

Macbeth. I like his complexity!

What’s your favourite ritual?

I always try and have a silent moment alone in complete stillness before a concert.

Which mobile number do you call the most?

My wife.

What do you fear the most?

My own anger!

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

To be able to drive.

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre.

The premiere of African Classical Music was given by my ensemble at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre on 22nd October 1991.

Tell us about a special memory you have of working with London Sinfonietta.

I recorded the title track to my debut album, Lamentation with Members of the London Sinfonietta including Christopher Van Kampen who was a fantastic cellist but has sadly passed away now.

What’s your favourite website?

Mobile Me as it allows me to do so much on the move. I am rarely on one place!

If you could programme your ideal show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?

I would love to bring to the Southbank Centre a show I did in Paris for the St Denis Festival which brought together the legendary Malian artists, Oumou Sangare, Toumani Diabate, Kasse Mady, African Classical Music Ensemble and the Brodsky Quartet for the first time. The show was an amazing collaboration of some of the world’s greatest artists and has yet to be performed in the UK.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?


What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?

Tomorrow by Salif Keita.

Tell us about your part in the London Sinfonietta concert in Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 10th March.

I am performing a couple of pieces for solo kora drawn from my album, Still Moment.

Tunde performs a selection of pieces for kora, the traditional African lute-harp, at London Sinfonietta’s concert Adès and The Origin of the Harp on Thursday 10 March, 7.30pm. Click here to find out more, or click here to listen to clips from Tunde’s album Still Moment on LastFM.


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